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L’Oréal, PepsiCo Strike Up New Partnerships to Push Forward Sustainability Agenda

Ushering the economy towards a more circular, sustainable model, global brands are teaming up to initiate change both at home and across the globe, proving that there is indeed strength in numbers.

Ushering the economy towards a more circular, sustainable model, global brands are teaming up to initiate change both at home and across the globe, proving that there is indeed strength in numbers.

SUEZ and French beauty giant L’Oréal have struck up a new partnership in an effort to tackle climate change and promote the circular economy. The pair have signed a memorandum of understanding for the continuous improvement of environmental performance and the optimization of resource management throughout L’Oréal’s value chain. The three-year agreement covers all of L’Oréal’s industrial, administrative and research centers both in France and worldwide.

“For a long time now, L’Oréal has been committed to reducing its environmental impacts with renowned performance on a global scale. In 2016, the CDP awarded us a triple A rating for our water management, carbon impact and work to tackle deforestation. This partnership with SUEZ will enable us to take our work even further by using the best technology and innovative solutions to make our environmental performance even better. We are convinced that, through this partnership, SUEZ will provide their dedicated expertise to help us achieve this goal,” said Barbara Lavernos, Executive VP of Operations at L’Oréal.

To achieve these goals, SUEZ will work with L’Oréal to develop solutions that will help the beauty company:

  • Attain a neutral or positive water footprint for some L’Oréal sites: particularly by optimizing water management in its entirety, its treatment and reuse;
  • Improve the renewable energy mix: boost an increase the number of carbon neutral L’Oréal sites by measuring, monitoring and optimizing energy consumption and operating water and waste treatment systems and units and by implementing energy solutions based, for example, on local biomass from waste streams;
  • Increase reuse and recycling of waste: by boosting material recovery at all L’Oréal sites.

“Through this global partnership with L’Oréal, SUEZ confirms its leadership in resource management for industry, one of our group’s strategic growth drivers. We will do our utmost to help L’Oréal achieve its goals for sustainable development and the circular economy,” said Jean Louis Chaussade, CEO of SUEZ.

In the longer term, the companies will work together to identify and develop operational innovations that could further improve resource protection and regional integration, particularly by focusing on biodiversity, eco-design, digitalization, material reuse and recovery in L’Oréal’s production process, factory of the future concepts and the circular economy.

Meanwhile, PepsiCo will join the list of 44 companies worldwide who have had their climate targets validated by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTI), a partnership between CDP, the World Resources Institute (WRI), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the UN Global Compact.

PepsiCo’s new target for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has been verified and approved by SBTI and aims to reduce absolute GHG emissions across the company’s value chain by at least 20 percent by 2030.

The move builds on PepsiCo’s Performance with Purpose vision, which has seen the food and beverage giant achieve an 18 percent improvement in the energy efficiency of its legacy operations between the 2006 and 2015 period, as well as extend its use of renewable energy, fuel-efficient vehicles and coolers and vending machines free of hydrofluorocarbons.

Set in 2016 as part its broader 2025 Agenda, the new climate goal takes into account PepsiCo's direct operations, owned-fleet fuel use and purchased electricity, which account for approximately 7 percent of the company's total carbon footprint. Importantly, however, the goal also includes the 93 percent of PepsiCo's carbon footprint that stems from sources outside PepsiCo direct operations, such as farming, packaging, third-party transportation and consumer use of its products.

“The Paris Climate Agreement that entered into force in April 2016 set out the obligation for collective action to limit the impact of climate change,” said Dr. Mehmood Khan, PepsiCo Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer, Global Research and Development.

“We believe combating climate change is critical to the future of our company, our customers and our world. Our new target represents a meaningful and measurable contribution to meeting the two-degree global goal. Such rigor is now a requirement of any responsible business.”

In an effort to reduce its GHG emissions and work towards its new target, PepsiCo intends to:

  • Increase energy efficiency and transition to renewables in its manufacturing operations where feasible;
  • Work with suppliers to reduce their GHG impacts;
  • Explore less GHG-intensive packaging materials; and
  • Help direct farmers in an effort to reduce GHG emissions in the field through global programs such as the PepsiCo Sustainable Farming Initiative.

“The threat of climate change calls for governments and businesses to commit to science-based action. We congratulate PepsiCo on their science-based target. By seeking to decarbonize its value chain, the company is showing leadership within the food and agriculture sector and strengthening its competitive advantage in the transition to the low-carbon economy,” said Cynthia Cummis, Director of Private Sector Climate Mitigation at WRI and a member of the SBTI Steering Committee.

Among new actions already underway, PepsiCo has joined the Business Renewables Center at the Rocky Mountain Institute and signed on to the Renewable Energy Buyers Principles, which were developed by leading NGOs and set out the future purchasing expectations of large companies regarding renewable energy in the US. These actions are informing PepsiCo's renewable energy procurement strategy.