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‘With size comes responsibility’ : L’Oréal Travel Retail puts sustainable beauty centre stage

In 2015, L’Oréal Travel Retail opened its annual TFWA Cannes Press Conference with a promise to ‘Make beauty sustainable, and sustainability beautiful’.

Following this, the French beauty group announced a hugely ambitious five-year sustainability roadmap. This stated that by 2020, L’Oréal aims to have achieved 100% improvement in terms of the sustainability of its products, 60% reduced carbon emissions, and would send zero waste to landfill.

“With our size comes responsibility, and we want to lead the change to sustainable development in the Travel Retail channel so the next generation can enjoy beauty the way we do today.” – L’Oréal Travel Retail Asia Pacific  Managing Director Emmanuel Goulin

Four years down the line and progress is encouraging. Not only has L’Oréal Group stayed true to its sustainability goals but a sense of mission permeates all levels of the company’s activities. At May’s TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition in Singapore, L’Oréal Travel Retail backed up its bold words with actions by making sustainable design a fundamental tenet of its stand design.

Sustainability is now a key principle of doing business for L’Oréal Travel Retail Asia Pacific Managing Director Emmanuel Goulin

As part of L’Oréal Group’s sustainability program ‘Sharing Beauty With All’, the booth (an understatement if ever there was one) was made with 100% eco-friendly materials. Dry junctions allowed for easy dismantling and reassembly, which means that the structure of the booth itself will be re-used for three consecutive years.

Sustainability ruled at every level. There was not a single plastic straw or cup in sight. The brand displays were completely modular and featured eco-friendly materials such as reclaimed wood and metal, and also used zero electricity.

Banners and other promotional materials were made with cotton fabric, which extends their lifespan and can be re-dyed and re-used. The furniture at the booth was constructed with up-cycled materials, which will  be donated to different charities and NGOs after three years. The plants and chairs decorating the booth have all been rented, and all construction materials bear the seal of approval from the ‘Green Label Singapore’ scheme, affirming the green credentials.


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Whereas sustainability was a fringe topic in the travel retail industry less than a decade ago, today it is increasingly centre stage, with brands finally putting the principle at the forefront of their agendas. For L’Oréal Travel Retail Asia Pacific Managing Director Emmanuel Goulin, sustainability is a clear consumer need. He reckons that 58% of consumers pay attention to sustainability and 73%  of consumers would be influenced by the sustainability of the brand.

“I believe sustainability is becoming very important for our customers too,” he says, talking to The Moodie Davitt Report Fashion, Beauty and Social Media Editor Hannah Tan-Gillies and Chairman Martin Moodie on the L’Oréal Travel Retail stand in Singapore.

“As a company,  sustainability is part of our daily lives in many ways. Globally it’s a frame that’s very defined, but regionally, I see it in three ways: environmental sustainability, business sustainability, and corporate sustainability. It is becoming the backbone of the way we manage our business.”

As market leader, L’Oréal Group’s ‘Sharing Beauty With All’ programme is an outstanding example of big industry players taking responsibility for their environmental impact; all while maintaining sustainable (in multiple senses) business growth.

From brand activations such as the Kiehl’s BYOB project in Changi Airport, which invites customers to bring their own bags, to using recycled polyester and acrylic, utilising rain water, and recycled waste oil for fuel L’Oréal puts sense into performance. In turn, practicing such a wealth of sustainability initiatives further catalyses positive change across the industry.

In a Chinese New Year promotion in early 2019, Kiehl’s pledged a S$1 donation for every purchase at a Lunar New Year pop-up at Changi Airport to Zero Waste Singapore