Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

L’ORÉAL INDIA ACHIEVES 100% CARBON NEUTRALITY IN ITS FACTORY IN BADDI, HIMACHAL PRADESH

As global warming and environmental changes degrade human and natural habitats, putting pressure on planetary boundaries, there’s an urgent need to adopt corrective practices with a focus on actionable results. The sixth assessment report by IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) for 2022 reaffirmed that climate change is leading to catastrophic events across the world. With higher stakes must come stronger commitments to invest in and care for our planet.

For over a decade now, India has been dedicated to developing itself into an energy-efficient nation. India’s emission control commitments with the adoption of modern technologies in energy efficiency, carbon reduction, and green fuels at the COP26 summit in Glasgow, are expected to benefit the country in the long term. Also, the ability to operate effectively and meet all the needs of consumers depend on sustainable water access, management, and conservation. Indian businesses are already realizing climate change as a tangible risk, and I’m heartened by the progress India Inc has made on sustainability.

Today, companies are realizing the value that ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) creates for businesses as consumers become more aware of their carbon footprint and the positive impact on business performance. According to a report by management consulting firm, Russell Reynolds Associates, 57 percent of organizations in India have a defined sustainability strategy and targets. The pandemic has further raised consciousness towards the environment. As companies build their business recovery strategies, sustainability has become the governing principle to demonstrate future-readiness, attract new investors as well as build affinity with consumers.

At L’Oréal India, we have sustainability at the very core of our business model. To reconcile our needs with the preservation of a resource-limited planet, we are raising the bar and implementing a new internal transformation program. Our new commitments focus not only on our direct impact but also tackle our indirect, extended impact – for e.g., the activity of our suppliers and the use of our products by consumers.

We launched a new phase of our sustainability journey L’Oréal for the Future two years ago, to make significant progress across climate change, biodiversity, and much more. In India, we have recently achieved several milestones to bring this commitment to life –

· We have kicked off a 3-year ecosystem restoration (2400 ha of land) project in Yavatmal, Maharashtra. By 2025, this project will help us to create 150M L water harvesting potential and enhance the livelihoods of 9000 marginal farmers and their families (with a 20% increase in their annual income).

· 100% carbon neutral sites: Most recently, our factory in Baddi, Himachal Pradesh, has been certified as 100% carbon neutral. We have replaced conventional boilers with electric boilers to reduce diesel consumption to zero and have changed the source of electricity to a hydropower plant. By improving energy efficiency and using 100% renewable energy, L’Oréal India aims to reduce CO2 emissions and operate within planetary boundaries

· We are supporting women leaders in Mumbai on climate action for the city: Women4Climate is a joint initiative of C40 Cities and Fondation L’Oréal, where women from C40 cities can develop and implement actions inspired by the “think local, act global” philosophy.

· With our brand, Garnier, we are working closely with local partners to fight plastic pollution by transforming every stage of our value chain, reducing, or eradicating environmental

impact, greener and cleaner formulae, more recycled and recyclable plastic, and more sources of renewable energy.

India Inc has a twin challenge of not only addressing current priorities but also planning for working solutions that respect planetary boundaries. While organizations are embedding sustainability in their business operations, a collaborative effort is needed, at scale, by multiple stakeholders, to fulfill India’s commitments to mitigate the impact of climate change. I am glad to be part of a paradigm shift where climate change and solutions dominate every boardroom discussion.

Written by:

Amit Jain, Managing Director, L’Oréal India

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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