Post-COVID: L’Oréal unveils €150m ‘for the future’ support program

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

L'Oréal will donate €50m to the support of vulnerable women and €100m to environmental protection and restoration projects (Getty Images)
L'Oréal will donate €50m to the support of vulnerable women and €100m to environmental protection and restoration projects (Getty Images)

Related tags L'oréal COVID-19 coronavirus Environment Social responsibility

L’Oréal has announced a multi-million environmental and social protection program that aims to support vulnerable women and ecosystem preservation – priority areas as the world reels from coronavirus (COVID-19), it says.

The international beauty major said its €150m ‘L’Oréal for the future’ plan would allocate a €50m charitable endowment fund to organisations supporting highly vulnerable women – “the first victims of the social and economic crisis generated by the pandemic”.​ The remaining €100m would go to environmental impact investing, specifically the regeneration of damaged natural ecosystems and efforts to prevent climate change.

‘An exceptional response in an exceptional moment in history’

“Over the coming months, our societies will face social crises giving rise to situations of great human suffering, particularly for the most vulnerable,”​ said Jean-Paul Agon, chairman and CEO of L’Oréal.

“At the same time, we are fully aware that environmental challenges are increasingly pressing. It is essential not to step back from the sustainable transformation that the world needs.”

This worldwide program, therefore, reaffirmed L’Oréal’s commitment to both the environment and preservation of diversity and the mitigation of a social crises for women, he said.

Speaking on the brand’s Twitter platform, Alexandra Palt, chief responsibility officer at L’Oréal, added: “L’Oréal for the future is an exceptional response in an exceptional moment in history.”

A social crisis – women ‘disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 crisis’

L’Oréal said it had long supported women – a group who were “disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 crisis, particularly in terms of job and income loss”.

Women, the company said, made up a large majority of single-parent families and were increasingly forced to turn to food banks to meet basic needs. Domestic and sexual violence had also increased worldwide amid lockdowns – up 30% in France alone.

L’Oréal said the €50 charitable endowment fund would reach field organisations and local charities fighting poverty, helping women achieve social and professional integration, providing emergency assistance to refugee and disabled women, preventing violence against women, and supporting victims.

An environmental crisis – to ‘more profoundly and violently shake our lives’

L’Oréal said its €100m pledge to the environmental cause added to existing and long-term company-wide efforts to reduce its overall environmental impact and would be filtered into two areas: regenerating damaged natural ecosystems and preventing climate change.

€50m of the funds, it said, would finance marine and forest ecosystem restoration projects – aiming to restore one million hectares of degraded ecosystems, capture 15-20 million tonnes of CO2 and create hundreds of job opportunities by 2030. By supporting such restoration, L’Oréal said sustainable agriculture, fishing and eco-tourism could also be developed, supporting populations that depended on these ecosystems.

L’Oréal said the other half of funds would go into projects that contributed to the quest for solutions and business models that supported the circular economy model, with particular focus on recycling and plastic waste management.

Global sustainability 2030 program – more to come…

L’Oréal said a wider ‘sustainability program for 2030’ was currently being finalised and would be unveiled next month, completing its ‘for the future’ plan.

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