Four years ago, L’Oréal, renewed a commitment to adopt a model of sustainable development that was good for the environment, good for people, and good for business. L’Oréal developed a 10-year plan to reduce its environmental impact by engaging in more eco-conscious production, reducing waste, and creating an environmentally sound and healthy work space for employees, and wanted to ensure that its efforts in sustainability had an impact both within and beyond the walls of its facilities.
In May 2009 the L’Oreal Maybelline plant in Little Rock, Arkansas, became the first industry partner to participate in the Clinton Climate Initiative’s Home Energy Affordability Loan (HEAL) program. HEAL provides financially feasible green building retrofits that combat climate change and save money on the corporate and homeowner level. HEAL worked with L’Oreal to conduct a retrofit at its plant, which reduced the plant’s consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and in turn saved L’Oreal more than $80,000 a year.
HEAL also worked to help L’Oréal USA expand its mission of sustainable development into the surrounding community. HEAL educated employees and their families about the importance of environmental responsibility in the workplace and helped to put that education into action in their own homes. With the financial savings L’Oreal was experiencing through HEAL L'Oréal was able to provide its employees with home energy assessments and financing or loans to implement energy efficiency retrofits in their homes. Since beginning the partnership, HEAL has completed 90 home energy assessments for L’Oréal USA employees, and over 33 of them have opted to receive free retrofit assistance. As a result, L’Oreal’s employees are saving energy, saving an average of $416 a year, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2.2 tons a year.
Due to the success of this program in Arkansas, L’Oréal USA has decided to expand the HEAL program in the coming months to additional operating plants. Its goal is to promote their environmental stewardship through consumers and employees. The HEAL program has been an essential tool in those efforts, providing a unique opportunity for L’Oreal to become a model for other businesses in demonstrating that sustainable development is both a responsible and an economically feasible option.
HEAL continues to help L’Oreal expand its sustainability efforts across its operating plants and has also been invited to work across the country with partners in Wisconsin, Vermont, California, Michigan, and Nevada to provide other companies with the same opportunity to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. HEAL pilots are planned or underway with firms representing nearly 100,000 employees, with further expansion planned for the second half of 2013.