L’Oréal Paris Leads By Doing All Kinds of Good

Fifty years since the debut of its iconic “We’re Worth It” tagline, L’Oréal Paris continues to take female empowerment to new heights word-wide, putting its money where its lipsticked mouth is.

The heritage brand maintains its leading edge at a time of relentless competition in the global beauty industry with both its timeless products and – just as notably – with its social and environmental justice initiatives.

On Earth Day (April 22), L’Oréal Paris announced its sustainability program, “L’Oréal For the Future, Because our Planet is Worth it,” and a goal to reduce its carbon footprint by 50 per cent by 2030. It also said it would donate 10 million Euros to six environmental projects whose beneficiaries are communities of women around the world.

Along with financial support, L’Oréal Paris will develop specific programs that empower women in leadership positions. In Honduras, for example, where local indigenous communities protect and restore mangroves, the brand will support a project managed by a cooperative of women who will receive support through courses on leadership, financial independence, and women’s health.

L’Oréal Paris announced the environmental goals on an Earth Day Zoom event, where media tuned in from around the globe. According to the brand, they’ll be met through reducing the weight of their products, using 100 per cent recycled plastic, improving the biodegradability of their formula, reducing their water output, and enhanced customer engagement.

While the feat may sound like an ambitious one, L’Oréal Paris starts from a solid foundation: between 2005 and 2020, the company’s factories and distribution centres have already reduced CO2 emissions by 82 per cent, water consumption by 44 per cent, and waste generation by 35 per cent.

The planet-friendly move is just one of their headline-making do-good initiatives. To mark International Women’s Month, L’Oréal Paris Canada celebrated its fifth annual Women of Worth Gala in a virtual event on March 8 that was just as inspiring – and tear jerking – as the glamorous luncheon has been in past years. The evening saw L’Oréal Paris welcome 10 remarkable women to share their moving stories and join the accomplished Women of Worth alumni.

All women granted the honour – three of who are from Toronto – redefine generosity, live with extraordinary purpose, and work to heal and grow communities. Each honouree was awarded a well-deserved $10,000 grant to put towards her charity through the Women of Worth program.

Toronto’s Cindy Blakely, founder of New Circles Community Services, was granted the title of 2021 National Honouree, securing an additional $10,000 for her organization. New Circles is a multi-tired initiative that provides essential support to newcomer and low-income families through impactful programs that help them establish themselves as contributing citizen both economically and within the community.

In the program’s five-year history, L’Oréal Paris has granted over half a million dollars across fifty organizations in Canada. These important endeavors include the prevention and treatment of child sexual abuse, food insecurity, support of marginalized communities and underserved youth, environmental sustainability, and the development of platforms for BIPOC communities.

International Women’s Day remains an important occasion for the brand. Last year on March 8, L’Oréal Paris launched the Stand Up Against Street Harassment program in partnership with Hollaback!, an international NGO aiming to end harassment of all forms. The program raises awareness and trains people with Hollaback’s “5D’s” methodology, a program that teaches both victims and witnesses of street harassment how to safely respond. With the help of local charity partners, Stand Up is currently activated in Canada, the U.S., Mexico, France, Spain, Argentina, Italy, and India.

On March 8 2021, L’Oréal Paris announced it would immediately expand the heavily celeb and influencer-backed Stand Up program to the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Greece, Ukraine, Israel, Turkey, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Caribbean region. In partnership with local charity partners, further countries will roll out the program before the end of the year.

The pandemic marks an interesting time for the beauty and cosmetic industry. On one hand, people have undoubtedly worn and purchased less makeup in the past year. On the other, all the hours clocked at home has resulted in no shortage of brand exposure on social media channels, or time for discerning consumers to research before purchasing.

But, at a time of a crowded beauty industry, L’Oréal Paris remains the biggest and most influential beauty brand in the world. Sure, its products span generations of loyal lifelong users; but it’s largely through the company’s change-making ways that it maintains widespread trust and reaches new, cause-driven audiences.

Erin Nicole Davis

Erin Nicole Davis

Erin Nicole Davis is a Toronto-based writer and actor. When she’s not writing the day away in a face mask, she’s taking in the city’s vibrant arts scene, doing a red carpet interview or brunching with her leading ladies (at least, in pre-COVID-19 times). Follow Erin: @erinnicoledavis