L’Oreal signs landfill gas deal to achieve carbon neutrality in US

Global cosmetic firm L'Oréal intends to reach carbon neutrality across all of its US-based manufacturing and distribution facilities, after signing a deal to procure renewable natural gas (RNG) from a landfill site in Kentucky.

L’Oréal identified the potential use of RNG from the Big Run Landfill in Ashland, Kentucky, following an 18-month research phase. The cosmetic firm has signed a 15-year agreement to purchase 40% of the RNG produce at the landfill site, which will be directed into the natural gas transmission system.

The agreement will see all 21 of L’Oréal USA’s manufacturing and distribution facilities achieve carbon neutrality by 2019. L’Oréal will offset the cost difference for RNG by selling environmental attributes into fuel markets for the next five years. The company claimed that this will enable fuel producers to comply with US renewable fuel standards. The company will also purchase carbon offsets from another RNG site.

“Achieving carbon neutrality for all of our operations facilities furthers our commitment to being a sustainability leader in the United States,” L’Oréal USA’s chief executive Frédéric Rozé said. “We have seen that a dedication to sustainability fosters innovation, inspires creativity and builds a strong team spirit.

“This new milestone can be credited to our passionate teams and their vision in finding a new renewable energy approach that benefits one of our local communities while being a long-term, financially viable solution.”

Onsite solutions

Under the company’s global sustainability programme, L’Oréal has already completed 17 renewable energy installations in the US, enabling the company to surpass a 60% carbon reduction target last year.

L’Oréal has reduced absolute emissions in the US by 84% against a 2005 baseline, with all 21 facilities using 100% renewable electricity. The new RNG deal is expected to reduce carbon emissions equivalent to eight million litres of petrol annually.

L’Oréal is one of two companies to be awarded an “A” score by CDP on three key topics: climate protection, sustainable water management and the fight against deforestation. Since 2005, the company has reduced water consumption per litre per of finished product by 48%, despite the business growing by almost a third in that time.

Matt Mace

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