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Article 13 L'Oréal Best Practice Case Study and Expert View Reveals Insights

Submitted by: Article13 Group Ltd

Categories: Business Ethics, Research, Reports & Publications

Posted: May 22, 2002 – 12:00 AM EST

 

The "Natural" Trend in the Cosmetics Industry - an Opportunity for Innovation?

LONDON, England - The natural look, the natural feel, the naturally based, nature-inspired product...there is no doubt that the word "natural" is being used to describe a plethora of beauty and skincare products on the shelves today. But what does "natural" actually mean? What differentiates a "natural" product from other products? What evidence is there as to the "naturalness" of a product? Why do people buy it, and why will they buy it in the future? What are the risks of ignoring this growing trend, and what are the opportunities for innovation and competitive edge? What companies are actively exploring these new areas?

Article 13 www.article13.com the leading corporate social responsibility experts have released two new studies that examine these questions in the context of the cosmetics industry.

In this month's Best Practice section at www.article13.com the cosmetics giant L'Oréal is examined in detail to establish its business and corporate social responsibility initiatives. L'Oreal is assessed according to information available from company website, and against the 'experts' (FTSE4Good, Dow Jones etc) criteria. The full case study is available at www.article13.com.

Why is the company changing the way it does business?

Environmental

* "A responsible company regards respect for the environment as a civic duty, much more than a mere technical objective or legal obligation"

Social

* Firm conviction that science is the source of all progress and that the contribution of women is vital to its future

What is the company doing?

Environmental

* Sees the environmental approach as necessarily global.
* The Environmental Management Department was created in 1991, and environmental work groups work with employees to heighten awareness, set goals and verify results.
* L'Oréal Group "has made significant efforts to master the environmental impact of its activities, as well as those of its suppliers and contractors".

Social

* Aim of "Zero Accidents" in workforce
* Commitment alongside UNESCO in the 'For Women in Science' partnership (UNESCO-L'Oréal awards recognise women who have been successful in their scientific careers inspire "others to follow in their footsteps")
* Communication through the website, Intranet site and the environmental work groups
* Creation of the "Nicolas Hulot Foundation for Nature and Humanity"

In addition, Article 13's Expert View this month focuses on the 'natural' move in the cosmetics industry.

Some key themes are emerging that give us a clue as to why the demand for "natural" products is set to grow.

Consumers: are becoming better-informed, more well-travelled and information hungry. The ageing "western" population has more time and resources to spend on itself on average. There is also a growth in segments such as ethnic cultures and "active greys".

Safety and health: close on the heels of developments in the food industry, safety and health issues are going to be key in the cosmetics industry as increasingly astute and health-conscious consumers grow more aware of the implications of what they apply on their skin. Scares around potentially carcinogenic ingredients and pore-clogging ingredients have not reached the proportion of scares in the food industry but are an underlying factor driving consumers to demand a more natural approach.

Issues: environmental, ethical, pollution, waste, recycling all remain important issues that can still differentiate products when effectively addressed.

"No logo": the anti-capitalist, no logo movement has increasing relevance in a post-September 11th world, and manifests itself through packaging. Minimalist and basic packaging.

Science and genetics: advances in human genome technology generates both fear and possibility in the minds of consumers, and again presents both risks and opportunities for business.

Article 13 work to deliver the new way of doing business. As well as bespoke risk identification, planning and consultancy, Article 13 work in a number of ongoing business processes that range from visioning, responsible sourcing and supply chain, business-to-business ethics, ethics in the workplace through to making your approach tangible creatively.

Article 13's co-directors, Neela Bettridge and Jane Fiona Cumming, have extensive experience in a number of critical fields: commerce and communications, social and environmental arenas, legal and business strategy. Article 13 also draws on the wisdom of distinguished advisors: Dr Paul Toyne, Professor Chris Baines, Chris Hoare, Professor Colin Gilligan, Susan Clayton, Neill Irwin, Professor Dave Owen and Andrew Acland. This panel, in turn, is complemented by a network of specialists drawn from the social, environmental, economic, ethical and business worlds.

For more information, please contact:

Lucy Shea L'Oreal
Phone: +44 (020) 8731-7700

For more from this organization:

Article13 Group Ltd

 

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