Inclusive Business: L’Oréal, a player in social inclusion

Integrating people on low incomes into our value chain, whenever possible - such is the ambition L’Oréal has set itself around the world.

The Group has a deep-seated commitment to sharing its growth with surrounding communities. To this end, L’Oréal has for several years conducted trials of inclusive business models founded on the integration into its business of populations who are traditionally excluded from economic circuits or jobs or who are facing social hardship. In 2012, in a bid to go still further, the Group conducted a worldwide study aimed at understanding the keys to success for this type of project within L’Oréal and modelling successful trials. Three major areas with potential for development on a large scale emerged.

Projects contributing to social inclusion on a local level

Purchasing firstly, which enables, when possible, requests for proposal to be opened up to different categories of beneficiaries traditionally excluded from contracts with major international groups. This is the key challenge facing the “Solidarity Sourcing” global purchasing programme.

Next come education and training in beauty professions for fragile populations, a model for which the Group will initiate several trials in 2013.

Finally, micro-distribution, as reflected in the Matrix model rolled out in the favelas of Rio in Brazil, the most successful example up to now. Because the project meets a business imperative, that of penetrating the Brazilian market with its sparse and fragmented retail sector, it can be long-lasting. And this is a winning solution both for the Group and beneficiaries of the programme, who have found a job and boosted their incomes significantly by becoming distributors of the brand.

These examples show how L’Oréal can make a local contribution to social inclusion in countries where it settles. In 2013, the Group will conduct new trials, the first one being on the African continent in Ghana.

We are helping the communities around us to develop.
Alexandra Palt, director csr and sustainability

L’Oréal bolsters the socio-economic development around its sites

The Group is actively involved with local communities living close to its administrative sites, plants and distribution centres. This approach allows it to play a part in numerous local projects which bolster the socio-economic development of the area. Partnerships allowing students at neighbouring establishments to discover certain professions, professionalisation contracts for youths on training programmes, agreements (in France, for instance) with ESATs (establishments and services for support through work) either to help the disabled enter the workplace or in the form of supplier contracts: there are numerous initiatives.