Raw materials with the right profile
Environmental assessment is one of the keys to L’Oréal's eco-design approach since it allows the company to rule out ingredients that have an unfavourable environmental profile from the very start of the process. For the past 15 years, to assess the environmental impact of raw materials, L’Oréal has relied on the expertise of its ecotoxicology laboratory and partnerships that have increased its screening and assessment capacities since 2009. This impact is systematically characterised very far upstream using the PBT (Persistent, Bioaccumulative and Toxic) - vPvB (very Persistent and very Bioaccumulative) criteria. Environmental assessments mainly use in silico and in vitro tools in close collaboration with suppliers. To date, over 95% of the raw materials in L’Oréal's portfolio have been temporarily classified based on these PBT – vPvB criteria. Assessments are in progress for ingredients arising from the group's new acquisitions.
Towards alternative assessment methods
Furthermore, L’Oréal has worked to upgrade its assessment methods. The group has been extensively involved in the creation and then development of the "Animal Alternative Needs in Environmental Risk Assessment Project Committee" at HESI*. This international working group, whose first two conferences (2008, 2010) were sponsored by L’Oréal, works to develop alternative test methods to replace standard test procedures in fish and amphibians.
With HESI, L’Oréal has invested in the development and recognition of the Fish Embryo Test (FET), which is currently under validation at the OECD, as a potential alternative to the standardised acute fish toxicity test (OECD no. 203). In 2010, this work was featured in scientific publications in partnership with ECVAM**.
Better ecological quality
Thanks to the development of predictive tools, the environmental profiles of raw materials are accessible to formulators for product design. The environmental quality of formulas therefore increases each year. It is now possible to obtain environmentally friendly formulas without having to sacrifice performance. In 2011, all of the raw materials registered by L’Oréal had a favourable environmental profile and the environmental quality of some was even better than ever before.
* HESI: Health and Environmental Sciences Institute ** ECVAM: European Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods
- Over 95% of the raw materials have been classified based on the PBT-vPvB ctiteria
For more information on this topic, see the GRI data sheets: