From Provence to the world: How L'Occitane is setting the standard for sustainable beauty (2024)

Style | Beauty

By Phyll Wu

Jun 10, 2024

From Provence to the world: How L'Occitane is setting the standard for sustainable beauty (1)

Cover L'Occitane’s cult-favourite Almond Shower Oil, Shea Butter Hand Cream, Immortelle Reset Oil-In-Serum, and Immortelle Divine Cream (Photo: L’Occitane)

L'Occitane’s cult-favourite Almond Shower Oil, Shea Butter Hand Cream, Immortelle Reset Oil-In-Serum, and Immortelle Divine Cream (Photo: L’Occitane)

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From Provence to the world: How L'Occitane is setting the standard for sustainable beauty (2)

From Provence to the world: How L'Occitane is setting the standard for sustainable beauty (3)

Beyond its green initiatives, L'Occitane actively engages in social causes, supporting local communities, and preserving biodiversity—here’s how the brand is fostering a positive impact on the planet and its people

Here’s a not-so-fun fact: Did you know that the beauty industry is estimated to emit around 1.7 billion tonnes of CO2 annually? To put that into perspective, that’s equivalent to the deforestation of about 22 million hectares of land, which is roughly the size of South Korea. Talk about beauty comes with a cost.

That said, the beauty industry has certainly made significant strides toward sustainability in recent years, with countless brands championing eco-conscious practices and initiatives to drive positive change for a greener earth. One such brand is L'Occitane, one of the leading beauty powerhouses propelling sustainability efforts forward in the industry since its inception in 1976.

Read more: How Liah Yoo is heralding a new era of mindful skincare with KraveBeauty

So, what exactly are these efforts? We spoke to the L'Occitane Managing Director and Group Sustainability Officer Adrien Geiger to get the full lowdown on the brand’s commitment to environmental and social responsibility.

From Provence to the world: How L'Occitane is setting the standard for sustainable beauty (4)

From Provence to the world: How L'Occitane is setting the standard for sustainable beauty (5)

Above Adrien Geiger, Managing Director and Group Sustainability Officer of L'Occitane en Provence

Adrien Geiger, Managing Director and Group Sustainability Officer of L'Occitane en Provence

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From Provence to the world: How L'Occitane is setting the standard for sustainable beauty (7)

As the Group Sustainability Officer and Managing Director of L’Occitane, can you provide an overview of L’Occitane Group’s commitments to sustainability?

These are our three sustainability pillars:

1. The protection and restoration of biodiversity.

2. The mitigation of the climate crisis.

3. The development of social equity and inclusion.

What are the key sustainability goals and targets that L’Occitane Group aim to achieve in the next three to five years?

We are committed to the 1.5oC net-zero pathway by 2050, with interim carbon reduction goals set and progress measured annually.

How does L’Occitane Group integrate sustainability into its business strategy and decision-making processes?

Sustainability is already part of our daily business decisions—big and small. From working with our network of producers to cultivate raw materials regeneratively, to targeting zero air freight in transporting our products, as well as giving our customers solutions in reducing waste by offering recycling programs and refill fountains, every step of our value chain has sustainability at its core.

How does L’Occitane Group ensure transparency and accountability in its sustainability reporting and communication?

By working with our peers in public forums such as being a signatory of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, to build a circular economy to plastics.

See also: Sustainable Sunday: Taylor Frankel steers clear of greenwashing

Can you discuss any specific sustainable practices or innovations that L’Occitane Group has implemented? Can also share the steps the group has taken to promote sustainable sourcing and production of its ingredients?

Spearheading regenerative agriculture, I actively promote projects to protect natural ecosystems, alongside the Group’s 10,000 employees and partner producers, and also with committed players such as the business coalition One Planet Business For Biodiversity (OP2B). I’m convinced that, through education and humility, touching the hearts of men and women is still the best way to change the world.

What measures has L’Occitane Group taken to reduce its environment impact, such as energy consumption, waste management, and carbon emissions?

Working towards the target approved by the SBTi (Science-based Targets), we continue to progress on both direct and indirect carbon emissions. For Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions, we are on track to reduce by -46% absolute value and reach 100% renewable electricity by 2031 respectively. For scope 3, The Group’s brands focus their activities on two axes transversally important to the entire Group:

• Axis 1: Developing an eco-design approach for all products (e.g., packaging and formula) which play an important role in reducing the GHG emissions.

• Axis 2: Implementing the green supply chain strategy to reduce the environmental impact of logistics flows and warehousing.

I’m impressed by your “think globally and progress locally” belief, how does L’Occitane Group support and empower local communities through its sustainability initiatives?

Globally… and to act locally, back to the Malaysia market, the team has launched the Big Little Recycling program in collaboration with ICYCLE since 2019 to promote recycling as a lifestyle habit amongst Malaysians and to encourage the public to recycle their beauty empties (from any beauty brands) with us. To date, Malaysia has successfully collected over 3.1 million beauty empties and prevented 155 metric tonnes of beauty waste ended up in landfills. I know the team is going to kickstart their first preserving biodiversity project this fiscal year too.

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The “Cultivators of Change” spirit has been a message that’s consistently conveyed by L’Occitane. We attended the PR event not long ago hosted by Jean-Charles on this too. Can you elaborate more on what “Cultivators of Change” is about? And share with us some thoughts and examples of how the organization cultivate change through the triple-bottom-line–People, The Planet, and Profitability.

Everyone in our company is empowered to be a cultivator of change. Working collectively and positively influencing each other, we come to work every day to make a positive impact together.

Looking ahead, what are your future plans and aspirations in terms of sustainability, and how do you envision the company’s role in driving positive change in the beauty industry?

L’Occitane en Provence and Melvita led the way in participating in the international pilot of the SBTN (Science-based Targets for Nature) amongst 16 other leading companies. We will continue to define concrete nature targets by using best-in-class standards related to land and water.

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L’Occitane

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L'Occitane Sustainability Sustainable Beauty Beauty

From Provence to the world: How L'Occitane is setting the standard for sustainable beauty (2024)

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