AFTER announcing in June its efforts to be green and sustainable, French personal care giant L’Oreal has outlined its sustainability efforts in the Philippines, including environment and social impact labeling, and a goal to have recycled or bio-based packaging for its products.

It also gave an update regarding the removal of “whitening” labels on its packaging.

“L’Oréal has put sustainability as a fundamental priority. Our commitments towards 2030 mark the beginning of a more radical transformation and embody our view as to what a company’s vision, purpose and responsibilities should be, to meet the challenges facing the world,” said Supriya Singh, country managing director of L’Oréal Philippines, in a statement.

L’Oreal Philippines announced that their products — starting with Garnier hair care products — will sport environmental and social impact labeling which will include a product’s carbon footprint and how it affects the environment. Garnier will have this labeling this year with other brands will follow suit, according to the release.

L’Oreal helms brands such as Kiehl’s, Maybelline New York, Kerastase, among many others.

Garnier, which has become the poster girl for L’Oreal Sustainability because its products claim to “contain more than 90% natural origin ingredients, certified organic product ranges, and vegan formulas,” will also be launching the “green parcel” initiative. The green parcel initiative means that Garnier will shift to recycled or bio-based packaging for its product deliveries.

During a digital conference on July 23, Isabel Falco, marketing director of Garnier and L’Oreal Paris Philippines, said that they are currently talking with their online commerce partners about the packaging. The end goal is to eliminate use of “virgin plastics” (new plastic) by 2025.

“Garnier aims to go further and commit to Green Beauty, an end-to-end approach to sustainability that is set to transform the brand, helping to reduce their environmental impact at every stage of its value chain. We are fuelled by the vision to constantly innovate and reinvent the consumer experience and to empower every consumer to make more informed, sustainable choices,” Ms. Falco said in the release.

Last month, following weeks of anti-racism protests around the world, L’Oreal together with other giants in the industry — Unilever and Johnson & Johnson — announced that they will stop using the words “whitening,” “lightening,” or “fair” on their products after Unilever, in particular, came under fire for its “Fair & Lovely” brand (sold in India and other Asian countries). (Read more: and

But while L’Oreal announced that they will be dropping such labels, they will not be discontinuing the lines because these products are used for “ultraviolet protection, uneven skin tone, or spot reduction,” and not “skin-bleaching,” Ms. Singh said during the digital conference, before adding that L’Oreal “never had skin-based bleaching products in our portfolio.”

“But we now realize the impact that this had on consumers and we want to act now. And therefore, we are taking action now to remove those words from our branding and our marketing,” she said.

They will also not be dropping these products because “we know we need it,” explaining that Filipinos are constantly exposed to the sun.

“So we will not be removing those products and removing those ingredients. What we will be doing is changing the way that we brand them and market them so they are actually more pinpointed on what these products do versus using this umbrella of ‘whitening’ which is not specific to the product ingredients,” she explained. — Zsarlene B. Chua