Green chemistry at the root of responsible innovation

Green chemistry is playing a key role in L’Oréal’s commitment to sustainable development.

Grüne Chemie bildet die Grundlage für verantwortungsvolle Innovation

This initiative is structured around three sets of fundamental principles:

  • The use of renewable raw materials,
  • The development of environmentally friendly processes,
  • The production of biodegradable ingredients with a low environmental impact.

The upstream development of this “green configuration” is essential for accessing ingredients which are both innovative and environmentally friendly.

Consequently, special attention is paid to the development of ingredients originating from renewable plant-based raw materials, to a low number of stages of synthesis and to reductions in the consumption of solvents and energy and in the production of waste.

The development of new eco-friendly solvents, reactions in water and reactions using catalysis, along with the preparation of new renewable intermediaries and ingredients, for instance, make the future progression of green chemistry possible in all types of cosmetic applications.

This initiative is accompanied by elements for measuring the degree of green chemistry. These “green indicators” relate particularly to the calculation of atom economy, the study of the E factor for calculating the volume of waste, the rate of renewable carbon contained in the final ingredient and the evaluation of the environmental risk of the final compound.
The use of such tools in the eco-design of our new ingredients is helping to guarantee excellence in terms of environmental and energy performance, excellence which L’Oréal plans to apply to all stages of its development processes.

Source: Green Chem., 2012, 14, 952

Key Figures

  • 55% of the new raw materials registered in 2011 are plant-based.

Expert Section

For more information on this topic, see the GRI data sheets: