L’Oreal USA, a subsidiary of beauty products company L’Oreal Group, has announced it will surpass its carbon emission reduction goals by building two large-scale solar projects at the company’s manufacturing facilities in Florence, Ky., and North Little Rock, Ark.
The two projects represent an acceleration of the company’s original goal to reduce its CO2 emissions by 60% from its 2005 baseline. L’Oreal USA says it will achieve an 80% reduction and plans to achieve 100% renewable electricity for its manufacturing in the U.S. through the projects and the purchase of additional, locally sourced renewable energy certificates.
Fréderic Rozé, CEO of L’Oreal Americas, called this a “major milestone for L’Oreal USA.”
“The achievement is a testament to our passionate, creative and innovative teams who have pushed us to go beyond our original ambitions,” said Rozé. “We are committed to being a sustainability leader in the U.S. and are proud of the progress we have made.”
The 687,000 square-foot Florence plant, where haircare products are made for the Garnier, L’Oreal Paris, Matrix and Redken brands, is the company’s largest manufacturing site in the U.S. In partnership with Scenic Hill Solar, the facility will house a 1.5 MW commercial solar array consisting of approximately 5,000 solar panels, and project construction will start in late 2016.
“With this project, our facility becomes an emblem of sustainable manufacturing,” said Eric Wolff, L’Oreal’s Florence plant manager. “We’re proud to be leading the way for commercial renewable energies in Kentucky.”
Also in partnership with Scenic Hill Solar, the North Little Rock plant will house a 1.2 MW array. The 4,000-panel installation is scheduled to be operational by mid-2017. L’Oreal first installed a solar array at its North Little Rock plant in 2012, and that project now supplies the equivalent of 100% of its outdoor lighting needs (18,000 kWh/year). The 446,691 square-foot factory has operated in Arkansas for over four decades and is home to cosmetics production for brands including Maybelline, L’Oreal Paris, Essie and Lancôme.
“We are very excited to continue on our site’s sustainability journey,” said Eric Fox, L’Oreal’s North Little Rock plant manager. “This next phase of our on-site solar installation not only paves the way for expanded low-carbon manufacturing, but also can serve as a catalyst for continued investment in renewable energy technology in the Natural State.”
L’Oreal USA says its commitment to solar began in 2011 with an installation at its Piscataway, N.J., manufacturing facility. With this latest announcement, L’Oreal USA will now boast 16 solar installations across the U.S. generating a total of 13.5 MW of energy.