BrandArena: Why L'Oreal Was Listed Among World's Most Ethical Companies

Friday 18 April 2014

Why L'Oreal Was Listed Among World's Most Ethical Companies

The Chief Ethics Officer of the world's leading beauty company, L'Oreal, Emmanuel Lulin, has unveiled the secret behind his company’s recognition by the Ethisphere Institute as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies.

Speaking to a select group of business editors recently at the company’s posh office in Ikeja, Lagos, Lulin revealed that the consistent effort to uphold his company’s ethical principles of Integrity, Respect, Courage and Transparency, wherever they operate in the world, was very strategic in their clinching this coveted award.

“We are conscious of these principles any time we make a decision, big or small,” Lulin stressed. Speaking further, he said: “A company's values and behaviours are as important as its economic performance or the quality of its products which is why L'Oreal integrates ethics into the core of its business practices. Because it is fundamental for our success to obtain results with respect and integrity, L'Oreal puts ethics at the heart of its strategy.”

This is the fifth time that L'Oreal has been honoured with this award which recognises organizations that continue to raise the bar on ethical leadership and corporate behaviour. The awarding institution, Ethisphere Institute, is an independent centre of research, promoting best practices in corporate ethics and governance, as well as a leading international think-tank for business ethics, corporate social responsibility and sustainability.

Responding earlier to this special recognition, Jean-Paul Agon, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of L'Oreal, said, “This good news coincides with the launch of our ambitious ‘Sharing Beauty with All’ commitments regarding sustainable innovation, production and consumption. Respecting high ethical standards and serving the common goodwill not only make a real difference in the 21st Century but will also, through the resulting transformations, have a positive impact on our company's profitability.”

It would be recalled that in 2008, L'Oreal's Chairman and CEO, Jean-Paul Agon, received the prestigious Stanley C. Pace Leadership in Ethics Award.

L'Oreal is a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact since 2003 and one of the 100 companies included in the new Global Compact 100 stock index. The company has recently signed the Women's Empowerment Principles, an initiative of UN Women and the Global Compact. In its effort to take corporate ethics to new heights, the company organizes an annual Ethics Day where employees anywhere in the world can chat online with L'Oreal's Chairman and CEO about ethics.

L'Oreal has also reached First place in the personal and household goods sector and eighth globally, with a grade of Aa+, in the Covalence Ethical Quote, a reputation index tracking the world's largest 581 companies on environmental, social, governance, corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability.

The pursuit of ethical excellence has indeed paid off – business-wise – for L'Oreal in the company’s devotion to beauty for over 105 years. With its unique portfolio of 28 international, diverse and complementary brands, L’Oreal Group generated sales amounting to 23 billion Euros (30.5 billion dollars) in 2013 and employs 77,500 people worldwide.

As the world’s leading beauty company, L'Oreal is present across all distribution networks: mass market, department stores, pharmacies and drugstores, travel retail and branded retail. Research and innovation, and a dedicated research team of 4,000 people, are at the core of L'Oreal's strategy, working to meet beauty aspirations all over the world and attract one billion new consumers in the years to come.

L'Oreal's new sustainability commitment for 2020 "Sharing Beauty with All" sets out ambitious sustainable development objectives across the Group's value chain.

L’Oréal's ambition is to be an exemplary enterprise and it integrates ethics into the very heart of its business practices. Its governance relies on its Board of Directors, composed of very diverse profiles, and the directors' commitment to supporting L’Oréal's development; support on which the senior management and the Executive Committee can depend, to meet the challenges of the future.

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