In 2016, we entered into a three-year partnership with the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). This partnership focuses on:
- identifying the impact of our activities on biodiversity and implementing an action plan to reinforce our commitments,
- supporting the IUCN project in France to produce a red list of ecosystems for France's Mediterranean coastlines and forests so as to increase knowledge about biodiversity and raise awareness of the challenges involved.
We have also invested in the preservation of the national Mediterranean heritage.
In 2004, the Group set up its first large-scale organic immortelle plantation programme in Corsica. The initiative unites respect for the environment with equality and received recognition by the French Minsiter for Ecology in 2013.
In Burkina Faso, the Group has been working with the shea women since 1980 and has involved more than 10,000 women to date. We are aiming to source 100% organic shea butter by 2018.
Reinold Geiger, CEO
Awards and certifications
The "Equitable" label
The "Equitable" label applies to products traded between countries of the South and countries of the North. It is is controlled by Ecocert Environnement ESR*.
The label is based on 4 fundamental commitments: ethics (insurance for producers to sell at a minimum guaranteed price and for workers to receive a decent wage); social (dignified working conditions, collective organisation and a development fund for producer communities); health and the environment (a production process that respects natural resources and respect for the health of producers and workers); and development (the approach involves a sustainable partnership with buyers and producer empowerment).
Within the L'OCCITANE Group, 3 sectors are committed to fair trade: shea butter in Burkina Faso and argan and orange blossom in Morocco.
*ESR: "Equitable, Solidarity, Responsible" - a reference document is available on www.ecocert.com
Organic agriculture certification: 35 key certified fields
Organic Farming is a production method that respects the environment and animal welfare. It excludes the use of GMOs and strictly restricts the use of synthetic chemicals.
The rules are based on a European regulation that applies to all member countries of the European Union. By 2016, France already had more than 28,000 organic-certified farms.
Within the L'OCCITANE Group, 75% of our strategic sectors are certified organic.
AOP/AOC: high quality lavender essential oil
The "Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée" (protected designation of origin) is an official European quality mark that guarantees a product's origin.
The criteria for obtaining an AOP label is based on a combination of recognised know-how and the type of territory, as it is these 2 elements that give a product its true characteristics.
The Haute Provence lavender essential oil that we use has been certified AOP since 1981. By having an AOC "Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée" label, we are able to protect the product at French level, thereby taking the first step towards AOP certification.
AOP certification gurantees the quality and traceability of the essential oil. To merit an AOP label the essential oil must be of the purest quality, distilled by the traditional method and using only the finest lavender that grows at 800m altitude on the correct type of soil.
Palm oil RSPO
The Group neither purchases nor uses palm oil directly in its formulae. However, our soap flakes and certain derivatives may contain it. Since 2011, the Group has been committed to the RSPO process, with the aim of ensuring that the palm oil it sources is sustainably produced.
At present, 94.5% of our soap flakes are RSPO-certified, segregated**. In 2016, we started to reformulate our products that contain palm oil derivatives.
Our objective is to use 100% RSPO-certified derivatives by 2020.
*RSPO: Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil
**Segregated: the highest level of RSPO-certification that guarantees lasting and traceable palm oil that is separate to oils that originate from other sources
All our activities, from product design to in-store retail (for stores operated by the L'OCCITANE Group in France), are now certified ISO 14001.
By doing so, we are able to continually work on reducing the impact we have on the environment, a commitment that lies at the heart of the Group's environmental Policy.
Our industrial sites located in Manosque and Lagorce are certified OHSAS 18001. The OHSAS 18001 certification confirms the implementation of approved health and safety regulations at the workplace.
High quality environment (HQE)
The French HQE ("Haute Qualité Environmentale") certification signifies respect for the environment, quality of life and economical performance. Our distribution centre in Manosque received HQE certification in 2012, followed by our warehouse in Lagorce 2015.
Minergie and BREEAM
We have chosen to locate our international HQ in Geneva, Switzerland, in a Minergie certified building. Minergie is the Swiss certification that aims to reduce energy consumption and use of energy in a more rational way, privileging the use of renewable energy in particular. BREEAM certification is used to measure the environmental performance of a building.
Our new distribution centre in Singapore has the highest level of Green Mark Platinium and LEED Gold certification*, signifying that the building meets the highest environmental standards. The site has been designed with energy saving methods and has has heat resistant external walls. Other highlights include natural lighting and controlled air quality so as to create a more pleasant work environment.
The site consumes approximately 50% less water than an average building of similar size, thanks to various water-efficient techniques, such as rainwater collection and water-saving taps. The distribution centre's air condition system is also particular energy efficient, and is powered by Singapore's recyled water (NEWSER).
*LEED Gold certification : "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design"
All of the products produced by our organic Melvita brand are certified with the following:
- ECOCERT (reference for ecological and organic cosmetics)
- COSMEBIO (label created by the French organic cosmetics association)
- COSMOS (reference of organic and natural cosmetics, recognised across Europe)
- ONE VOICE (animal rights label created by a French association: no animal testing and no use of ingredients with animal origins, excluding organic bees wax, organic pollen and organic honey)
L'OCCITANE en Provence
The organic products produced by our L'OCCITANE en Provence brand (shea butters and balms) are certified with the following: