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L’Oréal Launches The Net-Zero Salons Program For British Salons

Published February 12, 2023
Published February 12, 2023
Adam Reed

People no longer want to invest their money into earth-damaging businesses, practices, or products. On the whole, 88% of consumers name sustainability their top priority when investing in beauty, which results in 93% of beauty businesses feeling pressure to become more environmentally conscious. According to L'Oréal, for salons specifically, 43% of British women say they want to see their hairdressers make an active effort to be more sustainable. A further 23% say they expect beauty and wellness companies to commit wholeheartedly to reducing their carbon footprint. Hoping to cater to consumers' wishes and lay the foundations for sustainable haircare appointments, L'Oréal has partnered with climate justice pioneers Net Zero Now to create the Net Zero Salons Programme. The initiative aims to help establishments across the UK and Ireland achieve carbon neutrality.

L'Oréal and Net Zero Now worked together on the project, consulting with industry professionals to develop a "salon-specific roadmap and tool for measuring, tracking, reporting, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions." Seventeen salons have already enrolled in the pilot program, including Adam Reed and Trevor Sorbie.

When signing up, businesses are asked to answer questions that will estimate the carbon footprint of their salon. The figure is calculated based on data collected across similar business benchmarks in 2022, and predicts the salon's carbon footprint in real time. After receiving their estimate, along with a tailored emission reduction guide, corporations are provided with interactive reports that help them understand which areas of their business produce the most carbon emissions.

“I am delighted to be one of the first salons to be part of the L’Oréal and Net Zero Now ‘Net Zero Salons Programme.’ I have been embarking on my salon’s sustainability journey for some time, and new tools like the programme protocol are invaluable for our sector. The tool has helped me to understand where I am at on my journey by calculating and tracking, and then importantly, has helped me to accelerate with a personalized reduction plan and making my salon business more resilient for the future,” says Adam Reed, hairdresser and salon owner.

The personalized manual recommends different ways to tackle carbon emissions, beginning with a focus on the salon itself, with suggestions such as reducing water usage and switching to renewable energy sources. The guide also goes beyond brick-and-mortar proposals for the company, encouraging stylists to ride a bike to work along with other small ethically minded steps.

Data harnessed by the Net Zero Salons Programme has so far estimated that the average trip to the salon causes 3.1 kg of greenhouse gas emissions. For each company signing up to the project, a goal of 2kg of greenhouse gas reduction is recommended, which would result in a reduction  of carbon across the industry by 33%.

"We are very excited to introduce this industry-first roadmap and tool for the salon sector in partnership with L'Oréal. This program is open to all salons, empowering the whole industry to play its part in tackling the climate crisis and meeting the growing expectations of consumers and employees. With Net Zero initiatives now live in hospitality, accountancy, tech services, and salons, we're providing tens of thousands of small businesses with the tools they need to take their first steps on the road to Net Zero," says Simon Heppner, co-founder of Net Zero Now.

"As market leaders, we recognize the important role we play in empowering our business ecosystem, such as our salon partners, to be more sustainable."
By Thierry Cheval, Managing Director, L'Oréal UK and Ireland

Along with this program, Net Zero Now released a playbook outlining the requirements for brands to receive Net Zero Hair Salon certification. To gain certification, salons must follow four steps: calculation of their direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions, science-based target setting, purchasing of valid carbon offset credits for any unavoidable emissions, and transparent communications of their actions. The playbook and program will be updated accordingly as research evolves to ensure specific targets and data are current and attainable.

Thierry Cheval, Managing Director, L'Oréal UK and Ireland, adds, "As market leaders, we recognize the important role we play in empowering our business ecosystem, such as our salon partners, to be more sustainable. We are committed to supporting the sector's future, and we look forward to having salons from across the UK and Ireland join the program as the industry seeks to take climate reduction action."

The Net Zero Salons Program is part of the L'Oréal’s For The Future campaign, which outlines environmental goals the company hopes to achieve by 2030. These include: reducing their carbon emissions by at least 50%, a carbon neutral goal for all sites (​​including plants, distribution centers, offices, research, and innovation centers), and all plastic packaging being recycled or bio-based. So far, L'Oréal has made significant progress towards these goals, including all of its North Asia Zone sites achieving carbon neutrality in 2022. The cosmetics giant also plans to have reached net zero status by 2050.

As part of the L’Oréal For The Future Campaign, L’Oréal also will provide solutions for responsible water use, under the Hairstylists for the Future subcategory. In the spring, the brand is set to roll out the L’Oréal Water Saver, a showerhead powered by jet fusion technology that helps to significantly reduce salon’s water usage.

British salons already making efforts to be more green―such as Butchers Salon in East London that is built from raw, reclaimed, and recycled materials―will now be able to amplify its clean climate endeavors through these efforts. By giving salons the tools needed to reduce their carbon footprint, L'Oréal and Net Zero Now will increase business owners’ and hairdressers' knowledge on the subject, which will, in turn, influence the way professional haircare and its consumers operate. While the program is only available to British salons at present with no plans to expand yet, it will provide opportunities for similar incentives that focus on a sustainable approach to beauty. With over 56,000 independent salons in the UK alone, the Net Zero Salons Program is sure to impact a sizable audience.


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