Focusing on energy efficiency and waste management, we have yet set up some actions for more than two years, when appeared the CSR department.
We have been sorting waste in our workshops since 2002, while also striving to minimize landfill waste. Between 2007 and 2008, we passed from 8 to 13 sorting lines in the production department. In 2009, the distribution of the waste was made according to the following criteria:
• 61% of recycled waste (39% in 2003)
• 29% of incinerated waste (20% in 2003)
• 10% of burned waste (51% in 2003)
We hope to improve even more this good result of sorting waste. Actually, L’Occitane provides clear signage to explain the sorting system on the sorting units in the factory and workshops. Searches for more ecological packaging are often made. For instance, instead of foam which we had the habit of using, there are greener solutions such as crinkled paper. We are already using this material for the Internet orders.
From 2008 until now, we began campaigns to save energy, raising awareness among employees. We designed an energy-awareness sticker and copies of it have been put up in the L’Occitane offices and also in the factory. To ensure the traceability of energy use among employees, we carry out energy audits in the offices every month to make sure that guidelines are being followed while also ensuring staff are aware of eco-friendly steps they could be taking.
We settled energy-efficient equipments and monthly indicators, by installing energy-saving motion detectors and electrical equipments. Monthly records of gas, electricity and water consumption are measured since 2008. For your information, L’Occitane was equipped with 100% energy-saving light bulbs, and has motion detectors in all communal areas in Manosque factory (corridors, toilet facilities and cloakrooms).
Renewable energy has come to the factory store in 2008, with the first solar panels at L’Occitane, to help power the water heater.
In 2009, we settled a new solar boiler which provides all the toilets of the new extension building, with warm water. Besides, the electricity produced by all the new installed photovoltaic captors can cover 70% of the building consumption.
Finally, an autonomous system, which detects the presence of persons, switches on the low energy light bulbs and adapts the lighting intensity considering the natural luminosity.
What are the perspectives?
If the next projects of creation of infrastructures, will take in account all the aspects of sustainable development approaches, we are already thinking about always improve the existing: water is also a precious resource, and we must look into ways of using it sparingly in the factory, such as when cleaning machinery. Several studies are underway to find ways to save energy on the site (energy balance, insulation, outside lighting, etc.); they will help us to minimize even more our environmental impacts.