L’Oréal China and Alibaba Group signed an agreement committing to using environmentally packaging in order to reduce waste in China.
The agreement, which will be rolled out over the next five months, includes a pledge from L’Oréal to switch to FSC-certified sustainable paper, zipper paper, zipper paper cartons, or paper adhesives to decrease the use of plastic materials for its brand portfolio, according to the joint announcement.
For Chinese multinational retailer Alibaba, the move highlights their strategy called new retail. As entrepreneur and author Ashley Galina Dudarenok explained, Alibaba seeks to redefine commerce by enabling seamless engagement between the online and offline world. Alibaba’s consumer-facing marketplace Tmall formed a partnership last month with the Marine Stewardship Council. Tmall’s goal is to have 20 percent of their sales carry the MSC label by 2020.
The new partnership with L’Oréal China provides customers with high quality products and helps create “green, healthy, and sustainable social values,” said Jet Jing, the Head of Tmall. “The upgrade of consumption is both an upgrade in quality of life as well as consumer awareness.”
In May, Alibaba’s smart logistics arm Cainiao formed an alliance with 13 L’Oréal brands where participants commit to sustainable measures such as the use of biodegradable packaging materials. That same month, L’Oréal and sustainability consulting firm Quantis co-founded the Sustainable Packaging Initiative for Cosmetics (SPICE), aiming to reduce the environmental footprint of cosmetics products.
Also in May, Cainiao announced plans to replace traditional paper stickers on 40 billion parcels by 2020 through the use of e-shipping labels, a measure that could save more than 3 million trees.
Last year, as L’Oréal China celebrated its 20th anniversary, the company said they had made progress in several areas of sustainable development. “Substantial efforts have been made to reduce packaging weight,” the company reported. That meant a reduction in plastic used, changes in the composition of plastics used, the use of refillable glass containers as well as the elimination of paper instruction leaflets.