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As sustainable products and packaging continue to establish themselves as top initiatives for beauty companies, French luxury fragrance brand Guerlain, owned by LVMH, is at the forefront of innovation.
At the forefront of these initiatives is Cécile Lochard, the brand’s Chief Sustainability Officer. Lochard joined Guerlain in January 2019 and was quickly promoted to her current role in March 2020, a first for the brand. That Lochard wasn’t your typical seasoned beauty executive — she came from the World Wildlife Fund — has allowed the brand’s heritage to be nimble and experimental.
“I worked for WWF because I love animals. And I’m so happy that it’s integrated into Guerlain’s goal of preserving the bee, the guardian of the environment and the first pollinator,” Lochard said on the latest episode of the Glossy Beauty podcast.
Under Lochard’s leadership, bee conservation, biodiversity regeneration, climate change, eco-packaging and women’s empowerment have been some of the brand’s biggest focuses. In July 2021, the company partnered with UNESCO to launch Women for Bees, a five-year beekeeping entrepreneurship program for women. The Entrepreneur Program is just one of many ways the brand stays true to its mission.
Below are other highlights of the conversation, edited lightly and condensed for clarity.
Think like an indie
“Collaboration is the new competition. [Brands] cannot advance further and quickly without the help of NGOs or without the help of industry initiatives. The race is on when it comes to climate and biodiversity erosion, so we cannot be short of ambition when it comes to our sustainability. We have to hold hands.”
The luxurious approach to sustainable packaging
“We have a new goal that is our mission: to have zero virgin plastic use by 2026 – that’s why we’ve switched from plastic to glass for this new product [Abeille Royale Double R Renew & Repair] Serum. Glass is easier to recycle and it is easier to incorporate circular glass or glass that has already been used. Creating new materials is all about circularity, or the reuse of materials. “
Guerlain’s own Garden of Eden
“I can’t wait for our next big topic, biodiversity regeneration. We have just announced that we have acquired several hectares of biodiversity in a forest in the historic village of the Gallo family, near Paris. We will develop an experimental garden for Guerlain. Of course we will set up beehives in this garden to study pollination. But above all, we will ask our Master Perfumer Thierry Wasser to use, play, test and learn the most organic regeneration techniques. We will then integrate all of our iconic natural ingredients into the supply chain around the world. We will work with scientists and ethnobotanists to develop new, state-of-the-art methods for sustainable cultivation.”