The company has operations in a number of countries that we consider to be governed by oppressive regimes. These include: China, Colombia, Philippines, Venezuela, Thailand, Colombia, India, Vietnam and Russia.
It scores a worst rating for supply chain management.
In October 2017 Ethical Consumer searched the L'Oreal website for a policy on toxic chemicals.
Ethical Consumer would expect any company operating in this sector to have a policy that covers at least parabens and phthalates, and pledges to either eliminate their use outright or have a roadmap for them phasing out over a quantified period of time.
Both ingredients are prevalent in cosmetics despite evidence that they can have a negative impact on human health and the wider environment.
For example the Skin Deep website stated that Diethyl phthalate, a solvent used to bind together different chemicals within cosmetics and fragrances, can disrupt hormone production in humans, have a negative impact on organ function and that there are current gaps in the research into further impacts on human health.
In addition the paraben family of preservatives, widely used in cosmetics, can mimic oestrogen and can act as a potential hormone (endocrine) system disruptor..
L'Oreal had some vague statements on toxics but had no clear policy on phasing out any of these chemicals. Therefore it received a worst rating on toxics.
L'Oreal receives a worst rating for animal testing because it sells products in China where it is required by regulatory authorities to carry out animal tests for finished cosmetics products before they were placed on their market.
Naturewatch is still calling for a boycott of L'Oreal subsidiary Urban Decay because L'Oreal is the biggest animal tester of cosmetics in the world and lobbied against the 2003 ban on animal testing in the EU.
L'Oreal donated $10,444 to US political parties in the 2016 election cycle, with 87% going to Democrats.