In November 2020 Ethical Consumer received a completed questionnaire from L'Occitane containing a response to a question about how the company managed its carbon and climate impacts. Ethical Consumer looked for the following:
1. For the company to discuss its areas of climate impact, and to discuss plausible ways it has cut them in the past, and ways that it will cut them in the future.
For the company to not be involved in any particularly damaging projects like tar sands, oil or aviation, to not be subject to damning secondary criticism regarding it’s climate actions, and to have relevant sector-specific climate policies in place.
2. For the company to report annually on its scope 1&2 greenhouse gas emissions (direct emissions by the company), and,
3. to go some way towards reporting on its scope 3 emissions (emissions from the supply chain, investments and sold products).
4. For the company to have a target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in line with international agreements (counted as the equivalent of at least 2.5% cut per year in scope 1&2 emissions), and to not count offsetting towards this target.
If a company met all of these criteria it would receive a best rating. If it met parts 1&2 (impacts and annual reporting CO_2 e) it would receive a middle rating. Otherwise it would receive a worst rating.
L'Occitane had provided a link to its ESG Report 2020 which was viewed. It had a section on mitigating the climate crisis where the company stated: "the Group’s main sources of emissions are freight (34%), products inputs including packaging and raw materials (34%) and energy (17%)". The group had been working to reduce air freight and encourage the use of agroecological principles in its producers to reduce emissions from agriculture as well as sequester more carbon. It also discussed energy consumption and energy sourcing. The company also stated that it a target to "use 100% renewable electricity for 80% Group Electricity consumptions by 2020 and 100% by 2030". L'Occitane was considered to have met part 1.
The company reported its Scope 1 and 2 CO2e for 2019 and 2016 in its ESG Report 2020. It stated that the 2019 figures were: "based on the Group carbon assessment of 2016 and the update of Laboratoires M&L in 2019". It was not considered to be adequately reporting its actual scope 1 and 2 emissions for the whole company group on an annual basis.
THe questionnaire stated: "In UK & Ireland we have measured our carbon emissions for Scope 1, Scope 2 and Business travel in Scope 3 (as per SECR) using the Carbon Trust. This was for last financial year April18 to March19". It was, therefore, not considered to be reporting any supply chain Scope 3 emissions.
The company had the following carbon reduction target: "30% reduction of its carbon intensity from 2010 to 2020". It stated: "With 74 tCO2eq/M€ in 2019 against an objective of 73 tCO2eq/M€ by end of 2020, this objective is now practically reached". This was not considered adequate as it was a carbon intensity target rather than an absolute reduction target and, while the company mentioned Science Based Targets, it did not have this approved with the organisation. The company also had targets to acheive net carbon neutrality by 2030 but, again, this was not accepted as it was not an absolute carbon reduction target.
As the company was only considered to have adequately met part 1 it received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for carbon management and reporting and lost a whole mark under Climate Change.