The world’s largest cosmetics company, L’Oreal, and Alibaba Group are upping their efforts to reduce waste by committing to use environmentally friendly packaging for all L’Oreal products sold in China within the next five months.
The agreement signed on Monday, which Alibaba positioned as part of its continuing efforts in New Retail, was witnessed by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe at the Great Hall of the People in China’s capital, Beijing.
Per the agreement, L’Oreal China pledged to decrease the use of plastic materials for all of its brands by switching to Forest Stewardship Council-certified sustainable paper and zipper paper cartons or paper adhesives. The group also plans to use only 100% recycled boxes by the time this year’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival arrives in November.
Jet Jing, the head of Alibaba’s B2C marketplace Tmall, said the goal of New Retail is not only to provide Chinese consumers with high-quality products in a fast and convenient manner, but also to create “green, healthy and sustainable social values.”
“The upgrade of consumption is both an upgrade in quality of life as well as consumer awareness,” he said.
As Chinese consumers become increasingly green-minded, more and more brands are pushing earth-friendly and energy-efficient products in response. According a report by the China Chain Store Association, more than 70% of 9,370 respondents surveyed said they were willing to pay a 10% premium for sustainable products that create minimum pollutants and harm to the environment.
The tie-up is the latest step in an effort launched in May of last year when Alibaba’s smart logistics arm, Cainiao, and 13 L’Oreal brands, such as Kiehl’s, Helena Rubenstein and Giorgio Armani, formed a Green Brand Alliance that required participants to commit to an array of environmentally friendly measures, such as the use of biodegradable packaging materials.
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Last month, Cainiao also updated its green campaign when it announced that by 2020 it would deploy new energy vehicles to 100 cities across China and optimize the use of AI technologies to underpin smart routing in 40,000 villages. It also pledged to expand the use of e-shipping labels to replace the traditional paper stickers on 40 billion parcels by that time. This is expected to save over 3 million trees, the company said.