Natural tones

The leaders of L’Oreal USA’s Solon manufacturing facility understand that beauty is
more than skin deep.

The Solon plant, led by Laurence Lebel,
vice president of manufacturing, and
William Yeager, assistant vice president
ETNSHE, is part of the 52,000-employee
worldwide cosmetics manufacturing giant.
Over the past several years, the facility has
undergone an expansion and upgrades
aimed at increasing its sustainability and
environmental footprint. To that end,
L’Oreal is making green a color that is
always fashionable.

Lebel and Yeager have helped spearhead
17 different projects impacting every part
of the plant, from water recycling to lighting conservation to preferred parking for
employees who drive eco-friendly vehicles.

Among the projects completed, the plant
now recovers heat from its production
wastewater to help heat new wash water.
The cost of heating wash water without the
benefit of recovered heat is in excess of $500,000 per year in natural gas. With the
use of recovered wastewater heat, the
Solon plant saved more than $54,000 in

Another completed project helps the
plant decrease its carbon dioxide emissions. Waste from the packaging line was
previously incinerated, a method with a
high cost in terms of both energy and pollution. Now, scraps are collected, drained
and shipped to a wastewater treatment
plant for disposal, saving L’Oreal $38,000 in

The plant has also been outfitted with
electricity-saving features, including fluorescent light fixtures. The new lighting requires
60 fewer fixtures than the previous set-up,
provides 40 percent more light and has
saved the facility more than $34,000 to date.
The plant also features motion-sensor lights
in areas that receive only periodic use, saving more than $700 per year.

The lighting upgrades have been completed in conjunction with other site improvements aimed at increasing the
natural light inside the facility. Areas of
the production floor, along with a new
entrance lobby, utilize large windows
and semi-gloss floors to draw in and
reflect sunlight into interior parts of the
building, decreasing the reliance on artificial light.

The savings add up, both financially and
environmentally. Since 2006, L’Oreal’s Solon
plant has decreased its water consumption
21 percent, its electrical consumption 16 percent, has reduced its solid waste 22 percent
and its cardboard usage 96 percent.