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2019-12-11 Article

Shared perspectives on eco-design between Verescence & Guerlain

Verescence and Guerlain

Verescence and Maison Guerlain have a long-standing relationship with Samsara that began in the 1980s. More recently, thanks to a convergence of views at the highest level - between CEO Laurent Boillot for Guerlain and Thomas Riou for Verescence - the partnership has deepened around responsible procurement and eco-design. Explanations by Sandrine Sommer, Director of Sustainable Development at Guerlain, and Samuel Joachim, Director of Innovation and Development at Verescence.

Sandrine Sommer: Guerlain and Verescence are pioneers in eco-solutions in our sector. Our discussions on eco-design since the signing of our charter for responsible procurement have made it possible to first of all realize our project to “redesign” one of our flagship products, one of the most impacting: the Orchidée Impériale skincare jar. You can easily imagine the nearly blanket disbelief we were met with then when we said we wanted to take up the challenge of modifying one of our best sellers, and this, against the current of the luxury codes of the time since the goal was to make it even more prestigious by reducing it. Well our idea paid off!

Samuel Joachim: Our life cycle analyses have shown that glass mass is a very effective lever in reducing the environmental impact of a product. We have therefore tried to reduce it while preserving the aesthetic qualities and mechanical resistance of the jar. The environmental benefits as a result: - 62% CO2, fewer raw materials collected for a clean and luxurious jar.

We have taken eco-design a step further with the choice of Verre Infini® NEO.

Sandrine Sommer: Same capacity, same price but less visibility in store! And yet, success was achieved. With, on the part of our customers, a new, unexpected satisfaction: they no longer hesitate to carry it in their bags when they have to travel. The entire range has been reviewed; the exercise has now been applied to the Abeille Royale day and night care products, which will be launched in August 2019. By taking eco-design a step further, with the choice of Verre Infini® NEO.

Samuel Joachim: Verescence was the pioneer in the implementation of eco-design solutions by developing a post-consumer cullet glass in 2008: Verre Infini®, then more recently Verre Infini® NEO composed of 90% recycled glass (65% internal cullet and 25% post-consumer cullet). 

The new Abeille Royale jar is made of lightweight and recycled glass.

Sandrine Sommer: Alongside Guerlain, Verescence is playing the game of transparency right down to traceability by providing information about the container of our skincare products, via our Bee Respect platform, open to the public since March 2019. “From flowers to bottle”, it gives an overview of the product cycle. This is one more step in positioning the luxury sector on the path to sustainable development. Our common understanding on this topic has led me to invite Verescence to participate in the Bee Committee (an ethics committee created in 2018 involving external stakeholders), which I surround myself with to advance this awareness and the development of concrete solutions.

Samuel Joachim: We also had the privilege of hosting the Guerlain Sustainable Development Committee, which was held at our production site in Mers-Les-Bains in December 2018.

Sandrine Sommer: A symbolic, inspiring place when linking luxury and sustainable development.

Samuel Joachim: The presence of Guerlain teams at the heart of our industrial site and the trust they place in us allow us to take real effective action. This is also very motivating for our R&D teams. Trust is mission critical for us to progress and eco-innovate!

Sandrine Sommer: The co-creation between Guerlain and Verescence is fruitful!

Read more in our 2018-2019 CSR report.