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L'Oreal Names Ezgi Barcenas as Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer: 5 Things to Know

February 7, 2024 by Joe Panettieri

L’Oréal Groupe has hired AB Inbev veteran Ezgi Barcenas (pictured above) as chief corporate responsibility officer. Barcenas will succeed Alexandra Palt, who will depart the makeup, cosmetics and personal care company on April 1, 2024 to embark on "a new chapter focused on personal endeavors," L’Oréal said.

Here are five things to know about each executive, the chief corporate responsibility officer transition, and L’Oréal Groupe's sustainability strategy.

1. Business Scope and Scale: L’Oréal, founded in 1909, is based in Paris, France. The personal care company promotes a portfolio of 36 international brands. The company's cosmetics portfolio spans hair color, skin care, sun protection, make-up, perfume, and hair care, Wikipedia notes. L’Oréal is backed by roughly 87,400 employees -- including more than 4,000 scientists and 5,500 technology and digital professionals. The company generated annual sales of 38.26 billion euros in 2022.

Alexandra Palt plans to depart L’Oréal Group on April 1, 2024

2. The L'Oreal Climate Transition Plan: The plan, published in December 2023, involves the following...

  • Scope 1 and Scope 2: Since 2017 the company committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from operated sites to zero by 2025. The company "has made strong progress on this goal due to its focus on renewable energy sourcing, its use of bio-energy for process heat and through its program of energy efficiency." A Scope 1 & 2 decarbonization plan for 2030 focuses mainly on (1) completing its building improvement and energy-efficiency program; (2) transitioning to renewable energy for its operated sites and operated stores; and (3) continuing the migration of its car fleet towards hybrid and electric vehicles.
  • Scope 3: L’Oréal has been engaged since 2013 to "mitigate the impacts associated with its value chain, from production to distribution, as well as those related to the sourcing, or the use of products by consumers." In 2023, the company "continued the work of specifying concretely the detailed steps of the path to decarbonize." As a result, the company "has a clear understanding of the levers required to deliver its 2030 goals."

Far deeper details are available in the plan here.

3. Who's Joining: Ezgi Barcenas previously was chief sustainability officer at AB InBev, the global beverage and brewery company. (AB InBev has named Ingrid De Ryck to succeed Barcenas as CSO).

During a decade at AB InBev, Ezgi "established and ran the global sustainability function, having architected AB InBev's ambitious ‘net-zero by 2040’ ambitions," L’Oréal said. Barcenas also oversaw AB InBev's sustainability start-up program, known as the 100+ Accelerator.  During her time at AB InBev, Barcenas has "taken on roles of increasing responsibility, serving as a trusted advisor, stewarding our sustainability efforts, and overseeing our award-winning accelerator program," that company said.

4. Who's Departing: In a prepared statement, L’Oréal praised departing Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer (CCRO) Alexandra Palt. Under Palt's leadership, the company earned a Triple “A” rating from the Carbon Disclosure Project (CPD) eight times in a row, the statement noted. Palt's 12-year tenure in the CCRO role included launching L’Oréal for the Future, an "operational roadmap for transforming the group’s business while respecting planetary boundaries and advocating for a just transition," the company said.

Nicolas Hieronimus, CEO, L’Oréal Groupe

5. Executive Perspectives: In a prepared statement about the Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer transition, L’Oréal Groupe CEO Nicolas Hieronimus said: “I would like to thank Alexandra for her engagement, which over the past 12 years has triggered a profound transformation of L’Oréal’s economic and societal model, deeply integrated with planetary boundaries as defined by environmental sciences. Her courage, energy and vision have enabled L’Oréal to become a pioneering enterprise, expert at delivering positive economic and extra-financial performance. The choice of Ezgi Barcenas, a recognized business and climate leader, to succeed Alexandra is a strong sign of L’Oréal’s reiterated commitment to its sustainability transformation and to social responsibility.”

L’Oréal Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer: Why Technology Partners Should Care

By 2027, 25% of Global 2000 companies will have assigned a chief sustainability officer (CSO) responsible for meeting their organization’s ESG goals and making ESG-related IT purchasing decisions, according to IDC.

The bottom line: Technology partners need to extend their sales, marketing, engagement and support strategies to successfully fulfill those CSO customer needs, Sustainable Tech Partner believes.

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