L’Oréal has turned its plant in Libramont, Belgium, into a carbon-neutral site using 100% green energy. L’Oréal Libramont utilizes a biomethane centre that was developed by Eneco and Bio Energie Europa, employing technology to transform biomass from local farmers and the agro-alimentary industry into methane gas, which provides electricity and heat to the plant.
The plant's carbon-neutral footprint was part of the company's commitment to cut carbon emissions in half by 2015. The fruit of a three-year collaboration, the Libramont site utilizes a fermentation process to convert biomass into methane gas. The biogas is then transported to the L’Oréal plant, where it is converted into electricity and heat, providing 100% of the plant’s electricity and 80% of its heat. In this way, more green electricity is generated than required by the factory alone, allowing the surplus power–enough to meet the needs of about 4,000 households–to be injected into the public grid.
By 2015, the company expects to its greenhouse gas emissions (absolute reduction) in half, cut its water use per unit of finished product in half and cut its waste generated per unit of finished product in half.
L’Oréal Libramont was created in 1975. It employs 400 people and produces hair color kits and hair products distributed throughout Europe. The annual CO2 reduction is 31,950 tonnes, equivalent to 20,000 cars per year traveling a distance of 15,000 km each.