Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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L’Oréal building solar projects at Arkansas, Kentucky plants


September 20, 2016
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Sept. 20, 2016 – L’Oréal USA says it will exceed its carbon emission reduction goals and build two large-scale solar projects at its manufacturing facilities in North Little Rock, Ark., and Florence, Ky., as part of its global sustainability strategy, “Sharing Beauty with All.” With the projects, the company said it will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80 per cent from 101,634 metric tons in 2005 to a projected 20,059 this year.

“Reducing our CO2 emissions by 80 per cent and achieving 100 per cent renewable electricity for our U.S. manufacturing is a major milestone for L’Oréal USA,” said Fréderic Rozé, CEO of L’Oréal Americas. “The achievement is a testament to our passionate, creative and innovative teams who have pushed us to go beyond our original ambitions. We are committed to being a sustainability leader in the United States and are proud of the progress we have made.”

The North Little Rock plant, in partnership with Scenic Hill Solar, will house a 1.2 MW array that will be the third largest commercial solar array and the fourth largest solar project in Arkansas. The 4,000 solar panel installation in North Little Rock is scheduled to be operational by mid-2017 and will reduce carbon emissions in Arkansas by 1,326 metric tons per year, equivalent to eliminating nearly 3.2 million miles traveled by passenger cars per year, according to EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies. L’Oréal first installed a solar array at its North Little Rock plant in 2012, which now supplies the equivalent of 100 percent of its outdoor lighting needs (18,000 kWh/year). The 446,691-square-foot factory has operated in the state for over four decades, and is home to cosmetics production for brands including Maybelline, L’Oréal Paris, Essie and Lancôme.

“We are very excited to continue on our site’s sustainability journey,” said Eric Fox, plant manager at L’Oréal North Little Rock. “This next phase of our on-site solar installation not only paves the way for expanded low-carbon manufacturing, but also can serve as a catalyst for continued investment in renewable energy technology in the Natural State.”

The Florence plant, also in partnership with Scenic Hill Solar, will house the largest commercial solar array in Kentucky at 1.5 MW. Construction of the project will start late 2016 and will consist of approximately 5,000 solar panels. The array is projected to cut CO2 emissions in Kentucky by approximately 1,195 metric tons per year, equivalent to eliminating over 2.8 million miles traveled by passenger cars per year, according to EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies. The 687,000-square-foot plant, where haircare products are made for the Garnier, L’Oréal Paris, Matrix, and Redken brands, is the company’s largest manufacturing site in the U.S. and its largest worldwide by tonnage of products produced.

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“With this project, our facility becomes an emblem of sustainable manufacturing,” said Eric Wolff, plant manager at L’Oréal’s Florence. “We’re proud to be leading the way for commercial renewable energies in Kentucky.”

The two new projects brings the number of L’Oréal USA’s solar installations across the U.S. to 16, generating a total of 13.5 MW of energy.

— With files from The Associated Press and L’Oréal USA