Pure Beauty

Estée Lauder unveils sustainable retail store programme

By Austyn King | Published: 6-Jul-2023

The Responsible Store Design programme covers areas including waste reduction, responsible materials and energy conservation

The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) is ramping up its sustainability efforts throughout its retail stores with its Responsible Store Design programme.

The initiative provides a new sustainability framework for both new and existing stores across ELC’s entire brand portfolio – which includes the likes of Estée Lauder, Aveda and Mac – covering areas including waste reduction, responsible materials and water and energy conservation. 

To meet the requirements, new stores must have a management plan to reduce waste during the store construction and utilise energy efficient technologies such as LED lighting throughout in-store fixtures and visual merchandising.

In-store fixtures must also be made with responsible materials, with an emphasis on recyclable and post-consumer recycled materials, and no virgin acrylic materials, while stores must also utilise water-efficient plumbing.

Existing locations, meanwhile, will be required to provide on-site recycling facilities for employees and customers, and use cosmetics applicators made from sustainable and recycled materials such as paper and bamboo.

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“Sustainability has long been part of our corporate strategy and company culture, and our new Responsible Store Design programme is a creative and impactful way to showcase ELC’s sustainability commitments to both our employees and our consumers,” said Al Iannuzzi, ELC’s Vice President of Sustainability. 

“We're excited to launch our branded retail sustainability program and look forward to scaling this work beyond our pilot stores to impact retail operations globally in the future.” 

To date, six stores have successfully met the prerequisites as part of the pilot programme, according to ELC, including its Origins store in Nanjing, China, which opened in July 2022.

ELC first introduced its Green Building Standards in 2020 to increase sustainability across all its business and retail locations, including new construction and design baselines for criteria such as energy, water and waste. 

The latest initiative comes after ELC opened its new tech hub in Romania, which also received outstanding certification for its water and energy use.

The brand owner also last year revealed plans to transition 100% of its global corporate fleet of vehicles to electric by 2030.

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