30 april 2015

Growing greener

When L'Oréal made plans to construct its new manufacturing plant in Indonesia, it partnered with Veolia to design a wastewater treatment facility that not only met current environmental standards, but would also accommodate continued sustainable growth.

L'Oréal - Jababeka - Indonesia

L'Oréal factory in Jababeka, Indonesia

As it laid plans to build the largest of its 43 factories worldwide in Indonesia’s Jababeka industrial park, L’Oréal knew that it needed to prepare for the future. One of the world’s leading beauty care products companies, L’Oréal is also the fastest growing company in Indonesia’s cosmetics industry, with 30% annual growth over the past four
 years. In addition, as part of its “Sharing Beauty with All” sustainability roadmap, the company has committed to achieving a 60% reduction in its water footprint by 2020.

Located 60 kilometers east of Jakarta in west Java, the 66,000-m2 Jababeka plant produces 200 million units of hair and skin care products annually for the company’s L’Oréal Paris and Garnier brands. L’Oréal turned to Veolia to help plan, design and build a stateof- the-art sustainable wastewater treatment plant on the site. The objective: ensure that L’Oréal could meet not only its wastewater discharge goals, but also enable the factory to reduce carbon emissions and waste generation.

Multi-faceted solution

In addition to L’Oréal’s long-term focus on sustainability, particularly on energy and water-efficient solutions, the design needed to accommodate production growth in coming years that could reach as high as 500 million units annually said Veolia process engineer Fenian Feng. “From the design phase, the focus was on controlling the construction budget as well as operations and maintenance costs while ensuring flexibility for future expansion,” explained Fenian. “Our technological solution also needed to lower chemical and energy consumption, thus lowering the carbon footprint.”

Veolia proposed a solution based on a compact design to minimize land use and construction, that would be easy to operate and maintain and that emphasized energy and water efficiency. Each of the plant’s technology solutions was designed to use less energy, thereby lowering the carbon footprint. The innovative wastewater technologies minimize chemical use, ensuring zero chemical waste discharge into waterways and landfills while reducing production of sludge and, thus, solid waste.

Smaller, lower, cleaner

L'Oréal - chemicals
To treat the 300 cubic meters of wastewater generated daily by the factory, mainly from cleaning and washing of production equipment, the system relies on automatic processing tanks and a bio-reactor to dissolve chemical pollutants and increase process water efficiency by avoiding clogging, back washing and recirculation of sludge. The treated water is discharged through a pipeline to the Jababeka industrial park’s wastewater treatment plant, which monitors and controls the inflow to ensure compliance
with the zone’s environmental standards and government regulations.
Veolia’s combined chemical and organic treatment technology has cut chemical use by half and production of sludge to just 20% of the volume of the previous system. As part of L’Oréal’s zero waste to landfill commitment, the sludge that is produced is used by certified third party companies as an alternative material in cement production.
L'Oréal - measure

Veolia also worked with L’Oréal on the plant’s design to ensure that it fulfilled the requirements of the United States Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) ratings system. Features such as a lighting system activated by movement detection, water efficient landscaping and measures to reduce water use helped earn the plant a score of 10 out of 10 on the LEED water efficiency scorecard. In 2012, Jababeka became the first green building factory in Indonesia to be awarded Silver LEED certification. 


But wait, there’s less

Measured on a unit basis, the plant had already reduced waste and water consumption by 52% in 2012 and carbon emissions by 38%. With €100 million invested at Jababeka, however, L’Oréal has shown it is not done yet in improving its environmental performance through sustainable innovation. The plant, which uses only Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified cartons, is exploring ways to further reduce emissions and transportation costs by drying sludge on site in natural sunlight. L’Oréal also is looking into the possibility of generating energy from its waste products and reusing its wastewater for cleaning and cooling certain operations.
Meanwhile, Veolia continues to team up with L’Oréal at other plants in Asia, including in Suzhou, China, where a customized system was installed to meet the local factory’s specific operating conditions and needs. In addition to reducing energy use and minimizing waste, the Suzhou plant was able to reduce carbon emissions by 82%.
For L’Oréal’s neighbors, host communities and the environment, it’s clearly, a winning combination.