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Nancy Mahon

The Estée Lauder Companies: United in a vision of a better future

14th September 2021 By Nancy Mahon, Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability, The Estée Lauder Companies 3 min read

Climate Week NYC comes at a critical moment for our planet. Across countries, industries, and communities, we are navigating both an ongoing global pandemic and the detrimental consequences of climate change. The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has issued a clear call to action to businesses: we must take urgent action now to protect our planet, and to safeguard our future.

At The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC), we have long understood that challenges facing our global communities and long-term business value creation are not separate. Over our seven-decade history, ELC has leveraged the strength of its enterprise and individuality of its portfolio of brands to help drive meaningful impact. Our commitments and action on climate are no different. As we mark our 75th year in business, stepping forward as a Beauty Inspired, Values Driven company, we remain committed to putting the values that have defined and inspired us toward even more decisive action on climate change. But to drive the change needed, we know that we can’t act alone.

That’s why we are proud to return to Climate Week NYC for the fifth year, joining global voices to discuss the important role we all play in the Climate Decade. We come to the table ready to discuss new solutions, inspire fresh ideas for climate action and collectively drive innovations and progress.

Windmill Graphic
In 2019, The Estée Lauder Companies became the first prestige beauty company to execute a Virtual Power Purchase Agreement for a wind farm in Oklahoma, which is now generating clean, renewable energy, and adding green electricity to the grid.

Creating collective action

At ELC, we believe that championing meaningful climate action today requires an unprecedented collective response across diverse stakeholder groups. There is a tremendous opportunity to leverage business for good and accelerate collaboration across our value chain, as well as in partnership with new leaders within our industry, NGOs, youth and government.

As part of the beauty industry and the broader business community, we know that working collectively is essential to establishing the bigger goals and actions needed to address the climate crisis. That’s why we joined the growing corporate movement and set science based targets, independently validated and approved by the Science Based Target initiative, to address our Scopes 1, 2, and 3 emissions. These new climate targets reinforce our legacy of managing the company with a lens for the long-term and focusing on the needs of future generations. As companies across industries continue to adopt these vetted, science-backed goals, the business community will be able to forge a common path toward substantial emissions reduction.

Solar Graphic
ELC is invested in its growing, renewable energy portfolio at its facilities around the world. New installations in fiscal year 2020 brought ELC’s global company total to more than 5 MW of onsite solar capacity.

Accelerating better business practices across the supply chain

We’re proud of our progress to-date, but for ELC and many other businesses, reducing carbon impacts beyond direct operations is a key focus for the next phase of our climate journey. Setting SBTs is a major lever for achieving this goal and we are putting our key learnings from achieving Net Zero and RE100 across our direct operations into practice to help drive success.

Additionally, we’re engaging with suppliers and third-party manufacturers across our supply chain to help to ensure best practices are implemented at every level. These collaborative efforts will enable us to take even more decisive action against climate change in the coming decade.

United in a vision of a better future

As we enter a new era of responsible business, we believe it is only with a united vision that we will ensure a collective response equal to the task ahead. Working together across stakeholder groups will also be essential to ensuring a just transition — one that serves the many, not the few. As we gather at Climate Week NYC to collaborate for a better future, our commitment at ELC remains as it has always been - to put our values into action and help to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change, be of service to our communities, and contribute to a healthy, beautiful planet for all. We look forward to the conversations and opportunities Climate Week NYC brings to build new partnerships and connections so that together, we can create a brighter future, now and for generations to come.