Beauty company L’Oréal announced an investment in a new venture led by biotechnology company Genomatica (Geno), aimed at developing and commercializing bio-based sustainable alternative ingredients for cosmetics, personal care and cleaning products.

San Diego-based biotechnology company Geno develops sustainable materials derived from plant or waste-based feedstocks, converting plant-based ingredients into chemical building blocks.

With the new investment, made through L’Oréal’s corporate venture fund, BOLD, the company becomes the third and final founding investor in the venture, alongside Unilever and Kao Corporation. The initial launch of the venture was announced in June 2022, with a joint $120 million investment by Unilever and Geno, followed by an additional investment by Kao in September.

Geno CEO Christophe Schilling said:

“Welcoming L’Oréal to this incredible team of global brand heavyweights signifies just how important and urgent the need is for traceable, resilient and sustainable materials, at scale. L’Oréal’s commitment further accelerates Geno’s goal to reduce global carbon emissions by over 100 million tons in the upcoming years by targeting massive scale material markets.”

According to L’Oréal, the company aims to use the new bio-based ingredients from the venture across various products, helping the company to meet key goals under its “L’Oréal for the Future” sustainability program, including targets to achieve 100% eco-designed formulas and ingredients that are 95%-derived from renewable or abundant sources by 2030.

Barbara Lavernos, Deputy Chief Executive Officer in charge of Research, Innovation and Technology, at L’Oréal, said:

“We are thrilled to partner with Geno, whose unique approach to developing alternative, biotechnology-based ingredients aligns perfectly with our vision of a more sustainable future. By working together with other beauty players, we can leverage our collective expertise and resources wherever our combined efforts can have a meaningful impact.”

Sanford Browne, President of Research and Innovation for North America, at L’Oréal, added:

“This move not only aligns with our objective of delivering responsible and innovative beauty solutions to consumers but also strengthens our innovation ecosystem in North America. It’s a clear signal of our willingness to collaborate with partners who share our commitment to sustainability and reducing our environmental impact to create beauty that moves the world.”

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