Estee Lauder executives speak on how data, beauty technology can power sustainable supply chains at Zero100 event; solutions include late-stage differentiation to capture changing demands, strategic geography to limit transport, value chain collaboration

Sample article from our Beauty & Personal Care

July 8, 2022 (press release) –

As a values-driven, family-founded company that serves as the global leader in prestige beauty, ELC has a rich heritage of delivering high-quality, innovative, and superior prestige beauty products and packages to consumers across its luxury brands. Long before ELC’s beauty products end up on consumers’ vanities, they travel on a complex journey, from our research and development (R&D) labs to our distribution centers, that is underpinned by a focus on technology. With today’s essential and rising focus on environment and social impact and the increasing challenges around supply chains, ELC has doubled down on its long-held commitments to making this journey as responsible as possible.

To further these efforts, ELC has become a founding member of Zero100, a new community-based education and research initiative that connects, informs, and inspires the new generation of leaders who are inventing 0% carbon, 100% digital supply chains. The goal of the organization is to rethink the production, distribution, and consumption of physical goods for customers around the world and empower the new and diverse generation of supply chain professionals who make 0% carbon, 100% digital supply chains a reality. Bound by a shared responsibility to collectively redefine how supply chain professionals sustainably shape the future, founding members of Zero100 are pioneers in their industries—and this list of founders includes Roberto Canevari, ELC’s Executive Vice President, Global Supply Chain.

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ELC Leaders Roberto Canevari, Jane Lauder and Nancy Mahon discuss how data and beauty technology will continue to enhance the future of sustainability at ELC.

At a private event hosted by Zero100 in June, Canevari joined forces with Jane Lauder, ELC’s Executive Vice President, Enterprise Marketing & Chief Data Officer, and Nancy Mahon, ELC’s Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability, for a conversation on how data and technology are powering the future of sustainability in supply chain. In a discussion moderated by Zero100’s cofounder, Kevin O’Marah, the three ELC leaders took a close look at how data and beauty technology will continue to enhance the future of sustainability at ELC and in the prestige beauty industry. The event was attended by Zero100 members, including Olly Sloboda, cofounder and CEO of Zero100.

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Zero100 Founding Member and ELC Executive Vice President of Supply Chain Roberto Canevari talks about the next generation in manufacturing design.

Mitigating Environmental Impacts Through Technology

Across the globe, ELC is investing in innovative technologies for manufacturing by leveraging artificial intelligence analytics to monitor, manage, and optimize the facility operations of our plants.

“Our next generation in manufacturing design incorporates not only the latest technology in process equipment, like sensors and actuators, but the optimization of the company’s manufacturing infrastructure, with ideal utilities designed for sustainability such as centralized heat recovery and on-site renewables,” said Canevari. “In 2020, we began the journey to reinvent [ELC’s] supply chain infrastructure design standards and embedded sustainability concepts like heat pumps, HVAC economizers, wastewater recycling, LED lighting, low-flow water fixtures, and more. Our newest manufacturing facilities in Canada and Japan are designed with sustainability in mind, in addition to our renovated manufacturing facility in Belgium and our new state-of-the-art distribution center in Galgenen, Switzerland.” 

Many companies are reprioritizing sustainability in their factories through energy-efficient operations and solar panels; the company noted the importance of taking this one step further, using technology to help build, design, and manage these operations. A few examples of this include:

  • Late-stage differentiation, which allows ELC to capture rapidly changing consumer demands with minimal excess and destruction
  • Geography, which focuses on regionalization to source, make, and sell products in the same region (limiting transportation where possible)
  • Collaboration across our value chain ecosystem, including suppliers and partners, and our Green Building Standards, including our solar installations at select facilities globally

Additionally, from a climate perspective, the company is focused on reducing Scope 3 emissions from purchased goods and services, upstream transportation and distribution, and business travel.

“Technology impacts every aspect of our business, and how we use technology is and will continue to be part of our ongoing transformation and broader corporate strategy,” said Lauder. “We are leveraging existing capabilities and innovating new foresight analytic capabilities to identify upcoming trends. By trend forecasting, we ensure that we are delivering the right products to the right consumers at the right time. We have better accuracy in our demand planning—we are producing what consumers need and want—which inherently helps to reduce waste.”

For example, Aveda, an ELC brand, was one of the first beauty players to establish a successful, commercial blockchain pilot. Blockchain technology provides further ingredient traceability by collating data from supply chain partners in real time via a secure, digital system. This pilot program brought blockchain-enabled traceable vanilla to more than 125 Aveda products. This enhanced traceability is important because it helps to demonstrate responsible sourcing, high quality ingredients, and greater transparency for all stakeholders involved. Using this technology, which is part of ELC’s and Aveda’s ongoing efforts to improve and strengthen sourcing practices, furthers ELC’s work in responsible sourcing.

The Intersection of Technology, Sustainability, and Supply Chain

At the core of these efforts is the synchronization of data and analytics, which work together to provide complete transparency and enhance sustainability across the company’s global operations. ELC is embarking on a digital transformation with state-of-the-art enhancements to its global supply chain. The goal is to accelerate the use of data and analytics to identify operational excellence opportunities that will enable sufficiency, artisanal quality, and responsiveness.

“For us, embedding sustainability isn’t just about being environmentally responsible as an organization—and looking at our impact on the planet and our products. It’s also about addressing urgent issues affecting our global communities, like gender and racial equality, which are deeply interconnected with the climate crisis,” said Mahon. “As we continue to invest in the technology and infrastructure needed to effectively tackle environmental issues, such as solutions like VPPAs, forestry and on-site solar, we must also continue to help to build a better society, one that serves the many, not the few. As a global business in an ever-changing world, it is and has been important to acknowledge the intersectionality between social and environmental issues.”

“We’re particularly excited to partner with ELC. Their leadership in prestige beauty, and how to sustainably design and deliver exceptional luxury products worldwide, will add tremendous value to the discussion on how we build Zero100 supply chains,” said Sloboda. “In particular, the practical steps they have taken in responsible sourcing and DEI [diversity, equity, and inclusion], both within their supplier base and within their supply chain workforce, is exactly the kind of progress that moves the needle.”

To close the session, Canevari, Lauder, and Mahon reiterated one important theme: The Estée Lauder Companies is committed to creating a better world now and for future generations to come.

To learn more about Zero100, please visit www.zero100.com. To learn more about supply chain at The Estée Lauder Companies, please visit https://www.elcompanies.com/en/careers/supply-chain-jobs.

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