For the last five years, L’Oréal has sought to obtain the international certification most representative of its geographic zone for every new building. Among the best known are the American LEED, the British BREEAM and the French HQE certifications. Every time, obtaining the certification requested depends on the number of environmental actions undertaken, such as water recovery from the roof, the quality of insulation, the amount of natural rather than artificial light and the choice of recyclable carpeting. Ten buildings have already been certified around the world, and this figure will be doubled in two years. In 2011, a plant extension in the United States gained the LEED Gold certification, the last step before LEED Platinum certification, the highest standard of quality recognised in the USA. Issues linked to sustainable buildings concern not just reducing the environmental impact of the building on energy and water, but also the health of staff, their comfort, the accessibility of the premises and respect of biodiversity.
For the past 2 years, a particularly ambitious initiative has been implemented. It involves conducting a seismic risk assessment of buildings. These assessments are carried out as part of a partnership with Bureau Veritas, a specialist international firm that has developed a specific technology that is both reliable and totally reproducible. Using this technology, it is possible to consistently assess all the buildings occupied by the group, whether as owner or tenant. The technology implemented is based on measurements of the building’s resonance frequencies in order to simulate its response to a seismic event. Sensors are placed in the building, and the recordings are then interpreted by the experts at the inspection, monitoring and certification company.
Therefore, it is not simply a question of verifying the compliance of a building with applicable standards and legislation, but also of ensuring that it does not present any weakness with regard to earthquakes likely to harm staff. This series of surveys uses measurements taken from the buildings. A world map of the areas most exposed to seismic risk has been drawn up by Bureau Veritas and a detailed intervention plan has been drafted. At the end of this assessment campaign, over 100 buildings had been analysed on all five continents, and corrective action based on the results is already underway: compliance with standards, works and even removals where the risk was deemed too great.
For more information on this topic, see the GRI data sheets: