Sustainability

Tackling Climate Change and Biodiversity | An interview with Sue Fox, President, The Estée Lauder Companies UK & Ireland

This week ELC UK & Ireland has revealed it has become a founding partner of Revere: a transformational new initiative from the UK’s National Parks and Palladium designed to combat climate change and the biodiversity crisis. ELC UK & Ireland has made a five-year commitment to support Revere’s work, which includes nature restoration projects in National Parks across the country. To find out more, we spoke with Sue Fox, the President of ELC UK & Ireland.
13th Oct 2021
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Sustainability Tackling Climate Change and Biodiversity | An interview with Sue Fox, President, The Estée Lauder Companies UK & Ireland

Sue Fox is President, The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) UK & Ireland. Sue has led the Company’s most established market since January 2020, when she initially joined the region as Senior Vice President/General Manager, ELC UK & Ireland. Sue oversees all the UK & Ireland region’s brands and reports directly to Cedric Prouvé, International Group President, ELC. 

Over her career she has become well-known for her deep commitment to developing diverse talent and capabilities and for her work driving effective Citizenship and Sustainability programmes. 

Can you tell us more about why ELC has become a founding partner of Revere, and why the initiative is so important?
As a family founded company, The Estée Lauder Companies believes success is deeply rooted in our core values and the positive impact we have on our employees, our communities and the planet. Beauty Inspired, Values Driven is our promise to accelerate progress in these areas of strategic importance in order to continue delivering long-term, sustainable growth. At ELC UK & Ireland, we are always thinking hard about how we can have a meaningful impact on our communities and the environment, both through our core business and through separate investments, so that is why we were so excited about this initiative. 

Nature offers so many solutions to slowing climate change; nature projects sequester carbon (remove it from the atmosphere where it causes climate change). The UK has a total of 15 National Parks that contain almost a quarter (24%) of the UK’s peatland, offering a significant opportunity for carbon storage. Revere is a project that will not only restore these peatland ecosystems but convert  farmlands to woodland pasture, restore habitats and deliver natural flood defense improvements. In addition to sequestering carbon, these will create new income streams for farmers and landowners seeking to improve the quality of landscapes and support biodiversity.

Revere aligns with ELC’s values in that it considers the health of people and the planet, we see it as vital to consider these in tandem.
As always, our dedicated and talented colleagues play an essential role in bringing the company’s values to life, which is why it’s exciting that our partnership provides some wonderful volunteer opportunities so everyone can get involved in the hugely meaningful and rewarding work that UK National Parks does to ensure our country’s most beautiful areas remain havens for nature. 

What is the long-term goal of Revere’s work?
Revere is delivered through a partnership between Palladium and UK National Parks. Revere enables private finance for innovative nature-based solutions to restore the UK’s 15 National Parks at the scale and pace needed to tackle the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis.  

Their vision is a world where private finance is harnessed at scale and necessary pace to restore nature across the UK National Parks’, ensuring communities are benefiting from the transition to a green future.  Revere will help the UK to achieve its climate and biodiversity restoration targets. We are looking forward to our partnership journey to deliver social and environmental value.
 
What other ways are ELC committed to promoting sustainability and tackling climate change?
Sustainability has long been central to how The Estée Lauder Companies and its brands have operated and is a key part of our corporate strategy for the future. We have clear, publicly stated goals across ESG, and Revere adds to our growing portfolio of community-led initiatives that are having a positive impact on the environment.  

Last November, we announced that we had met our global goals to achieve Net Zero emissions and source 100% renewable electricity for our entire direct operations, reaching the target we set on joining the internationally-recognised RE100 Campaign in 2017.

The company’s growing investment in largescale wind and solar energy to power our operations around the world - including investing in a 1MW rooftop solar PV system at our UK manufacturing site in Petersfield in 2017 - greatly contributed to the achievement of these goals. To reduce carbon emissions even further and take more decisive action on climate change in the coming decade, last November ELC set new science-based targets, including emission reduction targets across our entire direct operations and values chain.

However, promoting sustainability goes beyond addressing climate change. We recognise that action to address packaging is needed - and quickly. Globally, ELC has committed to making 75 -100% of its packaging recyclable, refillable, reusable, recycled or recoverable by 2025. Achieving this goal won’t happen overnight, but I’m proud of the progress that’s been made thus far. To name just a couple of examples, Aveda is a pioneer for the use of 100% post-consumer recycled PET packaging in beauty and Origins was the beauty industry’s first recycling program to accept packaging from other brands in 2009.

We aim to embed sustainable values across our workforce, believing that change starts from home. That is why each and every person working at ELC  has access to sustainability and social impact education via our Interactive Learning Hub. Informative events, featuring inspiring external speakers, and employee volunteering opportunities ingrain the importance of a sustainable mindset/lifestyle.
Revere has been developed to enable the restoration of natural habitats at scale with private capital. Revere designs restoration projects with National Parks teams and land managers and raises private capital to fund the restoration. The projects generate revenue through the sale of ecosystem services, creating new income streams for farmers and landowners seeking to improve the quality of landscapes and support biodiversity.
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