L’Oréal Becomes Third Global Company to Invest in Geno-led Venture for Sustainably Sourced Ingredients

  • The venture is poised to offer highly effective and sustainable ingredients for the combined $571B beauty and personal care markets.
  • Geno’s biotechnology platform will be used to develop sustainable alternatives to critical ingredients in everyday cosmetics, personal care, and cleaning products.
  • The venture’s founding members, Geno, Unilever, Kao Corporation and now L’Oréal, have combined revenues exceeding $100B/yr, and marquee globally branded product portfolios that reach billions of people.

SAN DIEGO, California – March 20, 2023 – Today, sustainable materials leader Geno welcomes world-renowned beauty player L’Oréal as the third global Company and final founding investor to its venture to develop, produce and commercialize biotechnology-based alternatives to critical ingredients in the formulations of everyday cosmetics, personal care and cleaning products. As the world leader in beauty, L’Oréal’s involvement provides access to the $571.10B beauty and personal care market, bringing the collective member revenue to $100B+ with products that reach billions of people. With additional founding members Unilever and Kao Corporation, the Geno-led venture is committed to meet growing demand for sustainable ingredients using biotechnology to improve the environmental profile of popular products and meet consumer demand for more traceable supply chains.

Geno will deploy its proven biotechnology platform, using proprietary engineered microorganisms to ferment plant sugars that produce ingredients to make sustainable surfactants. These new ingredients will be used in a range of L’Oréal’s products, marking an essential step towards L’Oréal’s goals of 100% eco-designed formulas that respect the diversity of aquatic ecosystems and 95% of ingredients from renewable plant-based sources or abundant minerals by 2030.

As part of its sustainability program, L’Oréal for the Future, the beauty leader has placed an increased focus on partnering with biotechnology innovators with a proven track record, like Geno, to explore, develop and manufacture more sustainable ingredients for the everyday products the world relies on.

Christophe Schilling, Chief Executive Officer for Geno 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 validates Geno’s ability to deliver at scale and accelerates our journey toward reducing global carbon emissions by over 100 million tons in the upcoming years by targeting large-scale material markets. We’re energized to help L’Oréal achieve its bold 2030 goals of incorporating 95% bio-based ingredients for formulas and using packaging materials that are traceable and from sustainable sources.

This partnership will further catapult our venture’s mission to the global scale required to meet strong market demand for sustainable products.”

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

“At L’Oréal, we believe that science has the power to create a better world, and we are committed to using our expertise to drive positive change in the beauty industry. That’s why we have made Green Sciences, our new scientific and sustainable revolution, the cornerstone of our Research. We are thrilled to partner with Geno, whose unique approach to developing alternative biotechnology-based ingredients perfectly aligns 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 collective efforts can have a meaningful purpose.”

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

“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 transforms the world.”

About Geno

Geno (Genomatica, Inc.) is harnessing biology to remake everyday products and accelerate the sustainable materials transition. In response to the urgent climate crisis, Geno is developing and scaling sustainable materials derived from plant- or waste-based feedstocks instead of fossil fuels. Geno’s technology, built over the last 20 years, now commercializes and scales sustainable alternatives to commonly used ingredients and materials across several industries including beauty, apparel, automotive, home and personal care, packaging and functional foods and beverages. Geno is partnering with world-leading brands including Aquafil, Asahi Kasei, lululemon, Unilever, Kao and L’Oréal.

To learn more, visit genomatica.com.

About L’Oréal

For over 110 years, L’Oréal, the world’s leading beauty player, has devoted itself to one thing only: fulfilling the beauty aspirations of consumers around the world. Our purpose, to create the beauty that moves the world, defines our approach to beauty as inclusive, ethical, generous and committed to social and environmental sustainability. With our broad portfolio of 36 international brands and ambitious sustainability commitments in our L’Oréal for the Future programme, we offer each and every person around the world the best in terms of quality, efficacy, safety, sincerity and responsibility, while celebrating beauty in its infinite plurality.

With 87 400 committed employees, a balanced geographical footprint and sales across all distribution networks (e-commerce, mass market, department stores, pharmacies, hair salons, branded and travel retail), in 2022 the Group generated sales amounting to 38.26 billion euros. With 20 research centers across 11 countries around the world and a dedicated Research and Innovation team of over 4 000 scientists and 5 500 tech and digital professionals, L’Oréal is focused on inventing the future of beauty and becoming a Beauty Tech powerhouse.

More information on https://www.loreal.com/en/mediaroom

Media Contact

For Geno:

Sasha Calder

+1 (858)263-5321

[email protected]

For L’Oréal:


+33 (0)6 79 92 99 39

[email protected]

Christine BURKE

+33 (0)6 75 54 38 15

[email protected]