Rounding up your pay: how L'Oréal and its employees are getting involved with Imagine

Erwan Noël, L'Oréal Group's Director of Corporate Citizenship, presents how the Rounding of Salaries scheme was set up within the L'Oréal company. Through his testimony, discover the strength of mobilization of this solidarity project as well as the multiple challenges to make it live on a daily basis. By choosing to support the Imagine Institute, the L'Oréal Group is committing itself and its employees to the fight against genetic diseases.

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One of my missions as Director of Corporate Citizenship for the L'Oréal Group is to develop the Rounding of Salaries program for the company's 14,000 employees in France.

This solidarity scheme gives each employee the opportunity to round down his or her net salary to the nearest euro each month and to donate the amount to an association that we suggest they support. And because the Group also wants to support this commitment at its level, we have set up a matching mechanism for each donation made by an employee. So, if the employee makes a donation of €0.85, L'Oréal doubles this amount by contributing €0.85 in turn. All this up to a total limit of €100,000 each year.

We often find that the employee wants to give more, so they are also free to add an additional fixed monthly donation of up to €20.

This may seem like a small gesture but together, small streams make big rivers.

For the associations that we support and that receive the sum of the donations made each quarter, we know that this support is important and that it makes possible concrete projects with great impact.

To encourage L'Oréalers in this approach, it had to be easy for them to implement: in concrete terms, our employees simply have to register on an online platform dedicated to the Rounding Up for Change hosted by the social enterprise microDON, then choose the association of their choice and finally define a possible additional donation.

Moreover, this operation offers the same tax advantage as a traditional donation, i.e. everyone benefits from a tax reduction of 66% of the amount of their annual donation.

Our challenge, within the Citizen Commitment team, is to succeed in mobilizing as many employees as possible to join the scheme and to ensure that they maintain their commitment as long as possible.

To achieve this, we have to meet three major challenges:

Firstly, we need to make the scheme known to as many people as possible. To ensure that it is popular internally, General Management, the CSR department, Human Resources, Social Relations and Internal Communications strongly support this project. Multiple communication actions at different levels take place throughout the year to promote this commitment to solidarity. This synergy is very important to the success of the operation.

Secondly, the choice of associations is essential.

Indeed, our employees want to get involved in causes that touch them and to which they are sensitive. We must therefore meet their expectations if we want this to work.

In 2018, when the Rounding Off of Salaries program was introduced, our choice was to highlight the associations that were already partners of the Group. The idea was to maintain long-term support with each of them in order to collect significant amounts of donations and have even more impact.

We realized that keeping up with current events was a strong demand from our employees. For example, during the first containment, we wanted to help the AP-HP Foundation to fight against Covid-19. Then a large number of employees told us that they wanted to support another health-related cause that affected them personally, namely children's genetic diseases. With Anne-Laure Thomas Briand, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, we identified the Imagine Institute, which, through medical research, is making major advances for sick children and their families.

We also chose Imagine because it is a recognized Institute in which we have great confidence

In just a few months, we were able to work hand in hand with the Institute's teams to build impactful, emotionally powerful mobilization tools that will convince a maximum number of employees to support medical research.

Finally, the last challenge is to keep as many employees as possible in the program. Indeed, some may choose to stop their support if they do not see the results that their donations have made possible. This is why we strive to enhance the value of each commitment by providing annual communications on the use of funds by the associations. And it is at the time of the publication of the annual tax receipts of our employees that we specifically produce, in conjunction with our partner associations, thank-you videos making the impact of donations visible, with quantitative and qualitative indicators on the results of each project.

Today, 179 employees have already joined the Imagine Institute and we hope that at least 400 will do so before the end of the year.

For L'Oréal, this scheme is really very interesting. It allows us to engage our employees in a concrete and simple way around causes that unite us, and to meet a real need for associations.

If you wish to set up the rounding up of salaries within your company, please contact Julien LAMY directly by email at or by phone at 01 42 75 44 67.