On Friday, February 6, Guerlain inaugurated its new skincare and makeup production site in Chartres. The ceremony was attended by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Bernard Arnault, Chairman and Chief Executive officer of LVMH. Dubbed La Ruche (“beehive”), the site is designed to meet Guerlain’s objectives for sustained growth, technological excellence, quality and sustainability. Here’s a five-point presentation of this remarkable facility.
La Ruche is one of 10 projects initiated by Guerlain CEO Laurent Boillot when he became head of the company in 2007. Other key initiatives include the makeover of the 68 Champs-Elysées store and the launch of the Petite Robe Noire fragrance. The new site for skincare and makeup production combines the excellence of artisanal craftsmanship with the performance of state-of-the-art technologies, while providing the capacity needed to meet growing demand from Guerlain customers. La Ruche maintains the manual skills that remain indispensable to making products such as the Météorites makeup, while at the same time boosting capacity in order to serve the 80 markets where Guerlain is present.
100 % Made in France
Since its very first production site opened in Paris in 1828, Guerlain products have always been entirely “Made in France”. Located in the heart of the Cosmetic Valley competitiveness hub, La Ruche has double the manufacturing space of the former facility and will carry on this tradition for the long term. The site spans the entire production chain, from reception of raw materials to packaging of the end products, without any interference among logistics flows.
Exacting standards drive excellence
La Ruche has been designed to meet Guerlain’s needs and satisfy its unyielding quality standards for at least the next 40 years. It is equipped with five new machines that were custom-made to produce Guerlain emulsions with infinite precision, and also capable of handling future innovations. Fifty clean rooms guarantee a totally sterile environment conform to the exacting standards of the pharmaceuticals industry. Quality control labs are situated right in the heart of the site to inspect incoming raw materials, packaging and the finished products.
Strong environmental commitment
La Ruche is also the industrial ambassador of Guerlain’s vision of exemplary social and environmental performance. The site’s construction is certified HQE (High Environmental Quality) and achieved an “excellent” rating. The bioclimatic design of the building maximizes natural lighting thanks to light wells and includes rainwater recovery. It is also equipped with solar panels and has an automated system to manage water and energy consumption, thus ensuring permanent optimization.
Quality working environment
To facilitate the transition to the new site, all staff who would be working there were involved in each stage of the project, including optimization of workspaces, selection of furniture and fittings, and even the choice of the name, La Ruche. Over 300 trees were planted at the site and two landscaped patios have been created to further enhance a healthy, pleasant environment.
In a tribute to Guerlain’s heritage and this exciting new stage in its history, eight beehives have been installed in the green spaces at La Ruche, a number that will produce enough honey to give one jar a year to each of the 350 employees at the site.