ELC Accelerates Impact Through Partnership Alongside UN General Assembly and Climate Week NYC

As part of their commitment to driving impact through longstanding strategic partnerships, The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) convened and supported numerous events and onstage conversations alongside the 78th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and during Climate Week NYC.

Held every September in New York City, UNGA brings together heads of state and government officials to discuss pressing international issues including sustainable development, gender equality, and pandemic preparedness. Climate Week NYC, which runs concurrently and in partnership alongside UNGA, gathers a diverse range of business leaders, political players, and civil society representatives to accelerate climate action.

At ELC, we know that we can go further when we work together with cross-sector partners. UNGA and Climate Week NYC are opportunities to both listen and act, using our resources, support, and convening power to drive collective action on matters close to our organization, such as UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 5 and 13—gender equality and climate action.

Advancing Possibilities for Women and Girls

ELC is a longtime partner of the UN Foundation, and on September 18, 2023, the 2 organizations hosted an evening reception with the theme of “Access & Inclusion: Promoting Equality in an Era of Emerging Technology.” The conversation focused on the significant gaps in access to digital tools for women and girls, as well as the essential need for safer online spaces. The growing digital divide is a persistent source of gender inequality worldwide, particularly in rural areas: According to the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report 2023, women make up nearly half of total employment across non-STEM occupations but represent only 29.2 percent of STEM workers.

Estée Lauder Global Changemaker Amanda Gorman joins ELC Chief Data Officer, Jane Lauder, Executive Chairman, William P. Lauder, and the UN Foundation President and CEO, Elizabeth Cousens, at ELC’s event “Access and Inclusion”

The digital gender gap speaks directly to ELC’s core values: As a female-founded company with an innovative Research & Development (R&D) department, ELC has been championing the cause of advancing women in STEM for more than 75 years. Today, all 6 of our global innovation centers are led by women.

The evening kicked off with welcome remarks from William P. Lauder, Executive Chairman, and Jane Lauder, Executive Vice President, Enterprise Marketing and Chief Data Officer, and Executive Sponsor of ELC’s Gender Equity Strategy. Anna Klein, Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs, moderated a panel discussion on gender equality in STEM with Jane Lauder; Amanda Gorman, Estée Lauder Global Changemaker and National Youth Poet Laureate; and Elizabeth Cousens, President and CEO of the UN Foundation.

“At ELC, we look toward a world in which women and girls invent the tools and technologies of the future,” said Jane, who noted the UN Foundation’s guidance in shaping the company’s gender equity goals. “We strive to expand and improve access to education, increase opportunities and mentorship for women in their careers, and ensure an inclusive group of experts are creating innovative products for diverse consumers.”

Amanda Gorman joins PAC NYC as its’ first-ever performer on opening night

On September 14, Amanda Gorman became the first-ever performer onstage at the Perelman Performing Arts Center (PAC). On that occasion, she represented ELC and WRITING CHANGE, ELC’s 3-year, $3 million initiative to support grassroots organizations working to advance literacy as a pathway to equity, many of them focused on supporting girls.

At the PAC, a stunning new cultural hub on the World Trade Center campus in Lower Manhattan, Amanda Gorman shared her poem “The Miracle of Morning.” Her words reflected the sense of hope and connection that the PAC represents: “Let each morning find us courageous, brought closer; Heeding the light before the fight is over.”

Finding “Win-Wins” in Corporate Sustainability

On September 17, ELC Chief Sustainability Officer Nancy Mahon took the stage during Climate Week NYC’s opening ceremony, which explored the obstacles preventing measurable climate action, as well as the connected challenges of global security and climate.

ELC Chief Sustainability Officer, Nancy Mahon, took the stage during Climate Week NYC’s Opening Ceremony

In a panel discussion with experts in public policy and environmental regulation, Nancy offered her perspective on embedding sustainability throughout businesses. For CSOs at organizations in the early stages of their climate journeys, she recommended looking for “win-win” opportunities where environmental stewardship and business value both come out ahead, such as ELC’s virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) in Oklahoma, which has netted the company $2 million.

To achieve climate goals, Nancy Mahon stressed the importance of facilitating conversations that create buy-in across the business. “How do you double down and create allies within the organization?” she asked. Nancy shared that since ELC achieved carbon neutrality on Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, ELC is now laser-focused on measuring and lowering Scope 3 emissions. This is a pressing challenge facing organizations today, with Scope 3 emissions accounting for more than 70 percent of many businesses’ carbon footprints.

ELC was a Platinum Sponsor of Climate Week NYC, which the company has proudly supported for 7 consecutive years. Throughout Climate Week NYC, ELC executives participated in numerous panels and roundtable discussions, where they shared their insights on cross-sector collaboration, discussed partnering with suppliers to reduce Scope 3 emissions, and noted the need to address gender and racial disparities arising from climate change.

Driving Social Impact and Sustainability Through Partnerships

UNGA and Climate Week NYC highlight the importance of collaboration and multilateral action in finding solutions to global issues—an approach that resonates with ELC’s belief in the power of deep partnerships to advance social impact.

ELC supported longtime partner Tribal Link Foundation for their first-ever Indigenous Peoples Fashion Show

As part of ELC’s long-term partnership with Tribal Link Foundation, the company offered backstage support to the first-ever Indigenous Peoples Fashion Show, which took place on September 17. The show provided a platform for Indigenous designers to showcase their work and share the history and importance of Indigenous wear.

During UNGA and Climate Week NYC, ELC executives’ participation in roundtable discussions and panels offered an opportunity to share with and learn from experts as well as our peers. Striving to improve mental health access has been at the heart of Jo Malone London since 2012, and on September 20, the brand participated in a UNICEF led panel conversation at Goals House, focused on accelerating solutions around youth mental health. Lizzie Brady, Vice President, Global Consumer Marketing, Jo Malone London, joined business leaders and activists to discuss the actions and investments the private sector needs to take on mental health awareness and treatment.

Lizzie Brady, Vice President, Global Consumer Marketing, Jo Malone London, at the Goals House panel conversation in partnership with UNICEF

“The opportunity to change the future is bigger than ever,” said Lizzie. “We know that acting early to support children and caregivers is the best investment that governments and donors can make to promote good mental health, prevent poor mental health, and respond to the complex mental health issues children and young people are faced with.”

The diverse global coalition that showed up to UNGA and Climate Week NYC underscores the idea that finding solutions to major international challenges is only possible through multilateral partnerships. At ELC, we strive to serve as a bridge-builder in this work—listening, advocating for community-led solutions, and leveraging our resources to continue driving meaningful impact.

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