Nov 23, 2022
by James Roberts
DECIEM Is Helping to Fund Solar Panels in Remote Inuit Communities
by James Roberts
Nov 23, 2022

Here’s a question: What does a face serum that leaves your skin plump and smooth have in common with solar panels on the roof of a community center in a remote region of Canada? Strangely enough, both have been funded and created by DECIEM, the parent company of beauty brands The Ordinary, NIOD, and Hylamide.

When it’s not looking to help clear your skin with a range of moisturizers, cleansers, and serums made with 1.0% pure copper tripeptide-1, DECIEM is also funding programs to help communities switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Its latest donation of $100,000 CAD to a remote Inuit community in Canada, is funding the construction of solar panels to replace diesel.

The self-described “Abnormal Beauty Company” is celebrated by beauty and style editors not only for the performance of its products but also for its transparency. From animal-free testing to in-store recycling and responsible sourcing, DECIEM was built on the idea of disrupting the beauty market. Rethinking how the world gets its power is its latest ambition.

In its UK and Netherlands offices, DECIEM uses renewable energy sourced from solar and wind sources. For locations in markets where access to green energy is limited (we’re looking at you, North America), the company has purchased Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) which act as a way of offsetting carbon emissions. Smart.

DECIEM is thinking outside the box. These RECs apply not only to its own offices and factories, but also to its employees who are spending more time working from home as a result of the pandemic. In a culture of hybrid working, this is a brand that is looking outside the four walls of its own buildings and out into the world.

“We recognize that in order to support the energy transition, we need to look beyond DECIEM’s carbon footprint,” says Jackie Kankam, Senior Director of Sustainability & Social Impact at DECIEM.

In keeping with that outward-looking ethos, the donation of $100,000 CAD to Nain, Nunatsiavut – a community in Northern Labrador, Canada – is designed to reduce local diesel consumption. If you want to visit Nain, you’d better be ready for the journey. Situated on the scattered archipelago coastline of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nain is accessible only by boat or plane.

As such, the Inuit communities in this remote region have relied solely on diesel for power for many years. Working in partnership with Indigenous Clean Energy (ICE) and the Nunatsiavut Government, the project hopes to displace about 20,000 liters of diesel annually, reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by over 60 tonnes, and produce nearly 70 megawatt hours of electricity.

For a community that’s historically been very much in tune with the natural world, the project is welcomed. “It’s a beautiful land and we want to protect it for the future,” says Johannes Lampe, Nunatsiavut Government President. “We know that fossil fuels are part of the climate-change issue, and as Labrador Inuit we want our children to enjoy what we ourselves enjoyed.”

As Kankam says, it’s all part of “relying less and less on traditional energy sources and hugging the Earth a little tighter.” Hug on, dude.

To see more, check out DECIEM and The Ordinary’s documentary, “The Smiling Sun,” embedded below, which tells the story of the people of Nain and how the introduction of solar panels is positively changing their community.