The Body Shop, well known for a generation for its commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR), is unveiling a new global strategy as it celebrates its 40th birthday.
Its new commitment, dubbed Enrich Not Exploit, aims to ‘reaffirm the Body Shop position as a leader in ethical business,’ according to the company.
Unlike many organizations that claim to have CSR goals, the Body Shop aims to make theirs measurable, with a target date for completion by 2020.
The ambitious goals are also designed to renew the Body Shop’s position with a younger audience, including millennials.
There is an increase in the use of community trade and transparency, demanded by modern consumers.
Chairman and CEO Jeremy Schwartz said, ‘The Body Shop courageously pioneered new ways of thinking, acting and speaking out as a company. Our ground-breaking campaigns were ahead of their time and changed laws on animal testing, domestic violence and human trafficking. We were the first in beauty to use community trade and we still have the strongest programme in the industry. We are small, but we lead.
‘Today for all of us, the greatest challenges lie ahead and the Body Shop’s 40th anniversary is the perfect time to reassert our aim for leadership in ethical business. For us, being truly sustainable means shaping our business to work in line with the planet’s natural systems so they can replenish and restore themselves. With our commitment we’re challenging ourselves to go further than we’ve ever gone before to make a real, sustainable and positive difference. We have set ourselves a significant goal to be the world’s most ethical and truly sustainable global business.
‘Reestablishing the Body Shop as a leader will come from delivering our ambitious aim to be the world’s most ethical and truly sustainable global business.’
The 14 targets the company has set itself, to enrich people, products, and the planet, follow.
‘1. Double our Community Trade programme from 19 to 40 ingredients and help enrich communities that produce them.
‘2. Help 40,000 economically vulnerable people access work around the world.
‘3. Engage 8 million people in our Enrich Not Exploit commitment mission, creating our biggest campaign ever.
‘4. Invest 250,000 hours of our skills and know-how to enrich the biodiversity of our local communities.
‘5. Ensure 100% of our natural ingredients are traceable and sustainably sourced, protecting 10,000 hectares of forest and other habitat.
‘6. Reduce year on year the environmental footprint of all our product categories.
‘7. Publish our use of ingredients of natural origin, ingredients from green chemistry, and the biodegradability and water footprint of our products.
‘8. Develop an innovation pipeline that delivers pioneering cosmetic ingredients from biodiversity hotspots and which helps to enrich these areas.
‘9. Build bio-bridges, protecting and regenerating 75 million square metres of habitat helping communities to live more sustainably.
‘10. Reduce the environmental footprint of our stores every time we refurbish or redesign them.
‘11. Develop and deliver three new sustainable packaging innovations.
‘12. Ensure that 70% of our total product packaging does not contain fossil fuels.
‘13. Power 100% of our stores with renewable or carbon balanced energy.
‘14. Reduce by 10% the energy use of all our stores every year.’
The Body Shop’s international CSR and campaigns’ director, Chris Davis, added, ‘We have set ourselves ambitious, inspiring and measurable targets for our commitment. We are developing new practices to enrich the planet in which we operate whilst helping our company grow and prosper. Our new commitment combines all the experience and knowledge of our expert people with new advances in science and technology.
‘It means understanding how our business is contributing to our existence on the planet, understanding what we need to change to contribute to a sustainable future by working backwards from a visionary end point to the here and now and asking ourselves what comes next. We’ll continue to work in partnership with suppliers, NGOs, academics, governments and other businesses to deliver the innovation and changes needed to make our ambitions a reality.’
The Body Shop has traditionally been known for its commitment to corporate social responsibility with its founder, the late Dame Anita Roddick, honoured by the Medinge Group think-tank in Sweden in 2008. The Group noted, ‘Dame Anita Roddick showed admirable leadership not only in the Body Shop but as an advocate for Fair Trade, the environment, corporate social responsibility, free speech and other causes through her personal work. Much of this can be found at anitaroddick.com, which was updated personally until her passing. All of this reﬂects a personal brand that is consistent and honed, supported by causes, many of which are compatible with the Medinge Group’s own aims. Anita Roddick believed in living her own personal brand as much as for her audiences, including the media, and had few detractors, something which cannot be said for many other high-proﬁle types.’