“We are confident that we will be able to reach these targets by 2030, but we are ambitious to get there sooner; because that is what the planet needs and what our consumers are asking for.” — Christopher Davis, The Body Shop
Having acquired Avon in 2019, Natura &Co is now the world’s fourth-largest pure-play beauty group. Its sights are set on not only being the best beauty group in the world, but also the best beauty group for the world. It aims to become fully regenerative by 2030 through its Commitment to Life strategy, which is defined by three pillars:
- To address the climate crisis and protect the Amazon;
- to defend human rights and be human-kind; and
- to embrace circularity and regeneration.
“We strongly believe that business can and should be a force for good. It has been part of our history across all of our brands,” Roberto Marques, Executive Chairman of the Board and group CEO at Natura &Co, said during a virtual press conference. “Today, we are putting a stake in the ground — a bold commitment in sustainable practices. Our motivation is to engage with a broad range of stakeholders to allow faster progress.”
With a network of four brands and over six million consultants, the group plans to use its wide reach to encourage consumers to play a part in its regenerative ambition. Marques emphasized that this sustainability vision is embedded throughout the business.
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“We want to have the same discipline to measuring and reporting on sustainability as we have to financial reports,” Marques said. “We will hold ourselves accountable, updating stakeholders annually,” confirmed Marcelo Behar, VP of Sustainability & Group Affairs.
Commitment to Life: The three pillars
1. To address the climate crisis and protect the Amazon
“The climate crisis is serious,” Marques said, before unveiling the group’s plan to achieve net zero GHG emissions by 2030, 20 years ahead of the UN commitment. To this end, Natura &Co will set science-based targets for all four companies, covering its own emissions and those of its suppliers.
In 2011, Natura launched a project investing in multiple activities in the Amazon, contributing to preserve 1.8 million hectares of rainforest. Commitment to Life aims to increase that to 3 million hectares, partnering with 40 communities. The group pledges to share at least R$60m (US$11.5m) in value with communities, as well as foster collective efforts towards ending deforestation by 2025.
2. To defend human rights and be human-kind
Natura &Co promises to increase the number of women on its board or senior team from 35 percent to 50 percent, and close the gender pay gap, by 2023. It commits to pay a living wage, or above, for all associates by 2023. The group is working towards 30 percent inclusion, in management, of under-represented groups — racial or ethnic; sexual diversity and gender identity (LGBTQI); socio-economically disadvantaged; physical or mental disability.
Natura &Co aims to achieve measurable gains for its consultants and sourcing communities in the areas of earnings, education, health and digital inclusion. For the last three years, the group has measured its impact using the UNDP Human Development Index (HDI).
Defending human rights includes adopting a robust Human Rights policy in line with the UN Guiding Principles by 2023. The group confirms its intolerance to human rights infringement across its supply chain and promises full traceability and/or certification for critical supply chains — namely palm oil, mica, paper, alcohol, soy and cotton — by 2025.
3. To embrace circularity and regeneration
In response to the damage that can be caused by plastic packaging that ends up in the ocean, Natura &Co is setting targets for packaging circularity — at least 20 percent less packaging, in weight; 50 percent of all plastic used to be of recycled content, in weight; and 100 percent of packaging material to be reusable, recyclable or compostable.
“We are confident that we will be able to reach these targets by 2030, but we are ambitious to get there sooner; because that is what the planet needs and what our consumers are asking for,” said Christopher Davis, International Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and Campaigns for The Body Shop.
Consumers are already getting on board with The Body Shop’s refillable shower gels, where they pay slightly less when refilling their bottle. “We will continue to experiment with price, which will be a factor on how consumers respond to what we are doing,” he added. So far, it has been more challenging to develop home compostable packaging, to which Davis said, “We are looking at it, but we will only launch it when it is right and when our customers will value it.”
Natura crowdsourced solutions to combat plastic waste generation and pollution when it launched its Natura Innovation Challenge — Zero Waste Packaging in 2019. The company is testing three projects from the Challenge and has made more solutions available to the market.
The circularity pillar of Commitment to Life also promises 95 percent+ renewable or natural ingredients, 95 percent+ biodegradable formulas; and 100 percent of new formulas will have lower environmental footprint, measured by life cycle analysis (LCA). On the regeneration front, the company has committed to invest $100 million (or more) in developing solutions, such as:
Biotechnology e.g. from waste to ingredients, plastics, etc
Regenerative agriculture in deforested areas to reduce use of chemicals and create alternative to monocultures
Creation of renewable revenue streams (new ingredients) that are more economically attractive than deforestation
Achievement through collaboration
Natura &Co is calling on civil society as a whole to join them in taking a stand and act in favor of a better future for the planet and its inhabitants.
“We are not going to get there by ourselves,” Marques said. “We need governments, academia and other companies to work with us. By looking after our relationships, we will take care of the climate. By taking care of the climate, we will take care of our future.”
Marques also presented Commitment to Life to business leaders at the Business for Nature event, ‘Building business resilience: How collective leadership will reverse nature loss’ earlier in the day, to issue a rallying cry: “We need businesses to join this effort, collaborating and committing ourselves as leaders and companies.”