Health and beauty giant Natura & Co – the parent firm of brands including The Body Shop and Avon – has unveiled a new package of sustainability commitments, headlined by a pledge to reach net-zero emissions within a decade.
Under the plan, entitled ‘Commitment to Life’, Natura & Co and its brands will seek approval for 1.5C-aligned science-based emissions reduction targets covering both operations and supply chains.
In order to deliver against targets relating to Scope 3 (indirect) emissions, Natura & Co will roll out measures to track emissions throughout its entire value chain. This is significant, given that CDP estimates that the average firm’s supply chain emissions are five-and-a-half times greater than that of their operations. Emissions from all stages, from the extraction of raw ingredients to the disposal of packaging, will be taken into account, Natura & Co said in a statement.
A full roadmap as to how Natura & Co intends to meet the new emissions target has not yet been developed, but most businesses opt for a mixture of direct reductions and offsetting.
Before setting the 2030 deadline, Natura & Co had notably joined the UN Global Compact’s ‘Business Ambition for 1.5C: Our Only Future’ campaign as a founder member. The campaign bound signatories to set net-zero targets for 2050 or sooner within a year. Other participants include Unilever, Levi Strauss and Vodafone, with the 28 founder members collectively representing a market capitalization of $1.3trn (£1trn).
Natura & Co’s chief executive Roberto Marques said the firm “now needs to move faster” than the 2050 deadline.
In addition to the net-zero target, Natura & Co has pledged to contribute to the preservation of three million hectares of the Amazonian rainforest by 2030. The firm has worked with NGOs and suppliers on rainforest conservation for 20 years and is currently involved in the preservation of 1.8 million hectares. This work is also being built on with a 2025 commitment to ensure zero-deforestation in the South American supply chain.
‘Commitment to Life’ also includes pillars dedicated to creating a circular economy and defending human rights.
On the former, Natura & Co has pledged to ensure that its global packaging portfolio will consist of only materials that are recyclable, home-compostable or reusable by 2030. In markets where there is not significant recycling infrastructure for packaging to adhere to these aims, Natura & Co will purchase equivalent plastic “offsets” – credits which invest in schemes that either stem the flow of plastic pollution or remove existing materials from nature.
A further target to use at least 50% recycled content in all plastic packaging lines has also been set for 2030. The Body Shop notably sources plastic certified as “Fair Trade” through its partnership with NGO Plastics For Change and is in the early stages of implementing refillable packaging. Natura & Co’s circular economy pledges come at a time when the global toiletries and cosmetics sector is estimated to be producing 120 billion units of plastic packaging a year, the majority of which is not recyclable at kerbside.
As for human rights, ‘Commitment to Life’ includes a pledge to deliver full traceability of supply chains by 2025 and to develop further measures to ensure that suppliers are working in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Human Rights by 2023. Measures to support six million direct employees with improved wages and health and education provisions are also detailed, as is a commitment to ensure that 50% of leadership positions are held by women within three years.
Summarising the new framework, Marques said it has been developed in recognition of the “critical moment we live in right now and the role that companies need to play to engage themselves and commit to a better, more sustainable and more inclusive society”.
“We’re the generation that has the knowledge and the technology to stem the rise in global temperatures, put an end to the global waste issue and create equality for those who need it most,” he said. “But …we need to act and be held accountable.”
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