In 2019, The body shop became a certified, largest B Corp ever to be founded by a woman– pioneer Dame Anita Roddick. What is a B Corp? B Corp is a business that meets the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.
The purpose of B Corps is not just profit making, they genuinely care about the people and the plant, and use their business platform as a force to do good work in society. That’s how the Body shop has always done business, they just made it official in 2019.
There are more than 3,000 B Corps in 150 industries and 60 countries across the globe, however the body shop is the biggest B Corp ever to be founded by a female. Determined to continue the social and environmental protection mission, the company has operated on these policies ever since it was founded in 1976.
Plastic Waste Pollution
The body has pledged to source 500 metric tons of plastic accumulated by waste pickers, to be used for packaging this year; the beauty company plans on purchasing 600 metric tons more in the coming year of 2021, according to CNBC. The beauty business has urged its competitors to join in on their mission as well.
One of the massive, most rampant problem the world is facing currently is “Plastic pollution”. According to CNBC reports, over a billion tons of plastic waste will land in oceans or landfill by the year 2040.
One of the many contributors responsible for plastic waste is the beauty industry- it is a prolonged, complex issue that doesn’t have a simple solution.
Natura Group, the owners of Body Shop, formed an international partnership with Plastics For Change, and pledged to buy 250 metric tons of recycled , Fair Trade-certified plastic during year one of the Community Trade Recycled Plastic program.
Plastics for Change
Head of research and innovation packaging at the Body Shop, Jason Roberts spoke about the company’s strategy with Environment + Energy Leader in 2019 and said the following:
Plastics for Change is an organization based in Bangalore, India, working with over 2,500 waste pickers, he explained.
The waste pickers are identifying PET plastic bottles in their environment, collecting that resource, and preventing it from going into the landfills and oceans. We know the quality of plastic they sort on our behalf is good for the cosmetics industry.
The Body Shop’s website says,
After our plastic is collected and sorted in waste segregation centers, it is cleaned, compressed into bales, and transported to Europe where it is converted, rigorously cleaned, and sterilized. The resultant resin is tested to food grade standards and is then converted into granules and recycled back into our bottles.
Body Shop’s International sourcing director at Natura Group, Mark Davis, told CNBC that it took five years to build the plastic waste raw material supply chain in order to meet the company’s needs.
The company has also expressed intentions of helping to scale up the waste picking industry. The Body Shop has helped connect many the beauty company’s competitors, and also Ikea, with Plastics For Change.
While sourcing initiatives like this are a positive option for businesses, raw materials suppliers ideally need to broaden their customer base to avoid becoming dependent on one buyer as demand for ingredients can vary, says Lucy Handley, the spokesperson for CNBC.
As part of a long term plan, the Body Shop’s website states that the company has intentions of purchasing more recycled plastics, so it can use it in future product packaging.
Have something to add to this story? Share thoughts in comments below.
Stay tuned for more interesting articles and updates!