The announcement comes just as the company prepares to celebrate its 40th birthday, and the new targets will replace its original five guiding values which have guided the company since its creation by Anita Roddick, before the sale of the company to L'Oréal in 2006.
In particular, the new commitment is an extensive programme of global activity and measurable targets that touches all areas of the business, to be delivered by 2020, entitled Enrich Not Exploit, with the company saying it embraces the ethical principles from which it was built.
“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,” says Jeremy Schwartz, Chairman and CEO, The Body Shop.
“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.”
Schwartz adds that the aim is to be the world's most ethical and truly sustainable global business with specific, measurable targets by 2020 that make the business accountable for delivery.
In total there are 14 targets within the new Commitment, categorised under three pillars focusing on people, products, and the planet:
1. Double its 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 its Enrich Not Exploit Commitment mission – its biggest yet
4. Invest 250,000 hours of its skills and know-how to enrich the biodiversity of local communities
5. Ensure 100% of natural ingredients are traceable and sustainably sourced
6. Reduce year-on-year the environmental footprint of all product categories
7. Publish use of ingredients of natural origin, ingredients from green chemistry, and the biodegradability and water footprint of 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 its stores every time it refurbishes or redesigns them
11. Develop and deliver three new sustainable packaging innovations
12. Ensure that 70% of total product packaging does not contain fossil fuels
13. Power 100% of stores with renewable or carbon balanced energy
14. Reduce energy use of all stores every year by 10%
Chris Davis, International CSR and Campaigns Director, The Body Shop, adds: "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."
The company says that it will continue to work in partnership with suppliers, NGOs, academics, governments and other businesses to deliver the innovation and changes needed to make its ambitions a reality.
In L’Oréal’s recent year results announcement, The Body Shop recorded sales growth of -0.9% like-for-like and 10.7% based on reported figures, with good momentum in Africa, Middle East and in Europe, notably in the United Kingdom, its home market.
It says this is down to its strategy of focusing on skin care, with a strong contribution from the new Oils of Life range.
However, some Asian markets have been subject to a challenging environment, particularly Hong Kong, and sales in the year-end holidays were below expectation in North America.