Sustainability has grown to become a priority within cosmetics and the personal care industry. Not only are small independent companies and multinational corporations seeing a growing demand for ethical products, but they’re also increasingly being asked to improve their business practices by customers. And it’s working as the industry is changing with an ever-growing number of companies taking a firmer stance on environment and societal issues.
In 2014, Natura &Co, a Brazilian global personal care cosmetics group, became the world's first publicly listed B Corp. Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global shift towards higher standards in sustainability practices.
Our Ethical Investment Plans include Natura &Co, which is held in the Stewart Investors Emerging Market Sustainability Fund.
The finance stuff
Company value: £9.5bn
Share price: £6.88
2019 Profits: £70.7mn
What do Natura &Co do? 🤷
Natura &Co is a Brazilian cosmetics group based in Sao Paulo, and its subsidiaries include well known brands such as The Body Shop, Natura, Avon and Aesop. Natura is a founding member of the Union for Ethical BioTrade, which is an organisation that focuses on ensuring that product supply chains contribute to the conservation of biodiversity, and that all contributors along the supply chain are supported in achieving this goal.
When developing and producing cosmetics, Natura does not test on animals and follows the most stringent international safety standards. In 2020, the company went even further and publicly asked the EU decision makers to consider banning testing on animals1.
The group employs over 6 million door-to-door salespeople know as ‘consultants’, who are in essence, managing their own businesses. The vast majority are women, thereby encouraging female entrepreneurship, empowerment, and participation in the economy. But it doesn’t stop there, with the group promising gender parity in leadership positions by 20232.
What positive impact is Natura&Co having 🌱
Natura &Co is committed to fighting against climate change and has pledged to reduce its contribution to global warming through a sustained effort to reach net-zero emissions by 20503.
Natura &Co group companies are also taking action to /increase their use of recycled plastic in their production chains. For instance, The Body Shop launched its Community Fair Trade Programme in partnership with plastic waste pickers in India, incorporating more than 250 tonnes of recycled plastic into packaging in the first year. By the end of 2021, the company is expected to reach 900 tonnes3.
Natura's environmental work was recognised by the United Nations Global Climate Action Award in the Climate Neutral Now category.
Natura &Co companies aren’t just working on their environmental practices, they’re also committed to making a positive difference in society, by giving back to communities. Since 2016, the Aesop Foundation has donated over £2.5million to charitable projects in Australia, promoting literacy and encouraging people to tell their stories3.
In partnership with Plan International, The Body Shop invested £250,000 in vocational training projects for girls in India and in Brazil3. The company also promised to pay Real Living Wage rates to all UK store staff - the Real Living Wage is 25% higher than the National Living Wage4.
What Natura&Co has to say 📣
“We at Natura &Co have always believed in the power of developing deeper relations between countries, of open immigration, of cultural interaction, of a world that creates consensus based on renewed global governance, anchored in democratic values. We have a new social and world order to build to replace the one that is vanishing. Its nature will depend on the choices we make and on the values that will underpin this new construction. It will depend on our capacity to use our intelligence, our creativity and the technologies at our disposal as well as the ones we are yet to develop, to construct a new green economy that is sustainable and inclusive.”
Antonio Luiz da Cunha Seabra, Guilherme Peirão Leal and Pedro Luiz Barreiros Passos (Co-chairmen)
Roberto de Oliveira Marques Executive Chairman and CEO of Natura &Co
What Stewart Investors think… 🤓
“Natura was founded with an ethos of sustainability at its heart. The company's founders and senior managers are passionate believers and advocates in sustainable development, the need to balance profitability with providing for other stakeholders including employees and the environment.
Natura is a world leader in its approach to a whole range of sustainability issues, ranging from biodiversity in sourcing, fair treatment of staff, and environmental design of products and packaging.
Natura's products are often derived from natural ingredients which are sourced from the Amazon rainforest. The company has established relationships with 5600 families and 4300 small farmers, 81% in the Amazon, to source such materials. The company says they “define a fair price for the ingredients jointly with the communities, employing participative methodologies.” Through such sourcing programs, the company supports biodiversity and helps to preserve 1.8mn hectares of Amazon rainforest.”
To wrap up 🎁
Natura &Co is leading the way to a more sustainable future where it’s possible to combine profits with ethics. Natura and its subsidiaries have a simple mission: to transform the world of cosmetics by putting back the care aspect at the heart of what they do. And so far, they’ve shown the industry that the future is definitely green.
Please remember the value of your investments can go down as well as up, and you could get back less than invested.