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At forty, The Body Shop wants to reaffirm its position as the world’s most ethical company

The Body Shop is celebrating its 40th birthday with a new plan to become the world’s most ethical and sustainable global business.

The beauty brand has unveiled "Enrich Not Exploit," a plan to protect and nurture society and the environment across all areas of its business, from ingredients and packaging to employees and campaigns.

The cosmetics giant has set itself a total of 14 measurable targets for 2020, divided into three categories — enriching people, products and the planet. Every part of the company’s business are concerned: ingredients, products, packaging, stores, employees, suppliers and campaigns.

They include plans to help 40,000 economically vulnerable people access work around the world and to ensure that 100 per cent of the group’s natural ingredients are traceable and sustainably sourced, protecting 10,000 hectares of forest and other habitat. The group has also pledged to power its stores with renewable or carbon balanced energy, to reduce the environmental footprint of its products year-on-year and to invest 250,000 hours into enriching the biodiversity of local communities. The Body Shop also wants 70% of its total product packaging to be free from fossil fuels.

"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," says Jeremy Schwartz, Chairman and CEO of The Body Shop. "We have set ourselves a significant goal to be the world’s most ethical and truly sustainable global business."

Founded in 1976 in the UK by Anita Roddick, The Body Shop inspires a loyal following for its ethically and sustainably produced, naturally-inspired skincare, hair care and make-up. It is famous for its iconic products such as its Tea Tree Oil and Vitamin E skincare formulas and rich body butters formulated from shea, hemp, cocoa and mango, among others. "The Body Shop courageously pioneered new ways of thinking, acting and speaking out as a company. We were the first in beauty to use community trade and we still have the strongest programme in the industry,” explains Jeremy Schwartz.

However, during the 1990s and 2000s many cosmetic brands have followed suit and most major groups have engaged in important corporate social and environmental responsibility strategies.

The brand was acquired by L’Oréal in 2006 and counts 3,000 stores in more than 60 countries.

V.G. with AFP/Relaxnews

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