Body Shop delivers mixed performance against green goals

The Body Shop logo

The Body Shop has delivered a "mixed" performance against the goals which form part of its vision to become the world's most ethical and sustainable business.

On Friday the firm released a progress report (PDF) on its Enrich Not Exploit sustainability program, admitting that while good progress has been made on advancing its fair trading program and preserving endangered habitats, action had been slower to overhaul packaging and energy use across the company.

"Not everything has gone to plan," admitted Christopher Davis, international director of corporate responsibility and campaigns, in the report.

For example, when Enrich Not Exploit launched in 2016, the company promised to develop and deliver three new sustainable packaging innovations by 2020, but it failed to develop one in 2017 because "some promising concepts did not meet standards during tests."

Similarly, progress against an interim goal to ensure 63 percent of packaging was free from fossil fuels fell short, with 55 percent avoiding fossil fuels.

Moreover, just 23 percent of stores are powered by renewable energy, against a 2020 target of 100 percent.

Meanwhile, energy use from stores was cut by 3 percent over the year, "falling some way short" of the 2017 target, according to the Body Shop.

However, the company also confirmed that to date it has protected 1.6 million square miles of habitat around the world, a doubling of the figure achieved in 2016.

The report comes at the end of a tumultuous year for the Body Shop, which was sold by L'Oreal to Brazilian ethical beauty giant Natura last year. Newly installed CEO David Boynton said the buyout has given the Body Shop an "added impetus" to deliver on its green goals.

"Overall, we made mixed progress against our ambitious corporate social responsibility targets, but we remain a global leader in this field in both the cosmetics sector and the business world more widely," he insisted.

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