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How sustainable is The Body Shop ?

The Body Shop & sustainability


The Body Shop
Dont buy Click here for score rapport: 3 out of 26

Sustainability summary

The Body Shop has achieved the E-label, because only a little information is published about a policy on sustainability. It is hard to see the effort The Body Shop is making on sustainability. Therefore, more policy and transparency is needed.

Brand owner: Natura Cosméticos S.A.
Head office: West Sussex, United Kingdom
Sector: Cosmetics
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The Body Shop sustainability score report

Last edited: 28 November 2017 by Eefje
Last reviewed: 28 November 2017 by Mario

Questions about Climate Change/ Carbon Emissions

1 out of 4
1. Is there a policy for the brand to minimize, reduce or compensate carbon emissions? The Body Shop implements several measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as the use of renewable or carbon balanced energy in its stores, as well as energy efficiency measures. Source
2. Has the brand (company) disclosed the annual absolute carbon footprint of its 'own operations' (Scope 1 & 2) and has the brand already reduced or compensated 10% of these emissions in the last 5 years? Neither The Body Shop nor brand owner Natura Brasil publish the annual climate footprint of last years. It is therefore not clear if the implemented measures actually helped to reduce the total annual greenhouse gas emissions. Source
3. Has the brand (company) set a target to reduce its absolute ‘own operations’ carbon emissions by at least 20% within the next 5 years? Natura Brasil reports it has implemented a programme which, over 5 years, has reduced its CO2 emissions by 33%, but does not specify a concrete target for the years to come. Source
4. Is at least 25% of the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? The Body Shop reports for year 2016 to have used renewable energy for 24% of its stores, but is neither clear about the total percentage share nor about the sources of supply. Source

Questions about Environmental Policy

1 out of 18
1. Does the brand have a policy to phase out all possible harmful substances? The Body Shop aims to increase the usage of natural ingredients and to ensure 100% of natural ingredients are traceable and sustainably sourced. But it does not inform on a general policy to phase out all possible harmful substances. Source
2. Does the brand refrain from using the high hazard (red coded) chemicals as listed in the Skin Deep database of the Environmental Working Group, and if still used, does the brand give scientific account for the safe use of it? The Body Shop is listed on the SkinDeep database using an abundance of chemicals coded as ‘red’, and does not give a clarification on the full spectrum of possible hazardous substances used. Source
3. Does the brand strictly apply the precautionary principle (=banning) for all possible harmful substances such as parabens, also when the scientific evidence for possible harm is limited, unclear or debated? The Body Shop works on 'green chemistry' to reduce the generation of chemicals which are hazardous to the environment, but does not specify that it strictly applies the precautionary principle (=banning) for all possible harmful substances. Source
4. Does the brand refrain from using any microplastics for all of its products? The Body Shop claims that their products are free from polyethylene microbeads. But, according to BUND (effective by July 2017), microplastic is still used in The Body Shop products (see link, starting on page 4). Source
5. Does the cosmetics brand completely refrain from animal testing including tests in the supply chain? The Body Shop communicates that the use of animal testing is completely banned from all products. Source
6. Does the cosmetics brand refrain from using animal derived ingredients? The Body Shop states that all products are 100% vegetarian since 2007. However, its products can not be considered vegan. Source
7. Does the brand have a policy to replace petroleum-based ingredients with renewable, biodegradable ingredients? The Body Shop mentions a policy to increase the use of renewable ingredients, but there is there is no clear indication of current performance level, so it is not clear how substantial this policy really is. Source
8. Has the brand already achieved an overall ratio of 50% renewable, biodegradable ingredients? See remark for environmental policy question 7. Source
9. Are all the cosmetics of the brand free of organic-synthetic dyes, synthetic fragrances, ethoxylated raw materials, synthetic UV filters, synthetic preservatives, silicones, paraffin and other petroleum derived products? The Body Shop uses several of petroleum derived ingredients. Source
10. Are all cosmetics free of genetically modified materials, nanomaterials and radiated materials? Neither The Body Shop nor Natura Brasil specify whether all The Body Shop products are free of genetically modified materials, nanomaterials and radiated materials. Source
11. Are at least 50% of the brand products certified ‘natural’? The Body Shop aims to increase the levels of ingredients from natural origin, but does not specify which share of its products is certified ‘natural’. Source
12. Does the brand use organic or otherwise environmentally certified renewable ingredients for at least 50% of its total use of ingredients? Neither The Body Shop nor Natura Brasil communicate the percentage of organic or renewable ingredients. Source
13. Are at least 90% of the brand products certified ‘organic’? Neither The Body Shop nor Natura Brasil specify which share of its The Body Shop products is certified ‘organic’. Source
14. Does the brand inform users through all products about environmentally responsible use, such as dosage, water use and packaging disposal? The Body Shop does not specify whether environmentally responsible use information are provided for its customers through all its brand products. Source
15. Does the brand (company) publish a water footprint and is there a concrete policy to minimize, reduce or compensate this footprint? The Body Shop strives to ensure to have a low water footprint value and low eco-toxicity, but does not specify an aggregate annual result. Source
16. Does the brand (company) publish its annual material use footprint, or alternatively material footprints for each sold product, and does the brand have an effective policy in place to reduce the overall environmental impact of material use? The Body Shop aims to reduce the material footprints by 2020, but does not report any details about the annual material usage or material footprints. Source
17. Does the brand (company) have clear objectives to minimize waste, by reducing, re-using and recycling, and does the brand annually report the results? The Body Shop does not specify annual results of its waste reduction policy. Source
18. Does the brand have clear objectives to minimize the environmental impact of packaging, by reducing, re-using and recycling, and does the brand annually report on these results? The Body Shop commits to reduce its packaging material footprint by 2020. But concrete aggregate results regarding its packaging materials footprint are not made public. Source

Questions about Labour Conditions/ Fair Trade

1 out of 4
1. Does the brand (company) purchase tropical ingredients such as palm oil, cocoa butter, coconut oil, carnauba wax from sources (e.g. plantations) that are certified to e.g. have no child labor and no forced labour, and provide a better living standard for the farmers and workers who produce these tropical materials? In 2005, The Body Shop adopted the ETI's base code as its Supplier Code of Conduct. Also, The Body Shop is a founding member of the RSPO and sources several, socially certified ingredients. Source
2. Does the brand (company) purchase at least 50% of its tropical ingredients such as palm oil, cocoa butter, coconut oil, carnauba wax from sources (e.g. plantations) that are certified to e.g. have no child labor and no forced labour, and provide a better living standard for the farmers and workers who produce the tropical ingredients? The Body Shop does not specify which share of its tropical ingredients purchased is socially certified. Source
3. Does the brand (company) purchase mined raw materials such as mica and gold from sources (e.g. mines) that are certified to e.g. have no child labor and no forced labour, and provide a better living standard for the farmers and workers who produce the raw materials, and/or is the brand equally involved in significant initiatives to achieve this? Neither Natura Brasil nor The Body Shop communicates about the origin of their mined raw materials. Source
4. Does the brand (company) purchase at least 50% of its mined raw materials such as mica and gold from sources (e.g. mines) that are certified to e.g. have no child labor and no forced labour, and provide a better living standard for the workers who produce the raw materials, and/or is the brand equally involved in significant initiatives to achieve this? See remark for labour conditions policy question 3. Neither L'Oréal nor The Body Shop specify, which share of its minerals sourced is socially certified. Source