The Body Shop, Inc.
I. Trading Charter
Our trading relationships of every kind - with customers, franchisees and suppliers - will be commercially viable, mutually beneficial and based on trust and respect.
We aim to ensure that human and civil rights, as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, are respected throughout our business activities. We will establish a framework based on this declaration to include criteria for workers' rights embracing a safe, healthy working environment, fair wages, no discrimination on the basis of race, creed, gender or sexual orientation, or physical coercion of any kind.
We will support long term, sustainable relationships with communities in need. We will pay special attention to those minority groups, women and disadvantaged peoples who are socially and economically marginalised.
We will use environmentally sustainable resources wherever technically and economically viable. Our purchasing will be based on a system of screening and investigation of the ecological credentials of our finished products, ingredients, packaging and suppliers.
We will promote animal protection throughout our business activities. We are against animal testing in the cosmetics and toiletries industry. We will not test ingredients or products on animals, nor will we commission others to do so on our behalf. We will use our purchasing power to stop suppliers animal testing.
We will institute appropriate monitoring, auditing and disclosure mechanisms to ensure our accountabliity and demonstrate our compliance with these principles.
II. Environmental Policy
The Body Shop International is a manufacturer and retailer of skin and hair care and cosmetic products. Our Mission Statement commits the Company to the pursuit of social and ecological change. We have developed this policy as a constant reminder of our responsibilities to act in order to protect the environment both globally and locally, and to strive for continuous improvements in our performance. We want to do things better than they have been done before, and through a stakeholder inclusive approach we wish to ensure that our employees, franchisees, subsidiaries and suppliers are involved in making that happen.
Sound environmental management is both good house-keeping and good sense. Our corporate environmental management system ensures that comprehensive policies and procedures are in place at all our sites to manage our environmental impacts. Through regular audits and reviews of our operations around the world, and assessments of the performance of our suppliers and other business partners we are able to set clear targets for improvement and time-scales within which to meet those targets.
Sustainable development is about achieving a fairer and safer world for future generations. At all levels of operation - in our head offices, in our manufacturing facilities, in our subsidiaries and franchises, and in our retail outlets around the world - we will try to minimise resource use including raw materials, water and energy, and we will use renewable resources wherever technically and economically feasible. This will apply in particular to our purchasing and new product development which will be supported by systems for supplier and product evaluation.
The quest for economic growth is the cause of much environmental and human exploitation. Our future planning will be based on achieving a balance between the need to limit the environmental impacts of our business whilst not compromising our long term commercial viability. We are committed to encouraging our business partners to make continuous improvements in their performance. We will devote increasing efforts to establishing mutually beneficial trading partnerships with our suppliers around the world and in particular with communities in need through our Community Trade programme.
Climate change, rapid depletion of non-renewable resources as well as the hazards associated with nuclear energy use, provide urgent reasons to achieve the highest possible energy efficiency in our operations. We will work towards replacing the energy we must use with renewable resources.
We believe that wealthy societies have an urgent and overwhelming moral obligation to avoid waste. As a responsible business we adopt a four-tier approach: first, reduce; next, reuse; then, recycle; and finally, as a last resort we will dispose of waste using the safest and most responsible means available.
Pollution is a special form of environmental abuse - it is more than exploitation,
it involves degradation and despoilation. Environmental damage is an inevitability
of most industry practice, but we are committed to protecting the quality
of the land, air and water on which we depend through the implementation
of control procedures and regular compliance monitoring.
The responsibilities of any business must embrace safety - of employees, of customers and of the community in which the business operates. We will minimise risk in every one of our operations - from ensuring the safety and quality of our products to good neighbour policies in the communities where we work. We will maintain emergency plans to safeguard the environment within our workplace in the event of fires, floods or other natural disasters.
The minimum requirement for any environmentally responsible business is to observe legal requirements and regulations wherever the Company operates. We will ensure that environmental laws are complied with at all times and in the event of difficulties these will be reported to the appropriate regulatory authorities.
Our mission is to forge a new and more sustainable ethic for business.
We are committed to continuous education for our employees on environmental
issues. We are committed to freedom of information and full and comprehensive
public disclosure of our environmental performance . We are also committed
to encouraging our business partners around the world to report on their
III. Human Rights
1998 marked the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To celebrate, The Body Shop and Amnesty International joined forces to launch the world's largest consumer based human rights campaign - 'Make Your Mark for Human Rights'. On 10 December 1998 the campaign culminated in a major international music concert in Paris to celebrate the actual day of the 50th anniversary.
In over 30 countries The Body Shop, working with Amnesty International, adopted a human rights defender selected to symbolise the UDHR. Customers were invited to 'Make Your Mark for Human Rights' in support of that country's defender on the world's first thumbprint petition. Over 3,000,000 thumbprints were collected during the campaign in over 1,400 stores of The Body Shop. The thumbprints were then used to create giant portraits celebrating each country's chosen defender.
IV. Community Trade
The Community Trade programme is a special purchasing programme that is the result of The Body Shop’s commitment to support long-term sustainable trading relationships with communities in need. The goal of Community Trade is to help create livelihoods, and to explore a trade-based approach to supporting sustainable development by sourcing ingredients and accessories directly from socially and economically marginalised producer communities.
Community Trade can provide a vehicle for community and individual development. It’s one way that The Body Shop can use its knowledge, creativity and purchasing power to directly benefit communities throughout the world. Working with The Body Shop provides suppliers with access to a market which can serve as a training ground and a gateway to other markets and customers. The Body Shop Community Trade programme is a journey and an adventure. We believe we are firmly on the right track. We hope that, in due course, the successes will speak for themselves and, most important of all, that the communities we trade with will fully achieve their aspiration for economic independence and social progress.
The Body Shop Mission Statement is ‘to dedicate our business to the pursuit of social and environmental change’ and ‘to tirelessly work to narrow the gap between position and practice’. Our Community Trade programme aims at long-term, sustainable relationships and is one way of using trade as a mechanism for communities to benefit through employment, income, skills development and social initiatives. Community Trade is very much a partnership. This partnership is designed to produce results which fit in with a community’s own development goals. The partnership is based on trust, respect and an understanding that we buy good quality products at a fair price which covers production, wages and also enables an investment in the community and the future. It is about far more than exchange of goods and money - it is about working with people.
In 1994 The Body Shop developed a set of guidelines to ensure that potential Community Trade partnerships have the greatest chance of fulfiling a community’s goals. Within these guidelines, information is collected in five areas:
We seek to work with organisations which already exist to represent the interests of the social group concerned. These might be an association of women, a farming co-operative, a tribal council, a group of homeless people in an urban setting or even a more conventional business that has stakeholder representation way above the norm for that country. In this way, our purchasing power serves to strengthen organisations which represent collective interests.
2.Community in Need
We seek to work with groups who would normally have limited opportunities, limited resources, limited access to education, limited health care and limited outlets for their goods. By targeting disadvantaged groups we hope to improve their opportunities.
It is vital that our trade benefits the people who actually produce the goods we buy but not just on an economic level. We are looking for organisations that encourage worker participation, leadership, training - primarily for women. Suppliers have a work force that are socially, as well as economically, benefiting.
The business must be commercially viable which means that price, quality, capacity and availability must all be carefully considered.
The commercial activity has to meet The Body Shop standards for environmental and animal protection.
Success for The Body Shop Community Trade programme can be measured by the increase in the volume of raw materials and accessories purchased, and the community benefits that have resulted. However, as Anita and Gordon Roddick have said,
"How do we measure human development? Where are the instruments that are capable of measuring the search for new awareness and greater strength in organisations?"
The Body Shop is happy to celebrate the fact that in the financial period 1996/7 we had twenty two active Community Trade suppliers, an increase from nineteen in 1995/6 and from eleven in 1994/5. The value of raw materials and accessories purchased from Community Trade suppliers has risen from £826,425 in 1992/3 to nearly £2 million in 1996/7. Through the programme we source cocoa beans from Kuapa Kokoo Ltd Ghana.
"Before Kuapa Kokoo Ltd, we had to wait a long time for payments and we were cheated by the purchasing clerks at the weighing scales. Now we are paid on time, we are paid extra, there are no problems with the weighing scales, the society members determine how Kuapa Kokoo Ltd trades with the farmers and at the end of the year Kuapa Kokoo Ltd has to account to the farmers themselves. We have never experienced this before" - A cocoa farmer member of Kuapa Kokoo Union.
Since 1989 we have been sourcing paper products from General Paper Industries in Nepal. They have set up an organisation which promotes AIDS awareness, offers scholarships to enable girls to go to school and replants barren hillsides with sustainable shrubs.
Now that’s something else to celebrate!
The Body Shop is not pretending that there haven’t been difficulties along the way. This has been a grand experiment, a new venture for a global retailer - there were no text books telling us how to ethically source ingredients for our products. But where there have been difficulties, we have persevered and worked with communities to find solutions. We’ve made mistakes, such as over-estimating customer interest in Community Trade products, and we have faced criticism, but Community Trade is and will remain a fundamental part of the way The Body Shop does business. More importantly, this history of involvement has strengthened The Body Shop conviction that Community Trade is a valid proposition, and it does make a difference to the people it touches.
The benefits are across the board Community Trade may only be a small part of our business but the effects are great for all those involved:
For The Body Shop: the Community Trade programme is a practical expression of our broader social goals.
"As a buyer, you’re seeing what you can provide in the way of livelihoods, but you're also seeing the ripple effects, the contribution to community and that’s about self-esteem. That’s the core of what these economic development initiatives are all about." - Anita Roddick
For community-based producer organisations: the Community Trade Programme supports them in their efforts to develop their economies and communities in ways they have chosen.
"In my community, every day the trust among the men and women increases. In the meetings they (men) were the only ones who talked. Now it seems that things are changing because it is us, the women, who talk the most now. It is nice to see how the women are waking up after so many years of being asleep."- A member of the Nahñu Indians, Mexico.
For customers: Community Trade products provide customers with an opportunity to use their purchasing power in ways that support these communities while receiving a good quality product. At the same time, they become informed about the source of the ingredients in the products on the shelves and the accessories available. For the business world: Community Trade provides a practical example of ethical trading and an opportunity for other companies to meet the needs of a growing section of society calling for better standards of global trade.
For The Body Shop, Community Trade represents part of our commitment to global fair trade. We aim to conduct all our trade according to our Fair Trade principles. We have a Fair Trade department which oversees this in operation - and which drives the Community Trade programme. We are committed to the following goals:
We aim to ensure that human and civil rights are respected throughout our business activities.
We will promote animal protection.
We will use environmentally sustainable resources wherever technically and economically viable.
Our trading relationships will be commercially viable and mutually beneficial.
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