The Body Shop Celebrates 40 Years With Big Promises

The Body Shop 40th anniversary event venueThe Body Shop wasn’t about to let its 40th anniversary slip by without anyone noticing. But instead of pink flamingos on the lawn or a wild weekend in Vegas, the company used the milestone as an opportunity to challenge itself to a greater level of innovation and philanthropy than it would have ever dreamed possible back in 1976 when it was founded. Last Tuesday at Artscape Wychwood Barns in Toronto, The Body Shop announced its new commitment, dubbed “Enrich Not Exploit,” to become the world’s most ethical and sustainable global business by 2020. And the company hosted a pretty massive event to mark the occasion—not to brag about its accomplishments, but to ensure it would be held accountable to its new promises.

“In case there was any doubt, this is not a PR event,” said Marc-Alexandre Risch (pictured below), general manager of The Body Shop Canada, when he took the stage. “It is not a PR event because the reality is we’re not here to score points on an innovative product. We’re here to change minds.”

The Body Shop 40th anniversary event speech

Marc-Alexandre Risch, general manager of The Body Shop Canada

Under each of the commitment’s three pillars—enrich our people, enrich our products and enrich our planet—The Body Shop has specific, measurable targets that it aims to reach in the next four years. See the infographic below, with more detailed descriptions to follow.

The Body Shop Commitment Infographic

Enrich our People

  • Double our Community Trade program from 19 to 40 ingredients and help enrich communities that produce them.
  • Help 40,000 economically vulnerable people access work around the world.
  • Engage 8 million people in our Enrich Not Exploit™ Commitment mission, creating our biggest campaign ever.
  • Invest 250,000 hours of our skills and know-how to enrich the biodiversity of our local communities.

Enrich our Products

  • Ensure 100% of our natural ingredients are traceable and sustainably sourced, protecting 10,000 hectares of forest and other habitat.
  • Reduce (year-on-year) the environmental footprint of all our product categories.
  • Publish our use of ingredients of natural origin, ingredients from green chemistry, and the biodegradability and water footprint of our products.
  • Develop an innovation pipeline that delivers pioneering cosmetic ingredients from biodiversity hotspots and which helps to enrich these areas.

Enrich our Planet

  • Build Bio-Bridges, protecting and regenerating 75 million square metres of habitat helping communities to live more sustainably.
  • Reduce the environmental footprint of our stores every time we refurbish or redesign them.
  • Develop and deliver three new sustainable packaging innovations. (Including body butter packaging made from air pollution!)
  • Ensure that 70% of our total product packaging does not contain fossil fuels.
  • Power 100% of our stores with renewable or carbon balanced energy.
  • Reduce by 10% the energy use of all our stores every year.

The Body Shop 40th anniversary event venue displayCP2_9154As if those huge announcements weren’t enough for one evening, the venue was also filled with display after display of The Body Shop’s soon-to-be launched product lines—from a luxurious collection of face masks and a multipurpose lip/cheek stain to limited-edition scents (piña colada, anyone?), a 3-in-1 tea tree oil scrub/wash/mask, a new British Rose body care range, a skin brightening serum and an instant glow elixir, to name only a few. There was a whole lot to be excited about in that room, let me tell you. Stay tuned for more detailed reviews of my favourite new products from The Body Shop closer to their launch dates.

CP2_9035CP2_9084It is just so fantastic to see that even after being acquired by L’Oréal in 2006, The Body Shop—which now has more than 3,000 stores in more than 60 countries—is remaining true to its roots, continuing to be a force of positive change, and in fact using its new-found resources to take its commendable mission even further. Even though every product on its roster isn’t necessarily right for my ultra-sensitive skin, I’m always eager to support an ethical company that is using its platform to make a real difference—to not only do less harm, but to do more good. Here’s hoping The Body Shop’s Enrich Not Exploit commitments will inspire other global businesses to follow suit in helping to secure the future of our ever so fragile planet.

All images courtesy The Body Shop Canada.

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