The Body Shop

There is only one way to beautiful, nature?s way

Tuesday 25 October 2011, by Charis Li, Jam, Chen, Jorge Millan, Li Yuan

5 inspired

The reason why we chose The Body Shop as our topic to analyze is this company?s controversial reputation. The Body Shop, a retailer of natural-based and ethical-sourced beauty products, came under severe criticism. Body Shop was regarded as one of the pioneers of corporate social responsibility an also strongly associated with the social activism. Body Shop had built up their core values ? opposition to animal testing, developing community trade, setting up charity trust, and protection of the planet. However, after the acquisition by L?Oreal, everything has changed. L?Oreal is one of the companies with the lowest ethical perception by the public. L?Oreal didn?t compromise Body Shop?s ethics. Some people felt that Body Shop would not be able to operate independently and that an important partner in corporate social responsibility had been lost. This merger also is questioned whether L?Oreal was trying to improve its image but failed.

a) The main facts about the activities of the company.

The Body Shop was founded in 1976 and became public in 1985, this year it became a sponsor of Greenpeace. ?In 1990, The Body Shop Foundation was established, funding for human rights and environmental organizations. In 1993, the company held a human rights movement called for international attention to Ogoni Ghani family and their patriarch Ken Saro-Wiwa who are oppressed at that time, and to protest Shell’s collusion with the Nigerian government seizure of their homes. In 1997, The Body Shop was the first company that implements Humane Cosmetics Standard which was sponsored by of international animal protection organization. In 2002, The Body Shop and Greenpeace International launched an international renewable energy campaign. They invested in renewable energy, energy efficiency programs funded in developing countries, and product packaging using recycled materials in order to implement the principle of protecting the environment. In 2002, The Body Shop launched a global action against domestic violence. The actions aimed at enhancing the social concerns of domestic violence, and helped to raise funds for the victims of the group and ensure that customers and employees know how the event to provide advice and assistance to victims. In 2005, The Body Shop joined Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, and was awarded by Greenpeace and the Breast Cancer Foundation for their policies and responsible attitude on chemical aspect. In July 12, 2006, The Body Shop joined the L’Oreal Group, and delisted from the London Stock Exchange. However, basing on United Kingdom, The Body Shop continued to retain the original purpose and conviction. At present, The Body Shop independently operates within the L’Oreal Group. ?In 2007, The Body Shop launched the campaign Spray to Change followed by the launch of the Move Your Lips campaign in 2008. The Body Shop joined forces with MTV in a new brand partnership to raise funds and awareness about HIV and AIDS among young people. In 2008, a global policy was released to the body shop employees and offered a minimum of three holidays per year for volunteering. On the September 29th 2011, 7 million collected petitions of Campaign of Stop Sex Trafficking of Word "Children & Young People had been taken by the United Nations

b) The ethical challenges this company is addressing.

The Body Shop?s philosophy is ?the only one way to be beautiful, nature’s way?. They seek for natural ingredients from all over the world, and use them to produce natural cosmetics. As the same well, The Body Shop strives to protect this beautiful planet and the people who depend on it.
The ultimate objective is to satisfy the demand for natural ingredients, gifts and accessories in a fair way, to maximize sustainable benefits to the supplier communities and to meet customers’ expectations of The Body Shop as an ethical retailer.
The Body Shop believed passionately that animals should not be used for cosmetic testing. They insist that neither their own nor their suppliers could test ingredients or products on animals for cosmetic purposes.
The Body Shop takes a series of action to fulfill his declaration of protecting the planet. They were seeking new ways to improve business practices. Also refits are rolling out in the stores to improve energy efficiency, like new lighting. Energy-awareness training was introduced for all store staff.
The primary purpose of the Ethical Trade Programme at The Body Shop is to improve conditions for workers in the supply chain, to ensure that there are no human rights abuses, and to manage risk to The Body Shop brand.

c) What makes you believe this company is really ethical and why you trust it.

The Body Shop was founded by a Human Rights Activist, Anita Roddick; this does not mean that its ethics standards are high; however, it is more likely that this kind of people would fight against the people that want to deteriorate the environment and the organization would like to make our society a better one.
During the research of this project we realize that The Body Shop has created partnership with different foundations and international organizations in order to help the society. The Body Shop has promoted activities against children sex traffic and domestic violence, also it has implemented the usage of renewable energy in stores and offices and it has developed a marketing campaign to help people infected with HIV and also it has tried to prevent that more people get infected by the Red Ribbon Campaign.
It has created an Ethical Trade Programme and a Code of Conduct to make sure that its suppliers also follow The Body Shop standards, we know it is very difficult to follow up all the suppliers, especially if they are in remote areas in the planet; however this is a way to do it.
We trust this company because it has also been awarded by different respected international organizations that have recognized that The Body Shop has been working too hard in order to preserve our planet and our society.
The Body Shop has published a ?Values Report? that explains all the activities that the company has been doing in order to follow its values. We have had an opportunity to read this report and we can say that it reports that some of the firms? goals have not been reached and some others have been. Point of the matter is that The Body Shop makes an auto-analysis of what it is doing in CSR and Ethics field.

d) The possible challenges facing the company in the future and how you think this company may improve.

1.- ?Natural?Production
The body ship claimed that it is committed to creating desirable and sustainable products, which are inspired by nature. Their products are based on naturally derived ingredients. But the ?natural? products have been reported that they contain extensive amounts of artificial colorings, scents and preservatives. Although the body shop defends that their products contain synthetic chemicals where they are necessary for the quality, safety or efficacy of products and where no suitable natural alternatives exist, it is going to give the public a negative impression for exaggerating their advertisement.
2-. The Body Shop Foundation
The Body Shop Foundation, which supports innovative global projects working in the areas of human and civil rights and environmental and animal protection, shows its beliefs in using profit for good. But a report reveals that this company gave nothing to charity over its first 11 years and did little in its charity thereafter. This issue shows it is difficult to persuade the public that The Body Shop has done their best in charity.
3.- Policy on Animal Testing
The Body Shop has always believed passionately that animals should not be used for cosmetic testing and also has been insisting that all its suppliers have not tested their ingredients on animals for cosmetic purposes. Yet some people questioned whether their products are so effective on human body without any test on animals. Moreover, their products contained ingredient that have been tested on animals by other companies.
4-. Community Fair Trade ( formerly Trade not Aid)
By 1991, The Body Shop?s ?Trade Not Aid? initiative with the objective of ?creating trade to help people in the Third World utilizes their resources to meet their own needs? has started. Through their long term trading relationships, they do more than a fair price. They offer their suppliers a predictable and regular income for their family and the security and confidence to develop their own businesses. However, The Body Shop will suffer problems of the inflation of raw material. How to maintain a balance between reasonable profits and increasing costs?
As the Body Shop rely so heavily on their ? green?, ?caring? image, they have been threatened or been forced to face legal action from some of those who have criticized them. The company has to clarify its position on the assertions regarding its social responsibility. It would be better not to advertize frequently their merits to prevent the overestimation from the public.

Annual Report ? L?Oreal 2010

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3 Discussions / 3 Messages

  • The Body Shop 4 October 2012 at 18:36 , by Karl FISCHER

    Hi all,
    I am one of the customers of Body Shop, buying their products because there’re against animal testing and also because I found an interesting range of product good for my skin.
    But then after reading this project, I checked all issues Body Shop is facing about its management of ethical actions and I wanted to raise the following questions about their weaknesses and so the challenges they should meet:

    Do you think that the biggest issue about body shop is its transparency? Although they commit in many ethical values, so far no results and detailed information are available to know how they do it and what the results are. Regarding nature’s product, Body Shop is far to be an organic cosmetic brand regarding their formulas and also their packaging is far to be environment friendly. Many brands do same or even better with less communication/advertising on environment.“Nature’s way to beautiful ” is for me quite the wrong slogan.

    I think that today Body shop is recognized mainly, even only, as an ethical cosmetic company because of its against animal testing policy which is very important in the cosmetic field. They still refuse to enter in the Chinese market knowing that it would totally break their credibility. As also on the long term having the bad image of L’Oreal ethics will be quite a challenge.

    It is an opened question I’d like to share with all of you to know what you do think about this company.

  • The Body Shop 5 October 2012 at 05:15 , by Charles Lee

    Shanghai Jiao Tong University, IMBA
    Name: Charles Lee
    ID : 1121209828

    I like the principles of the Body Shop because, first of all, I have bought their products like shower gels and soaps. The stuffs explained to me how they make the products without killing animals and there principles I like a lot. Second, I read the pass away news of Anita Roddick, the founder of The Body Shop. There is a big review in BBC and Hong Kong Apple newspaper in 2007. So I have deep understanding about this company. Third, wiki describes that Body Shop proposed an alliance alliance with Greenpeace in the UK to save the whale.

    I like their claiming about "Against animal testing". I think animals have same right as human being.
    I like another claim about "Protect our planet". We have only one planet. We should all protect the planet for everybody, every plants and every creatures.

    In terms of Ethics, I knew that Anita insisted to have not tested cosmetics on animals. Moreover , my favor one : "creating trade to help people in the Third World utilize their resources to meet their own needs". It does inspire me a lot.

    There was some media controversy that the successor L’Oréal tested on animals, contradicting the core value of The Body Shop. In addition, the animal welfare groups opposed L’Oreal’s policy on the testing new ingredients on animals. This made the credit of body shop vulnerable. I think the transparent process is important for The Body Shop.

    Nevertheless, I think if the Body Shop can increase its transparency, it is still a ethical, social responsible and successful company.

  • The Body Shop 6 March 2013 at 20:40 , by Meritxell Puig

    The Body Shop boasts of being one the first cosmetics brands to prohibit testing on animals, and also the first company to introduce Fair Trade to the beauty industry, which is all very well. So, this is the reason why I want to talk about this company.

    The Body Shop defends human rights with a secure payment and easy returns of the products. Additionally, this company protects the planet reducing the amount of energy they consume and generating less waste like reducing CO2 or electric energy because they think that is fundamental for their business.

    In my opinion, this company is a good idea that there is a company that their products are not testing on animals because I think it is a breakthrough for the companies in order to work more committed to the environment.

Location: Brighton (united kingdom of great britain)

Sector: cosmetics retailer

Official website:

Key figures:

Annual Sales : 754.9 millions Euros (2010)
Operational Assets. 1104 millions Euros (2010)
Operating Profit: 65.3 million Euros (2010)
Top 5 Countries in Sales: Northern Europe, Middle East, Russia and India
Number of Stores: 2605

Nbr. visits: 7283

Nbr. inspires: 5