Avon

Avon was founded in 1886 with a purpose – to give women economic freedom.

Avon became part of the Natura & Co group, the fourth largest beauty company in the world, at the start of 2020. Avon, Natura, Aesop, and The Body Shop, all subsidiaries of Natura & Co, are united by ‘a shared commitment to sustainable and ethical business practice’.

Evidencing environmental and social impact

Avon products
Avon has been pioneering positive change for women for 135 years. The Avon Foundation was founded in 1955 and, together with Avon, has donated over $1 billion to women’s causes, focusing on raising awareness for breast cancer and working to end violence against women. With such a strong history in doing social good, they are determined to ensure they also have a positive impact on the planet.

Avon is a large multi-national company, employing 7200+ people in over 48 countries. Size is one of their biggest challenges, as they work to look at environmental responsibility across their supply chains – from raw materials through to product distribution. Collating evidence for their environmental as well as social impact was a challenge, as data needs to be collected across all facilities globally and for all of their suppliers who number in the thousands.

“Becoming a B Corp is a cornerstone to deliver on our ambition to become the best beauty company for the world and be a force for good.”

- Louise Scott, Vice President of R&D at Natura & Co and Avon’s Chief Scientific Officer

Using B Corp’s online assessment tool as a structure for improvement

To become a B Corp a company needs to achieve a minimum score of 80 points on the B Corp assessment, which is an online tool that monitors the social and environmental impact of a business. This tool provides a structured approach to identify where a company needs to improve.

After partnering with Avon in summer 2021, Seismic looked at all areas of their business and they were given an initial B Corp score of 76. Seismic are now working with Avon to highlight where improvements can be made and advising them on what exactly needs to be done to increase this score, with a goal of Avon achieving B Corp certification in 2023.

A particular challenge with huge global companies, such as Avon, is that B Corp can request multiple assessments across different sites. After an initial scoping process, Avon is completing four separate assessments, which is a significant undertaking.

To help Avon’s team understand their B Corp progress and manage the different assessments, our team set up an improvement plan tracker. Keeping in mind that B Corp is only one element of their overall sustainability strategy, our team also helped Avon to design a sustainability scorecard that they are using to measure progress against all sustainability KPIs internally.

“We see the B Corp accreditation journey supporting our broader ambitions to embed sustainability into everything we do and helping us to develop an all-encompassing sustainable business model that gives back more than it takes.”
– Louise Scott, Vice President of R&D at Natura & Co and Avon’s Chief Scientific Officer

Outcome – A continuous improvement success story

Avon products
Avon is embracing B Corp and the framework it provides for ESG strategy.

They are the first company to go through B Corp’s new performance consultation process, which is a preparatory step to get the experience of how B Corp approaches verification, and helps companies to understand how to get ready for the resource-intensive verification process required for certification.

Seismic is managing the B Corp scoping process to ensure the right information across Avon’s global facilities is collected. For large global companies like Avon, documenting everything is essential to measure impact, but it’s a daunting task. B Corp provides a valuable framework to capture this and implement meaningful change.

“Seismic play an important role in helping us to monitor and set targets to drive accountability of progress.”
– Karina O’Gorman, Head of the Force for Good Team at innocent.

Partnership value add

Harry Foreman, consultant at Seismic, was seconded into the business as Avon’s sustainability manager, giving Avon even greater support and Seismic a more in-depth and holistic view into Avon’s social and sustainability practices.

“Choosing a sustainable product often means choosing a more expensive product. And that’s a luxury that many people can’t afford. To democratise not only beauty but sustainable beauty, the way that Avon is doing, is so exciting to see and we’re very proud to partner with them on their sustainability journey and truly embed ourselves in the business.”

— Harry Foreman, Sustainability Consultant at Seismic

100+

sites across 40+ countries engaged with B Corp

50+

employees engaged in action plan (internal team of “purpose champions” + Sustainability Leadership Team and others)

1

susty expert seconded to Avon team

1

year partnering with Seismic

Seismic Insights

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