In March 2020 Avon Products website was viewed for the company's nanotechnology policy.

The policy stated:

Avon uses a limited number of ingredients characterized as nanomaterials, each with an average particle size of less than 100 nanometres. These are primarily titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, which are used in a wide range of cosmetic products to provide protection against the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun...

The safety of each of the ingredients characterized as a nanomaterial currently used by Avon has been individually and fully evaluated by our scientists before being permitted for use in cosmetic products. Avon's evaluation included a specific assessment of the potential for nano-sized particles of these materials to be absorbed through the skin. We will continue to closely monitor the scientific literature on nano-particles and, if we determine that a particular ingredient can no longer be considered to be used safely, we will discontinue its use."

As nanotechnology was considered by some campaigners to pose a significant threat to the environment and human safety, the company received a mark against it in the Controversial Technologies category.

Reference:

Avon website (4 March 2020)

In March 2020 Ethical Consumer viewed Aesop's website for information on any use of nanotechnology. In October 2017 it had stated:

"We use Zinc Oxide in Sage and Zinc Facial Hydrating Cream – SPF15 and Protective Lip Balm SPF30 because of its unparalleled ability to coat the skin and create a barrier to UV radiation. In its (newly defined) nano form, Zinc Oxide also improves dispersion of sunscreens – products containing it appear ‘invisible’ when applied to the skin....
While scientific research into the safety of nanotechnology continues, we believe daily use of a high-quality sunscreen is of crucial importance in protecting the skin from the well-documented dangers of exposure to UV radiation.
Because of this, and because this material has been independently evaluated and approved on safety grounds, we stand by our decision to use Zinc Oxide."

Ethical Consumer considered Nanotechnology to be a controversial technology whose safety had not been fully established. However, as there was no statement to be found in March 2020, it was not clear whether the company still used nanotechnology. This reference is for information only.

Reference:

Aesop website (24 October 2017)

According to the opensecrets.org website, viewed by Ethical Consumer in March 2020, Avon and its employees gave $8,397 to US political parties during the 2018 election cycle, with 88% going to Democrats. NOTE: OpenSecrets states: “The organization itself did not donate, rather the money came from the organization's PACs, their individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals' immediate family members. Organizations themselves cannot contribute to candidates and party committees. Totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.”

Reference:

Open Secrets generic ref 2020 (2020)

According to Ethical Consumer's list of lobby groups, updated in February 2020, Natura Cosmeticos was a member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. This was regarded by Ethical Consumer as an international corporate lobby group which exerted undue corporate influence on policy-makers in favour of market solutions that were potentially detrimental to the environment and human rights.

Reference:

Ethical Consumer Lobby Group member list (19 February 2020)

In March 2020 Ethical Consumer viewed its list of free trade lobby groups, updated in February 2020.

Avon was a member of the American Chamber of Commerce website www.amchameu.eu, and ADS group.

Ethical Consumer regarded these groups to be corporate lobby groups which lobbied for free trade at the expense of the environment, animal welfare, human rights or the environment.

Reference:

Ethical Consumer Lobby Group member list (19 February 2020)

In March 2020 Ethical Consumer viewed Natura's family tree on the website Hoovers.com.

Natura had two subsidiaries in the Netherlands which were considered at high risk for being used for tax avoidance purposes. At the time of writing Ethical Consumer considered the Netherlands to be a tax haven.

These subsidiaries were Natura (Brasil) International B.V. and The Body Shop Belgium B.V.

Both of these were holding companies which owned large numbers of other subsidiaries in other countries.

Natura's annual report did not contain country-by-country tax reporting.

As a result Natura recieved Ethical Consumer's worst rating for likely use of tax avoidance strategies.

Reference:

Generic Hoovers ref (2020)

In March 2020 Ethical Consumer viewed Avon Products Inc's 2019 form DEF14a on the SEC website, which gave details of director's pay. Several directors recieved compensation over £1 million in 2018, the amount considered excessive by Ethical Consumer. The highest paid was the CEO who recieved $6,092,058.

Reference:

Form DEF 14a 2019 (4 March 2020)