In November 2020 Ethical Consumer viewed the Natura Cosmeticos website and Annual Report 2019, and the Natura&Co website and Annual Report 2019, looking for information on what the company was doing to tackle climate change. Ethical Consumer was looking for the following:
1. For the company to discuss its areas of climate impact, and to discuss plausible ways it has cut them in the past, and ways that it will cut them in the future.
For the company to not be involved in any particularly damaging projects like tar sands, oil or aviation, to not be subject to damning secondary criticism regarding it’s climate actions, and to have relevant sector-specific climate policies in place.
2. For the company to report annually on its scope 1&2 greenhouse gas emissions (direct emissions by the company), and,
3. to go some way towards reporting on its scope 3 emissions (emissions from the supply chain, investments and sold products).
4. For the company to have a target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in line with international agreements (counted as the equivalent of at least 2.5% cut per year in scope 1&2 emissions), and to not count offsetting towards this target.
If a company met all of these criteria it would receive a best rating. If it met parts 1&2 (impacts and annual reporting CO2e) it would receive a middle rating. Otherwise it would receive a worst rating.
A document was found titled Sustainability Vision 2030. It stated that the Natura brand had been carbon neutral since 2007. Its website stated this meant reducing emissions, avoiding air freight and offsetting. This appeared to apply to the Natura brand only. The Sustainability Vision document listed its current activity, which appeared to relate to the whole company group as: "Total estimated GHG emissions of between 1,800,000 – 2,200,000 tons CO2 eq. (Currently measures around 450,000 tons CO2 eq. carbon emissions*). Current GHG activity: Renewable energy; Energy efficiency; Lower Carbon Logistics/Distribution Solutions; Offset emissions through carbon credits projects; 1.8 mi hectares of Amazon forest preserved." It laid out goals including continuing work to protect the Amazon from deforestation and acheiving net zero accross the group by 2030. The company's Annual Report 2019 also discussed the company's steps to protect the Amazon Rainforest, the use of renewable energy, reducing air freight and working to streamline logistics as well as reducing greenhouse gas emission in general. The company was considered to have met part 1.
Natura Cosmeticos was reporting on its Scope 1, 2 and 3 annual CO2e emissions. It stated: "Our greenhouse gas emissions inventory takes into account total emissions from all stages of our operation, from the extraction of raw materials, through our processes and those in our production chains, to the final disposal of post-consumer packaging". However, these were only reported in the Natura Cosmeticos Annual Report (and not the Natura&Co Annual Report) and stated that it applied only to Natura Cosmeticos and did not include the activities of its wholly owned subsidiairies Aesop and the Body Shop which were addressed in the Natura&Co Annual Report 2019. It also stated that it did not include Avon which still reported separately. Further to this its CO2e emissions data stated that it did not apply to operations in France, the US or Malaysia.
Natura&Co did not report emissions in its Annual Report. However, its Vision 2030 document stated "Total estimated GHG emissions of between 1,800,000 – 2,200,000 tons CO2 eq. (Currently measures around 450,000 tons CO2 eq. carbon emissions*)". It was not made clear what scopes these emissions figures refered to. Natura was not considered to be adequately reporting its scope 1, 2 or 3 emissions for the whole company group.
The company had a goal of acheiving net zero emissions by 2030. It also had a goal of setting "Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) for all companies, scopes 1, 2 and 3" within the next two years. A target for a "33% reduction in the company’s relative emissions by 2020 on 2012 emissions" was also found but this was just for the Natura brand and also referred to relative emissions rather than absolute. It, therefore, did not appear to currently have a target to reduce absolute emissions in line with international agreements and was not considered to meet part 4.
Overall, Natura received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for carbon management and reporting and lost a whole mark under Climate Change.