In July 2021, Ethical Consumer viewed the Natura Cosmeticos website and Annual Report 2020, and the Natura&Co website and Annual Report 2020, 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: Commitment to Life: One Year On. It stated that the Natura brand had been carbon neutral since 2007. Its 2019 Carbon Neutral programme document stated this meant reducing emissions, avoiding air freight and offsetting. This appeared to apply to the Natura brand only. The Natura&co Annual Report 2020 stated its current GHG activity, which appeared to relate to the whole company group as: "around 2,000,000 tons of CO2 equivalent". It listed efforts to reduce emissions as: renewable energy; energy efficiency; lower carbon logistics/distribution solutions; offset emissions through carbon credits projects; and preserving 2 million hectares of Amazon forest. The company's Annual Report 2020 document 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 2019 and stated that it applied only to Natura Cosmeticos, not including the activities of its wholly owned subsidiairies Aesop and the Body Shop. It also stated that it did not include Avon which still reported separately.
Natura&Co only reported carbon emissions relating to the whole company group of: "around 2,000,000 tons of CO2 equivalent". 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 referring to relative emissions rather than absolute. Progress on this goal could not be found as the Natura Annual Report 2020 was only found in Portugese. 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.