InNature, the franchisee for The Body Shop in Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia has achieved its B Corp certification. The certification is a awarded to businesses that meet high standards of verified social and environmental performance. The company joins a global community of businesses that are committed to sustainable practices. In a statement to the press, InNature pointed out that it will be joining its franchisor, The Body Shop International that achieved B Corp certification in 2019.
Managing director of InNature, Datin Mina Cheah, said that their belief that business can be a force for good is embodied in every aspect of their business and operations. "From the communities which we trade with, to the colleagues we work with, to customers we engage with; each one represents an opportunity to inform, to change and to inspire," she added. In Malaysia, The Body Shop has made efforts for the protection of our forests and wildlife, through joint campaigns with environmental NGOs, notably being the Save Belum-Temengor forest campaign with Malaysian Nature Society between 2006 to 2010, and the Bio-Bridge project in Endau Rompin with Wildlife Conservation Society between 2016 to 2019.
Similarly in Vietnam, The Body Shop joined hands with World Land Trust and Viet Nature Conservation Centre on a Bio Bridge project in Quang Binh in 2016.
To mitigate the environmental impact, The Body Shop Malaysia initiated the 'Kick the Bag Habit' which aims to get customers to either use their own bags or make donations. Alongside this initiative is the 'Bring Back our Bottles' programme which recycles packaging to turn it into usable products again. These are just couple of the sustainability initiatives introduced by the brand to contribute to a greener Earth.
The Body Shop global head franchise, MD, told A+M in an interview in July last year that sustainability is in the brand's DNA. "When we communicate this strategy to our people internally, it is not hard [to get them on board] because they understand that this is our purpose - to fight for a fairer and more beautiful world. Brands should keep driving [the sustainability agenda] because when there is more of us driving it, the greater impact we can make collectively," he said.
When it comes to sustainability, one common trap people might fall into is greenwashing. Not only will it result in backlash from the media and public, consumers too are also more hesitant about trusting sustainability claims. Milieu Insight's survey done earlier this year found that among 1,000 beauty product shoppers found that 67% of respondents will research more about the claims on their beauty products packaging to know if they are really sustainable/clean/ethical, especially those from the Philippines (83%) and Malaysia (72%).
The Body Shop, however, has always strived to walk the talk. The Body Shop's refill programme, for example, is part of its five-year plan unveiled last April to roll out refill stations to the majority of its stores globally in a bid to drive sustainability. Aside from Malaysia, refill stations are also available in its Singapore stores. It also uses natural ingredients in its body butter and ensures that the packaging is made from 100% recycled plastics.
Interview: How The Body Shop stays accountable in its push for sustainability
The Body Shop MY walks the sustainability talk with new interactive store
The Body Shop's retailer sees profit jump, eCommerce a crucial contributor