The Body Shop approach to stakeholder auditing
A Body Shop case study

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Page 1: Introduction

This case study focuses on how The Body Shop assesses its own business performance whilst taking into account its different stakeholder groups and their various aims and objectives.

In 1976, Anita Roddick opened the first The Body Shop in Brighton, selling 25 naturally-based skin and hair care products. The Body Shop International Plc now has over 1,500 stores in 47 countries selling over 400 different products. The Body Shop story, however, is not just of a highly successful market-oriented manufacturer and retailer of toiletries and cosmetics. Like its founder, the whole organisation is committed to issues such as respect for human rights, animal and environmental protection. The organisation has arranged and supported national and international campaigns on animal testing in the cosmetic industry, women’s rights, anti-nuclear testing and coordinated an international protest at the sentencing and execution of environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and other Ogoni leaders in Nigeria who were fighting to protect their community from multi-national oil companies. All business organisations need to make a profit to survive but the emphasis at The Body Shop is on profit with a wider social responsibility i.e. ‘profit with principles.’

The Body Shop Mission Statement

  • To dedicate our business to the pursuit of social and environmental change.
  • To creatively balance the financial and human needs of our stakeholders employees, franchisees, customers, suppliers and shareholders.
  • To courageously ensure that our business is ecologically sustainable, meeting the needs of the present without compromising the future.
  • To meaningfully contribute to local, national and international communities in which we trade, by adopting a code of conduct which ensures care, honesty, fairness and respect.
  • To passionately campaign for the protection of the environment, human and civil rights and against animal testing within the cosmetics and toiletries industry.
  • To tirelessly work to narrow the gap between principle and practice, whilst making fun, passion and care part of our daily lives.

Underpinning the Mission Statement is a Trading Charter which addresses the three principal ethical concerns of The Body Shop.

The Body Shop Trading Charter

Body Shop Image 1We aim to achieve commercial success by meeting our customers’ needs through the provision of high quality, good value products with exceptional service and relevant information which enables customers to make informed and responsible choices. Our trading relationships of every kind with customers, franchisees and suppliers will be commercially viable, mutually beneficial and based on trust and respect.

Our trading principles reflect our core values. We aim to ensure that human and civil rights, as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, are respected throughout our business activities. We will establish a framework on this declaration to include criteria for workers’ rights embracing a safe, healthy working environment, fair wages, no discrimination on the basis of race, creed, sex or sexual orientation, or physical coercion of any kind.

We will support long term sustainable relationships with communities in need. We will pay special attention to those minority groups, women and disadvantaged peoples who are socially and economically marginalised.

We will use environmentally sustainable resources wherever technically and economically viable. Our purchasing will be based on a system of screening and investigation of the ecological credentials of our finished products, ingredients, packaging and suppliers.

We will promote animal protection throughout our business activities. We are against animal testing in the cosmetics and toiletries industry. We will not test ingredients or products on animals, nor will we commission others to do so on our behalf. We will use our purchasing power to stop suppliers animal testing.

We will institute appropriate monitoring, auditing and disclosure mechanisms to ensure our accountability and demonstrate our compliance with these principles.

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