Avon's New Eco Initiative: Saving the Rainforest
This post is brought to you by Hello Green Tomorrow, the Avon Product Inc. campaign to plant a future and help end deforestation.
A lot of companies claim to be good corporate citizens, but only a few back up all the talk with a good ethical walk. Avon Products, now celebrating their 125th anniversary, has continually shown that their commitment to making the world better is more than just good publicity. Between axing animal testing in 1989 and their walk for breast cancer, they already have a big fat check mark next to their name for doing their part.
Even with all that under their belt, Avon is striving to do better, an example of what all companies should be doing. They are using their huge network with over 40,000 associates and 6.5 million sales representatives, selling to over 300 million customers in over 100 countries, to put a dent in deforestation. Yep. With their new Hello Green Tomorrow initiative, Avon is going to help save the rainforest.
In the last 60 years humans have ripped down over half of the earth’s rainforest. And we’re still grabbing chainsaws and driving species to extinction by the minute. What is Avon going to do about it? Three amazing things.
1. The Avon Palm Oil Promise
Palm oil is used in everything these days from cosmetics to food. The problem is that the creation of palm oil plantations (think huge monocultures) are a leading cause of deforestation in Indonesia and other countries due to the high demand. (Do you like orangutans? Palm oil is their biggest adversary.) While Avon does not use a significant amount of palm oil in their products, they are making a commitment that is groundbreaking in the industry.
They are promising to only source 100% sustainable palm oil and palm oil derivatives starting….now. Not in a few years, or when it’s more convenient, but right now. The company also supports the current moratorium on the conversion of primary forests and peatland into palm oil plantations.
2. Green Building Promise
While Avon has been building eco friendly buildings for years, in 2011 they launched the Green Building Promise. Now, all new construction and significant retrofits will be certified green. From their headquarters in the UK and USA to their buildings in Shanghai (certified LEED Platinum), Columbia (first LEED gold in the country), and LEED gold distribution centers in Brazil and Ohio, they are doing their part to make all construction certified green.
To further their commitment to women, Avon also set out with the goal of having 15% of their crew on the New York headquarters construction project be made up of women. They have surpassed that goal with 17% female employees, a goal no other private sector project has yet to achieve.
3. Avon Paper Promise
Plus, to support the mission to help end deforestation, Avon has launched the Avon Paper Promise. As a direct seller, Avon uses a catalog in place of a store. Because of their substantial use of paper, they can influence the supply and demand. A company like Avon caring about where their paper comes from truly does make a difference. They have established guidelines to reduce the amount of paper they use, as well as to buy certified sustainable paper to reduce the demand placed on rainforests.
While Avon already uses over three quarters of sustainably sourced paper, they are committed to the goal of upping that number to 100% by 2020.
Avon’s Hello Green Tomorrow program expands beyond corporate policies. In addition to improving their own behaviors, they are also immersed in their fundraising and awareness programs. Avon is raising funds in over 50 countries to help restore the Atlantic Rainforest in South America, work with The Nature Conservancy, and in Indonesia, work with the World Wildlife Fund. So far, more than $2.5 million has been raised. To raise these funds, they sell water bottles, reusable shopping bags, tees, and other products around the world, with all proceeds above the cost of the items going to the cause.
Want to learn more about Avon’s Hello Green Tomorrow initiative? Visit their site for more info including tips on how you can green your own life and help save the rainforest. Everything we do truly does make a difference.