Natura Cosmetics is the largest cosmetics manufacturer in Brazil and holds a significant market share across Latin America. In 2007, Natura launched its Carbon Neutral Programme to measure, reduce and offset its greenhouse gas emissions.
Natura is measuring and reducing emissions across its value chain, from the extraction of raw materials through to their production and distribution. In addition, Natura also measures and reduces the post-consumption impacts of their products. To help compensate for the emissions that Natura cannot avoid, the company has supported 38 projects with socio-environmental and climate positive impacts.
- From 2007 to 2013, Natura reduced its carbon emissions by 33%. The company aims to reduce its emissions by another 33% by 2020.
- Natura has supported 38 projects to offset its emissions to reach carbon neutrality. These projects have impacted 15,367 families directly, while creating 1,874 jobs.
- As part of its Carbon Neutral Programme, Natura has offset 3.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions, reclaimed or maintained 7,593 hectares of forest and generated 1,125 GWH of renewable energy.
- Natura estimates that its Carbon Neutral Programme has generated USD 427 million in environmental, social and community services.
According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), rising temperatures in Brazil might limit water resources, leading to the possible extinction of 38 - 45% of plants in the Cerrado biome, and increase rainfall and frequency of flooding.
The regions where Natura is implementing their offsetting projects happen to be some of the regions under the greatest threat in the Amazon. For example, their projects have helped reforest the springs of Xingu, where 518 hectares of reforested land was reclaimed, and 190,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions were sequestered from the atmosphere. Other projects include agroforestry production, in which the coffee planted contributes towards a regenerative economy that transforms degraded areas into productive forestland, and the Surui Tribe Carbon Program, which promotes the preservation of the area by providing financial incentives for the local population.
To help reach the goals of the Paris Agreement, to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, Natura is measuring, reducing and offsetting their emissions to reach 100% carbon neutrality.
The cosmetics company measures emissions from their entire value chain – including those generated by employees travelling for business or by printing magazines, as well the Nas the entire life cycle of each product. Natura has a calculator that estimates the environmental footprint of each product they produce, based off of their inventory of data. Since 2009, Natura has been using this tool to reduce the environmental impact of their products starting from formula development through to packaging.
Helping the Planet
Natura has been a pioneer in reducing environmental impact — the company claims a first in offering refills for cosmetics. That was in 1983. Now, much of Natura’s packaging is made from renewable or recycled materials. Since 2018, the company’s Ekos line has been packaged in 100% recycled PET. By using organic alcohol in their formulas, Natura claims to have increased the water levels in local streams by 30%.
Natura’s offsetting activities advance the Sustainable Development Goals, by creating jobs, transferring technology, reinforcing local economies, empowering women, and protecting biodiversity and water resources. According to Natura’s sustainability reporting, each dollar invested into Natura’s offsetting projects has generated the equivalent of USD 31 in social and environment benefits.
Since the launch of its Carbon Neutral Programme in 2007, Natura has been 100% carbon neutral, through a combination of emissions reductions and emissions offsetting. To date, Natura has supported 38 projects, 32 in Brazil and six elsewhere in Latin America. Their flagship projects focus on:
- Use of efficient cookstoves;
- Reforestation of springs in Xingu;
- Agroforestry coffee production, and
- The Suruí Tribe Carbon Programme.
Natura has also started its own “insetting” Circular Carbon project, which remunerates smallholder families in their value chain for environmental conservation services. Natura also periodically launches public calls for proposals for new offsetting projects with potential to generate socio-economic and environmental benefits.
Natura Cosmetics’ shares its knowledge and experience with the climate neutrality, and as a result its innovations are widely emulated. In 2017, in partnership with Banco Itau Unibanco and Instituto Ekos Brasil, Natura launched a platform to help bring together climate mitigation projects with companies seeking to compensate their emissions. This initiative leverages institutional support to drive new financial flows to climate action.
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