Interbrand/Deloitte released the 2012 list of 50 “Best Global Green Brands,” and Avon has maintained the #37 spot, coming in just behind Starbucks. Many of the top spots are held by automotive and tech companies – both of which are industries that are innovating in green technology and communicating those efforts to consumers. The only other beauty peers to make the list are J&J (#2) and L’Oreal (#14), and Avon is the only direct seller among the 50.
We are proud to hold onto our ranking year over year, but also meaningful are the comments on Interbrand’s site that note Avon “remains true” to its commitments to sustainability and corporate responsibility through turbulent times. This underscores a critical factor: commitment to stay the course. Corporate responsibility is not a short-term exercise.
In the “Green Brands” announcement, David Pearson, Global Sustainability Leader, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, noted “It is becoming increasingly clear that sustainability is a ‘must have’ rather than a ‘nice to have’ for a lot of companies.” Back in mid-May, corporate responsibility was even the topic on the floor of the U.S. Senate when representatives of Eastman Chemical Company, FedEx, GE Power & Water, Intel Corporation and Procter & Gamble testified on long-term efforts to reduce environmental footprints, drive innovation and improve efficient use of water, energy and natural resources.
Starting with Avon’s founding principles in 1886, the company has a deeply imbedded culture of corporate citizenship that has driven meaningful change in emerging issues, especially related to women. The Avon Foundation for Women was originally founded in 1955 to drive women’s economic empowerment, followed by the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, which launched in 1992, and Speak Out Against Domestic Violence in 2004.
But most relevant to the “Green Brands” ranking are Avon’s longstanding efforts in enterprise-wide sustainability. This includes a commitment to certified green buildings and a global paper policy, along with the Hello Green Tomorrow global mobilization and fundraising program, which launched in 2010 to help end deforestation. Pulling this all together in an accessible package is our online Corporate Responsibility Report, which was noted as the final piece to land Avon on the “Green Brands” list.
Being “green” is a journey of constant improvement — and a journey that never ends.