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Ethics & Stakeholder Mgmt.

Assignment 1: The Body Shop: Poster Child of the Early Corporate Social
Responsibility Movement

Student Name: Dedglis Duarte


Student Number: 300867865

Professor: Luis Silva


Centennial College
The Body Shop: Poster Child of the Early Corporate Social Responsibility

Movement

If I were a shareholder of The Body Shop I would choose to keep my shares in the

company despite criticism of its Corporate Social Responsibility practices. My

decision is based on the fact that the founder of the company has been a social

activist who has used the power to raise awareness of the public on environmental

and animal rights issues and the impact that the cosmetic and beauty industries

have on them.

From its conception The Body Shop has been aware of the impact that its products

and brand have on its consumers, inviting to consume products that do not affect

the environmental or that are free of animal cruelty. The Body Shop creates

awareness.

The essence of the Body Shop brand is based on a philosophy of having a

profitable business but at the same time with conservation principles. And this is an

idea that was revolutionary for the decade of the 70's.

The Body shop can be considered a pioneer in CRS, since it was one of the first

international companies that published a report on its social responsibility initiatives

To understand how The Body Shop applied CSR, it is necessary to define it:

Corporate Social Responsibility encompasses the economic, legal, ethical, and


discretionary (philanthropic) expectations of the societies of organizations at given

point in time (Carrol & Buchholtz, 2015).

Key points that support the thesis statement.

The Body Shop brand is openly against animal testing. The brand does not

produce or market products that have been tested on animals and causes its

suppliers to sign a contract that has not tested products on animals in the last 5

years and that do not plan to do so in the future.

The Body Shop brand supports the trade of small communities. The brand uses as

raw material products such as bananas, beeswax, honey and others from

marginalized communities.

The Body Shop brand defends the human rights of the most vulnerable or those

whose rights are denied. The brand makes sure that the source of its raw materials

comes from places where human and civil rights are respected. The company's

staff is trained with best practices in ethical trading. The brand complies with

international human rights standards in areas such as working conditions,

protection of privacy, etc.

Key points that oppose the thesis statement.

The Body Shop and its founders have been accused of lying about their charitable

contributions. For example, there are no records of contributions to charities during


the first 11 years of operation of the company. And subsequent contributions do

not differ in percentages from any other regular company.

Other accusations that have been made to the firm are that their products are not

truly natural, and contain an extensive use of petrochemicals in its manufacture.

It has been said that the company invented stories about the use of ancient

formulations, ancestral recipes and the way the products are actually made.

Another of the things that are accused is that they are not tested on animals, but

they have been tested on animals by other companies.

The brand has been criticized for the way in which it markets its products by

making people insecure of their bodies, as they make all the regular brands of

personal care products. Another way in which the brand promotes low self-esteem

is with the idealization of body image, just the other brands do.

The brand has been criticized by many other aspects and has been boycotted in

multiple occasions.

The Body Shop has been successful and profitable since its inception in the late

1970s. The main idea of a company is that it generates economic benefits for its

shareholders and this is what this firm has been doing for the last 50 years. The

Body Shop has been heavily criticized about its CSR, but this has put
environmental and human rights issues on the agenda that other companies have

not taken into account. While the company may have overstated its achievements,

it has opened a door for consumers to become more aware of the methods of

manufacturing their personal care products, the products used in the

manufacturing process, working conditions, the sources of raw materials, and the

right of animals not to be used as test subjects. The business philosophy of this

company will continue to be to have a profitable firm with conservationist principles.


References

Butler, S. (2017, April 10). Can end of unhappy marriage with L'Oral breathe

new life into Body Shop? Retrieved September 17, 2017, from

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/apr/08/body-shop-divorce-

from-loreal-looms-closer

Carroll, A. B., & Buchholtz, A. K. (2015). Business & society: ethics, sustainability,

and stakeholder management. Stamford, CT, USA: Cengage Learning.

Petroff, A. (2017, June 28). The Body Shop is getting a new Brazilian owner.

Retrieved September 17, 2017, from

http://money.cnn.com/2017/06/28/investing/body-shop-natura-

loreal/index.html

Stevenson, R. (1994, September 02). Market Place; Body Shop's Green Image Is

Attacked. Retrieved September 17, 2017, from

http://www.nytimes.com/1994/09/02/business/market-place-body-shop-s-

green-image-is-attacked.html