The European Commission defines Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as "the responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on society". The Commission encourages that enterprises "should have in place a process to integrate social, environmental, ethical human rights and consumer concerns into their business operations and core strategy in close collaboration with their stakeholders."
Studies have shown that CSR has many benefits including cost savings and improved customer relations. As a response, more beauty related companies are implementing CSR initiatives on a local and global level.
Though some companies have recognized the opportunity and adopted sustainable and socially responsible practices, “greenwashing” remains a concern. It occurs when companies state that they are making greener, ethical and social changes, but they are not able to validate their claims with specific evidence. With this in mind, CSR efforts within a company will only sustain itself when specific targets and goals are identified, measured and quantified.
Best CSR Green Practices
The following are some examples of how beauty companies are incorporating social responsibility initiatives into their daily operations:
Mary Kay, Inc
Tree Planting Program: Mary Kay Inc. planted 200,000 trees in the Bitterroot National Forest in Montana and 100,000 trees in the Pike National Forest in Colorado with the U.S. Forest Service and the Arbor Day Foundation. Mary Kay China plants trees in Shanghai, Hangzhou and Ningxia. In addition, employees from Mary Kay Russia, Mary Kay Mexico and Mary Kay Malaysia are involved with tree-planting programs.
Mary Kate Foundation: To date, The Mary Kay Foundation has awarded more than $17.3 million to cancer researchers at accredited medical schools and schools of public health, and $37 million to shelters and programs addressing domestic violence prevention.
Domestic Violence: Mary Kay and The Mary Kay FoundationSM partner each year to survey domestic violence shelters to learn more about what is happening on the front lines of this important issue. The annual survey takes an in-depth look at domestic violence through the perspective of executive directors at women’s shelters across the country.
For more information on Mary Kay social programs
MAC AIDS Fund: M·A·C AIDS Fund supports community organizations providing direct services to men, women and children affected or infected by HIV/AIDS. Every cent of the selling price of M·A·C VIVA GLAM lipstick and lipglass is donated to the M·A·C AIDS Fund.
For more information on MAC Aids Fund
SHISEIDO Quality Beauty Project: Shiseido has worked in partnership with medical institutions to provide makeup advice for customers with skin disorders or scarring.
Initiatives for Children: The number of children with skin problems such as rough skin is increasing and to address this issue, Shiseido distributes daily beauty information for children, including face washing and UV-protection methods in an easy-to-understand manner, thereby enabling children to become familiar with suitable ways to treat their skin.
For more information on Shiseido’s Social Responsibility programs
NUXE partners with “A Home for Bees”, focused on preserving hive colonies and supporting the bee population. NUXE also partners with “1001 Fountains”, a project aimed at developing an environmentally friendly water station in a rural village located in southern Cambodia.
For more information on NUXE commitments
Yves Rocher Foundation: The Yves Rocher Foundation, formed in 1991, promotes nature conservation, community outreach and environmental education around the world. The two main projects include the Plant for the Planet and the Terre de Femmes Award. To date, over 285 women in 15 countries have received recognition for their environmental work. In partnership with UNEP, the foundation has committed to planting 50 million trees to celebrate 50 years.
For more information on Yves Rocher
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CSR Europe is the leading European business network for Corporate Social Responsibility. Through its network of around 70 corporate members and 41 National CSR organisations, it gathers over 10,000 companies, and acts as a platform for those businesses looking to enhance sustainable growth and positively contribute to society.