REDUCING OUR ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT
Part of being a truly sustainable business is being honest and transparent about what we’re doing, and allowing you to make informed decisions about what you buy and its effect on the environment. So here you will find information about our products and formulas to help you decide…
DURING THE RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT STAGE OF MAKING OUR PRODUCTS, WE REVIEW OUR FORMULAS AGAINST FOUR MAIN ENVIRONMENTAL AREAS:
WHAT DO THESE MEAN?
Biodegradability is how easily the product breaks down and can be assimilated by natural processes – in technical terms the ability of bacteria or other living organisms to decompose the ingredients used in a product. Biodegradability tests measure the amount of organic material degraded by microorganisms within 28 days. Each ingredient is assigned a biodegradability % that considers the individual biodegradability rating for each component, and takes into account the inclusion level of each ingredient. At The Body Shop we favour ingredients classified as readily biodegradable.
The volume of water needed to dilute a product to a level where it would have no impact on water quality standards. We strive to ensure that we have a low water footprint value and low eco-toxicity.
INGREDIENTS FROM RENEWABLE NATURAL ORIGIN
We measure our ingredients of natural origin, which is any ingredient which comes from plant matter derived from physical, fermentation and other low impact processing methods. Measuring the renewable natural origin content of a formula starts with the classification of each of the ingredients used. An ingredient is defined as either natural, natural origin raw material or synthetic. The ingredient is assessed by taking into account both the origin of the starting materials and the level of processing that ingredients undergo. To calculate the percentage natural origin content of a formula, the amount of natural or natural origin raw material is summed together. This amount is divided by the percentage of the formula, excluding water, to give an overall formula percentage. Our aim is to increase the levels of ingredients from natural origin.
INGREDIENTS FROM ‘GREEN CHEMISTRY’
Those that come from environmentally friendly processes and techniques that reduce the generation of chemicals which are hazardous to the environment. Currently there are 12 principles of green chemistry, which focus on ingredients that have a minimal impact on health and the environment. We take these principles into account, and if an ingredient is produced according to them, it is marked as an ingredient from green chemistry.
HOW DO WE CARRY OUT THE TESTS?
During the development phase of products, our research team is able to asses each formula against these indicators. Each assessment uses computer modelling to accurately predict the environmental impact, based on the data measured from each ingredient. We use this information to reduce our impact on the environment.
WHAT DOES THE FORMULA RATING MEAN?
The final formula rating is a combination of the four indicators, which is given a value from 0-10. The average value considers the amount of products sold in each of the above categories in the previous 12-month period. The ratings show how we are performing in each of our categories and set the targets that new products are measured against, to ensure that year on year we improve our environmental footprint.