Improving our environmental impact
We work to continually reduce our environmental footprint and responsibly manage our global operations. Our worldwide environmental management team is committed to implementing our policies, processes and goals, and we are proud of the progress we’ve made to date.
Reducing carbon emissions
We continue to focus on reducing our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy consumption, as well as increasing the use of renewable energy to reduce our carbon footprint. We aspire to achieve zero emissions by using 100% clean energy and we are proud of the progress we’ve made to reduce our absolute GHG emissions.
We continue to take steps to use water wisely and to conserve this valuable resource, especially in water stressed parts of the world, and we have almost met our 2020 water consumption target. We continue to implement projects to achieve zero water waste discharge in water-scarce countries where we operate, particularly in India, China and Brazil. Our manufacturing sites are committed to efforts to reduce water consumption.
Waste and recovery
We have reduced solid waste and increased recycling rates at manufacturing facilities through programmes that convert waste to energy, reuse wastewater sludge and educate global manufacturing associates on ways to reduce waste. We have surpassed our 2020 target of 90% ahead of time, and will continue to drive further as we review our new goals.
We use a variety of plastic, glass, paper and cardboard packaging materials for our products. We aim to continually reduce the environmental impact of packaging during the product development process and in ongoing business operations. Any sustainability initiatives are designed to ensure a high-quality product, where the packaging is safe, suitable for consumer use and meets all regulatory requirements. We continue to evaluate opportunities to reduce our impact through packaging by reducing or eliminating unnecessary packaging, using post-consumer recycled materials in primary and secondary packaging and using refills and bio-based packaging resins. Additional initiatives to reduce the impact of packaging include carton elimination, refillable packaging, light weighting and scalability.
As a direct seller whose 'store' is a brochure and printed materials, with virtually no brick and mortar stores, our business is a significant user of paper. The issue of deforestation is especially important to us, given this reliance on paper. We are committed to helping end deforestation through our Avon Paper Promise and our commitment to supporting sustainable palm oil production.
Avon Paper Promise
We are committed to optimising our overall use of paper in every area of our business, including basis weight reductions, reductions in brochure size and increasing the use of digital media as a replacement for paper-based products.
Our Paper Promise is a comprehensive policy for promoting responsible forest use and protecting forests. We are making significant progress towards our Paper Promise goal to purchase 100% of our paper from certified and/or post-consumer recycled content sources by 2020.
To track progress and achieve our goals, Avon voluntarily reports the amount of wood fibre we purchase from suppliers under each of the forest certifications systems through WWF’s Global Forest and Trade Network.
In 2018 we launched a mobile and e-interactive shoppable brochure, which, as well as enhancing the digital capabilities of our Representatives, will significantly reduce our paper use.
Although more than 80% of palm oil is used for food products, palm oil is one of many natural oils used in personal care products and its production is associated with tropical deforestation and peatland depletion, which can result in the loss of natural habitats for endangered species and human rights issues.
As a company, we are committed to protecting the environment and respecting and upholding the human rights of the communities and workers affected by our operations and supply chain.
Although Avon is a relatively small user of palm oil or palm kernel oil (PKO) and predominantly uses ingredients that are derivatives, in our efforts to minimise our impact on the environment, we are committed to supporting the sustainable and responsible production of palm oil. We do this through our membership of the RSPO (round table on sustainable palm oil) and through holding our suppliers accountable to our responsible sourcing principles.
In 2018, 51% of our palm oil derivatives, sourced from our 14 largest suppliers, was sourced from companies committed publicly to NDPE (no deforestation, peat or exploitation) principles and we are working hard to increase this and source from suppliers committed to these principles.
Since 2011, we supported the production of sustainable palm oil through the Book & Claim RSPO programme, which means that we pay a voluntary premium to a palm oil producer operating within the RSPO strict guidelines for social and environmental responsibility to offset our use of untraceable palm oil derivatives in the production of our products. Since 2017, we have also focused on increasing transparency within our supply chain and promoted transformation programmes.
Communicating our progress and commitments
We commit to remaining open and transparent about our palm oil sustainability and traceability efforts. We report annually on progress and future actions in our Responsible Business Report and in our RSPO Annual Communication of Progress (ACOP).