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 internal efforts and policies, including the Avon Paper Promise and Avon Palm Oil Promise.
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 with a certification preference of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
Avon Palm Oil Promise
We recognise that palm oil is a significant cause of tropical deforestation and peatland depletion, which can result in the loss of natural habitats for endangered species. Palm oil also has known human rights issues.
Although more than 80% of palm oil is used for food products, it also is one of many natural oils used in personal care products. At Avon, we are not a significant user of palm oil or palm kernel oil (PKO) and predominantly uses ingredients that are derivatives of these ingredients.
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. The Avon Palm Oil Promise outlines our commitment to responsible sourcing in our palm oil supply chain and includes Avon’s No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE) commitment. The guidelines in our Promise are designed to hold our suppliers accountable to our specific sourcing principles.
Our commitment to responsible Palm Oil
We are dedicated to working in collaboration with our peers, NGOs, suppliers and other stakeholders to promote practices and standards with the goal of traceability and the elimination of deforestation suppliers to ensure palm oil, palm kernel oil, and derivatives used in our products globally meet our Palm Oil Promise and NDPE commitment. We are a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
From 2011 to 2017, we supported the production of sustainable palm oil through the Book & Claim programme, which means that for every estimated ton of palm oil derivative we used in the production of our products, we paid a voluntary premium to a palm oil producer operating within the RSPO strict guidelines for social and environmental responsibility. Since 2017, we have also focused on increasing transparency and traceability within our supply chain and promoted transformation programmes.
We continue to purchase credit certificates for the estimated tons of palm oil derivative we use in the production of our products and have yet to fully trace (to mill), gradually phasing out the need for credits each year as we increase our efforts to transform practices that destroy forests, exclude communities, and exploit workers. In 2018 we supported the production of 6,200 metric tons of sustainable palm oil through the purchase of Book & Claim certificates.
Tracing our Palm Oil supply
The traceability of palm/PKO derivatives is complex. To support our traceability work, we are a member of the non-profit organisation The Forest Trust (TFT) and are collaborating with TFT to map our palm derivatives supply chain to various key milestones to ensure our values of sourcing palm oil free from deforestation and exploitation are shared upstream at the level of production.
Our initial focus has been on mapping our top suppliers’ supply chains to the level of first importer—companies that are generally the link between countries of palm oil production (e.g. Indonesia or Malaysia) and countries of manufacturing. We have also traced the supply to a point in the supply chain where suppliers can demonstrate that the palm oil meets our sourcing principles.
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, in our RSPO Annual Communication of Progress (ACOP) and on the TFT Transparency Hub.
As part of our commitment to traceability and transparency, we have published a list of the mills from our top then suppliers that includes the mill name, the mill’s parent company and the mill coordinates. We will update this list as we progress on our traceability work with the remainder of our supply chain.
Now that we have reached traceability to the mill with the majority of our top ten suppliers, we have identified key points of leverage and risk within our supply chain where our support can affect change on the ground. Through our partnership with TFT, we are funding two transformation projects in Indonesia and Malaysia. Our traceability work and our mill list have enabled us to identify that these projects cover approximately 97% of our known palm oil supply chain.
APT (Areal Prioritas Transformasi) Landscapes (Aceh Tamiang and Southern Aceh, Indonesia)
We are currently funding the TFT Landscapes Programme that works to create resilient, thriving communities and ecosystems. This landscape level, multi-stakeholder approach will ensure robust, environmentally and socially sensitive land-use plans are in place for key geographies in Indonesia that are relevant to our palm oil supply chain, as well as to those of other supporting TFT members.
Directory of Services for Vulnerable Children (Sabah, Malaysia)
One of the challenges facing palm oil companies in Sabah is the lack of understanding of policy requirements and good practices to prevent children working in plantations and being exposed to hazardous environments. As part of an effort to encourage businesses to collaborate with local NGOs to strengthen child protection, Avon is funding the mapping of services for vulnerable children in Sabah. The resulting directory will be disseminated to local mills and plantations, workers who are parents and the local community.