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Avon takes up sustainable palm oil cause

Avon takes up sustainable palm oil cause

Posting in Sustainability

Starting in July, the $10 billion beauty company will start buying green palm oil certificates.

As part of its Hello Green Tomorrow umbrella initiative, Avon Products has embraced new policies and guidelines for Palm Oil, which shows up in modest amounts in many of its products.

"Wait?" you ask. "A beauty company taking up the palm oil cause?"

Tod Arbogast, vice president of sustainability and corporate responsibility for the $10 billion beauty company, said Avon doesn't purchase a lot of palm oil directly -- less than 100 tons -- but many of the ingredients in cosmetics and beauty products across the industry use palm oil derivatives. "Our products can have unintended consequences," he said. "We looked internally at our sourcing strategies and recognized that we have an opportunity to make a leading-edge commitment."

So, Avon is working to quantity this amount and starting in July, it will begin purchasing "book and claim" sustainable palm oil certificates. The company also has joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.

So, I don't know about you, but when Avon does something I sit up and take notice because of the incredible network of women that sell its products around the world. Every time Avon takes up a cause, that sales network takes up the cause, which is pretty powerful.

Hello Green Tomorrow's primary fund-raising focus is deforestation and, in particular, the Atlantic rain forest. Since last year, the company has raised $2.1 million for that cause and so far it has helped restore about 5,000 acres in concert with the Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund, according to Arbogast.

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Heather Clancy

Section Editor

Heather Clancy has written for United Press International, ZDNet, Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times. She holds a degree from McGill University. She is based in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure