Introduction

This case study focuses on how The Body Shop assesses its own business performance whilst taking into account its different stakeholder groups and their various aims and objectives.

In 1976, Anita Roddick opened the first The Body Shop in Brighton, selling 25 naturally-based skin and hair care products. The Body Shop International Plc now has over 1,500 stores in 47 countries selling over 400 different products. The Body Shop story, however, is not just of a highly successful market-oriented manufacturer and retailer of toiletries and cosmetics. Like its founder, the whole organisation is committed to issues such as respect for human rights, animal and environmental protection. The organisation has arranged and supported national and international campaigns on animal testing in the cosmetic industry, women’s rights, anti-nuclear testing and coordinated an international protest at the sentencing and execution of environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and other Ogoni leaders in Nigeria who were fighting to protect their community from multi-national oil companies. All business organisations need to make a profit to survive but the emphasis at The Body Shop is on profit with a wider social responsibility i.e. ‘profit with principles.’

The Body Shop Mission Statement

  • To dedicate our business to the pursuit of social and environmental change.
  • To creatively balance the financial and human needs of our stakeholders employees, franchisees, customers, suppliers and shareholders.
  • To courageously ensure that our business is ecologically sustainable, meeting the needs of the present without compromising the future.
  • To meaningfully contribute to local, national and international communities in which we trade, by adopting a code of conduct which ensures care, honesty, fairness and respect.
  • To passionately campaign for the protection of the environment, human and civil rights and against animal testing within the cosmetics and toiletries industry.
  • To tirelessly work to narrow the gap between principle and practice, whilst making fun, passion and care part of our daily lives.

Underpinning the Mission Statement is a Trading Charter which addresses the three principal ethical concerns of The Body Shop.