Body Shop owner Natura is latest to link financing to ethics
Brazil’s Natura, the owner of The Body Shop, Aesop, and Avon brands, has become the latest company to raise funds that are conditional on the business reaching certain ethical/eco goals.
The news comes hot on the heels of an announcement Thursday from lifestyle retailer Joules that its own new financing package is directly linked to it achieving key environmental, social and governance (ESG) targets.
More and more companies are making heavier commitments in ESG as their customers, their own staff and regulatory authorities in the countries in which they operate all prioritise ‘doing good’ at a business level.
Natura said it has completed an international fundraising round of $1 billion (£718 million) via bonds linked to sustainability goals with the money being used to refinance its debt and improve its capital structure.
The environmental performance goals include a reduction in greenhouse gas emission intensity by a further 13% on top of the reductions already happening. Also in the deal is the target for the company to use 25% of post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic in its plastic product packaging. The company already has a major packaging circularity programme running as part of its Commitment to Life, Sustainability Vision 2030.
It’s no surprise that Natura has taken this step given that the company and the brands it has acquired over the years have all had a strong ethical and environmental profile from day one.
“The successful raising of $1 billion in bonds linked to sustainability targets is a milestone for Natura & Co and is the largest-ever single issuance by a Brazilian issuer,” executive chairman and CEO Roberto Marques said. “The strong demand for the securities is a recognition by the market of the group’s solid capacity to deliver social, environmental and financial results.
“Natura already has a long and consistent history of commitment to sustainability and is now taking a further step connecting and aligning financial and environmental targets.”
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