British skincare brand Elemis announces B Corp status

By Wendy Golledge


By Wendy Golledge

26 January 2023

Elemis co-founder and chief product and sustainability officer Oriele Frank has spoken exclusively to European Spa magazine about the brand’s new status as a B Corp.

After almost two years of implementing changes to processes and practices, and launching new initiatives across the business, the British skincare brand achieved 93 points (above the required score of 80) to join more than 1,000 British companies that are now B Corp Certified.

"It’s really important for Elemis to show that, as a British heritage brand of over 30 years, it never stands still."

Oriele Frank

Co-founder, chief product and sustainability officer, Elemis

B Corps is one of the world’s most stringent voluntary certifications for environmental and social impact. To meet its standards Elemis has overhauled its business operations to prioritise purpose as well as profit, taking people and environment into consideration in equal measure with money when making business decisions.

“It’s really important for Elemis to show that, as a British heritage brand of over 30 years, it never stands still,” Frank told European Spa: “Business is not just about growing and being profitable, it’s about having more purpose and being a force for good, for both people and planet. We need to take this very seriously and change in the industry must happen fast.

“The B Corp process provides an invaluable framework to measure where you are across areas like community, environment, customers, suppliers, employees and shareholders. And the certification ensures it doesn’t just stop there – your business must achieve recertification every three years – improving 10% each time.

Socially and environmentally responsible

Performance is analysed across five key areas – governance, workers, community, environment and customers. B Corp rigorously assesses the whole business to meet high verified standards of social and environmentally responsible practices, transparency, and corporate accountability.

Other Certified B Corp UK businesses include The Guardian, The Body Shop, Made for Life Organics, Abel & Cole and Patagonia.

Elemis works with CEW and the Sustainable Beauty Coalition as part of the British Beauty Council

Improving on all fronts

Elemis had to meet stringent B Corp environmental and social standards, representative of its goals outside of shareholder profit.

The brand’s sustainability pledges focus on protecting and restoring biodiversity, making a more positive impact on climate and empowering people and community for a better future.

These include working with suppliers and supporting regenerative farming programmes to ensure full traceability of raw materials and improve impact on land and water use, and creating smarter formulations combining natural ingredients with nature-based biotech to protect future biodiversity.

The whole Elemis team has worked to improve standards to a B Corp level

Frank continued: “We are also working with both CEW and the Sustainable Beauty Coalition as part of the British Beauty Council to ensure our industry champions change. We believe in supporting the next generation of sustainability leaders to push our industry further.

“Sean, Noella and I are most proud of all the Elemis teams and our owners, the L’Occitane Group, who have embraced this certification process over the last 18 months and delivered well beyond what we could ever have imagined. This is just the start. We know we have work to do, but it’s incredibly exciting to be planning such a positive future post pandemic, especially in this industry that got hit so hard.

“Being certified to the highest verified standards of transparency and accountability provides further assurances to our customers that we do what we say we do, and that we're committed to driving long-term positive changes.”

Noella Gabriel

Co-founder and global president, Elemis

“This isn’t just about a B Corp Certification, this is about doing better business, it’s a global movement for an inclusive, equitable and regenerative economy.”

Sustainability strategy

The next step for Elemis moving forward is an ambitious new sustainability strategy, with a focus on carbon sink projects, including a peatlands restoration project, which sequesters carbon by absorbing and holding onto it from the atmosphere.

Work is underway to re-package the brand’s entire portfolio, reducing size, moving to new widely recyclable alternatives and recycled content, or being reusable.

B Corp is one of the world’s most stringent environmental and social impact certifications

“We have always considered our impact on people and planet to be as important as our results-driven formulas and treatments,” said Noella Gabriel, Elemis co-founder and global president.

There are currently more than 6,000 certified B Corporations globally, unified by the common goal of transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities and the planet.

B Corp certification assesses the overall positive impact of the company using the B Impact Assessment to evaluate how an enterprise’s operations and business model impact its workers, community, environment, and customers. 

Be inspired ...

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Be educated ...

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