Message from our board
A call for unity
Luiz Seabra, Guilherme Leal, Pedro Passos, and Roberto Marques, on behalf of the Board
We felt certain 2020 would be a milestone year for Natura &Co long before it arrived. In early January, we celebrated as we welcomed Avon into our group. Like the rest of the world, we were blissfully unaware of what lay ahead. COVID-19 caused disruption on a scale none of us had ever experienced. Countries, communities, corporations, and families have had to redefine their lives and to find ways to adapt to the pandemic.
The COVID-19 tragedy exposed the deep inequalities that exist in our society, laying bare the challenges faced by mankind – be they sanitary, social, ethnic or climatic in origin. Against the backdrop of this unprecedented volatility in the world, Natura &Co was in the midst of progressing its internationalization. With the arrival of Avon, we had expanded our presence and entered new geographies, and we ensured continuity for millions of consultants and representatives, thousands of stores and operations over multiple digital platforms. In the context of the pandemic, our greater global presence immediately led us to the conclusion that we could – and should – do even more for the world.
With courage, determination, resilience, and agility, our network of associates, store colleagues, consultants and representatives, suppliers, communities and consumers demonstrated their creativity and energy in tackling the challenges presented by the pandemic, further underscoring the power of the “&” and the “Co” in our name, which have also come to constitute our essence. To everyone in our network, we offer our most sincere thanks for the dedication with which they balanced their lives and their work.
Given the unpredictable circumstances, it was essential that we prioritize our network. It was “Time to Care” for ourselves and for each other. One of the key symbols of this choice was a decision taken by the Group Operating Committee at the height of the uncertainty caused by the pandemic illustrates what this means. The group invited employees to pledge part of their pay on a voluntary basis, to help tackle the crisis and ensure continuity of the group’s activities. Thanks to Natura &Co’s impressive financial results, we returned the donations made during this period, at the end of 2020.
These results were due, in part, to the rapid adoption of digital technologies across all of our businesses in 2020, reflecting the success of our strategic investments in recent years.
Extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures, and the group’s spirit of unity has demonstrated that we are on the right path to address other global challenges, especially those related to caring for life, for the planet. The Commitment to Life 2030 Sustainability Vision represents a landmark in this respect.
We looked to the future and created an action plan for immediate execution. Collectively, Avon, Natura, The Body Shop, and Aesop have assumed ambitious targets for the next ten years, with a critical call to action to address challenges such as global warming, the loss of biodiversity, particularly in the Amazon, and social inequality. In parallel, we will continue to advance in the development of alternatives in regeneration and circularity, in new formulas and packaging.
We will ensure that the lessons, the losses and the challenges of 2020 will not have been in vain. We are conscious that we need to enhance our corporate practices and be agents of dialogue and cooperation, seeking partnerships that generate positive transformations for the world. The year brought irreparable damages but ended with some signs that we may expect positive transformations. We have seen that denialism, which has been so harmful for public health policies, is starting to lose steam in the world. The development of effective and safe vaccines in record-breaking time—often employing revolutionary technologies—yet again demonstrates just how capable science is of saving millions of lives.
This year made clear, in a painful, unequivocal manner, that the destiny of nations is interconnected. We are seeing hopeful signs emerge that isolationism is on the retreat, and that with political changes, space is created to reinforce multilateralism among major world players.
When the current crisis is over, the challenges will remain. Climate change threatens even greater and more devastating impacts for all forms of life on Earth. Protecting the conditions that sustain life on the planet must become a mission for us all, just as the struggle against the coronavirus has been. It must be an international effort uniting governments, private sector, academia, and civil society. It is time to unite science and traditional knowledge. We will fight even more for the protection of the most vulnerable. If there is one way of healing the scars left by 2020, it is understanding that our destiny is collective and that building a better future depends on our ability to unite and to advance in the same direction. After all, there are no limits for human cooperation.