Gap Score

Avon slips four places this year due to declining perception, while its sustainability performance was impacted by increased energy and water use intensity and less transparency about engagement with policymakers. Despite this, Avon’s corporate responsibility efforts continue to advance, and it scored higher for increased disclosure around use of LCA (life cycle assessment) in product development, and for disclosing quantitative data around its green product portfolio. Determined to narrow its gap between performance and perception, Avon started a corporate responsibility blog in June 2012 titled “Avon’s Calling,” discussing topics such as deforestation and water conservation. The company is following through on its Green Building Promise announced in 2011 by opening LEED-certified buildings around the world. Its LEED gold certified headquarters in New York, which opened in 2011, exceeded targets set for the building, including a mandate that 15 percent of the construction crew be comprised of women. Avon opened a distribution center in Colombia last year, dubbed the “Avon Eco-branch,” that is the first LEED gold certified building in the country. The company has also committed to the Avon Paper Promise, which sets a goal to produce its brochures using 100 percent recycled paper by 2020. Avon is well on its way, reaching 80 percent use of recycled paper in 2012. The cosmetics giant continues to foster the Avon Foundation for Women to fight breast cancer and domestic violence. Avon plans to publish a CSR report every two years and is due for a report in 2013. It will be interesting to see how Avon measures up to the goals it has set, and what plans the brand announces for its future in corporate sustainability.