Eco-Friendly Direct Selling Brands Make Major Strides in Sustainability

In the spirit of Earth Day and Arbor Day—both occurring this week—DSN is spotlighting some of the ways direct selling companies are taking a sustainable approach to business. Click through to learn more about the eco-friendly initiatives happening daily across the industry.

  • The Arbor Day Foundation has named Mary Kay Inc. the recipient of its 2015 Promise to the Earth Award for its tree planting and conservation efforts. The cosmetics brand is a corporate partner of the foundation, alongside organizations such as Disney, FedEx and Toyota. Through its Pink Doing Green campaign, Mary Kay has committed to planting 1 million trees around the world, achieved zero landfill status at eight of its facilities, powered its Dallas-area facilities with renewable energy, and saved millions of gallons of water.
  • Avon Products Inc. announced Wednesday that its Healthy Forests, Beautiful World fundraising program has topped $7.5 million in donations for global reforestation efforts. The New York-based company partners with The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund to support the critically endangered rainforests in Brazil and Indonesia. In its announcement, Avon also introduced an Earth Day tote bag available to U.S. customers. For each bag sold, Avon will donate $2 to Healthy Forests, Beautiful World.
  • Sustainability is the mission of Viridian Energy, a renewable energy provider based in Connecticut. This week the company released its annual Sustainability Report, reviewed by Ernst & Young, on the environmental benefit of its products. For example: Since Viridian’s founding in 2009, it has helped customers avoid 5 billion pounds of CO2 emissions, the equivalent of recycling more than 35 billion plastic bottles. The company has also organized dozens of local cleanup and planting projects across the country through its Earth Month campaign.
  • On Thursday USANA Health Sciences Inc. announced its new Climate Registered status, meaning the company has measured its carbon footprint, with third-party verification, and reported the data through The Climate Registry. The reporting enables USANA to gauge its environmental impact, identify inefficiencies and anticipate future regulation. Through its ongoing USANA Green initiative, the Salt Lake City-based company is also saving 2.67 million gallons of water a year, cutting a third of its greenhouse gas emissions, recycling 50 percent of its waste and more.

Avon Ranked among ‘Best Global Green Brands’

Avon, this year’s Bravo Humanitarian Award recipient, has been named one of Interbrand’s Best Global Green Brands of 2014. The global brand consultancy ranked Avon No. 42 of the 50 companies leading the way in sustainability.

Interbrand defines a sustainable approach as “creating long-term value by embracing opportunities and managing risks derived from economic, environmental and social impacts.” The Best Global Green Brands ranking evaluates both market perception and environmental performance—from governance and operations all the way down the chain to products and services.

One of Avon’s greatest distinctions is its 6 million-strong salesforce, which extends the company’s environmental impact across the globe.  Avon has mobilized its salespeople through initiatives like Healthy Forests, Beautiful World—a program that raises funds and awareness in support of reforestation efforts by The Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund.

On the corporate side, Avon has met or exceeded several benchmarks in its quest for increased sustainability. The New York-based company is an industry leader in its reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Between 2005 and 2012, Avon reduced water use by 200 million gallons and achieved an overall recycling rate of 83 percent at its manufacturing and distribution centers. Interbrand also noted the company’s environmental award-winning manufacturing facility in China and its new R&D Center in Shanghai, which has achieved LEED Platinum certification.

View the 2014 Best Global Green Brands.

Avon Launches Global Reforestation Initiative

Photo above: A view from the Atlantic Forest covering Brazil’s Ilhabela archipelago.

Avon, recipient of this year’s DSN Bravo Humanitarian Award, is marshaling its considerable resources behind a new global reforestation initiative, Healthy Forests, Beautiful World. Through a special line of products, the company will raise funds in support of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

The Avon Foundation for Women has made major strides in raising awareness and support of women facing breast cancer and domestic violence. The Healthy Forests, Beautiful World program is a part of Avon’s ongoing conservation efforts, which contribute to the well-being of women and their families in another way. Since 2010, Avon has donated more than $6.8 million—$1.3 million in 2013 alone—toward global reforestation.

“Paper and forests are important to Avon’s business, and we are committed to making a difference in this area,” said Tod Arbogast, Avon Vice President, Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility. “The newly named Healthy Forests, Beautiful World program continues our work to tap the vast reach and commitment of Avon’s powerful worldwide network of Representatives, in conjunction with the expertise of WWF and TNC, to create a commanding force to help end deforestation.”

TNC works in one of the world’s most endangered and bio-diverse rainforests, the Atlantic Forest in Brazil. The WWF supports the tropical forests of Indonesia, another key region of endangered forests.

Avon has also brought its conservation efforts home through measures like the Avon Paper Promise and the Avon Palm Oil Promise, commitments to promote and practice sustainability in the use of limited natural resources.

Avon’s Hello Green Tomorrow Tops $5.5 Million


Avon Products Inc. recently announced that the Avon Hello Green Tomorrow project, a global fundraising and mobilization program, has topped $5.5 million since its 2010 launch, including $2 million raised in 2012 alone. Avon has contributed the funds to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to tackle deforestation in Brazil and Indonesia, which are recognized as two of the most critical “hot spots” for deforestation worldwide.

Hello Green Tomorrow raises funds through the sale of special products in more than 50 countries by Avon Sales Representatives and online on Avon eCommerce sites. The company contributes all proceeds to help restore the Atlantic Forest in Brazil, in partnership with TNC, and the tropical forests of Indonesia, with WWF. These forests are among the most threatened in the world, and are important for mitigating climate change, supporting biodiversity and providing for the health and economic well-being of millions of people.

Avon, the company for women, is a leading global beauty company, with nearly $11 billion in annual revenue. As one of the world’s largest direct sellers, Avon is sold through more than 6 million active independent Avon Sales Representatives in over 100 countries.

Herbalife Shares Trade Above Pre-Allegation Prices


Herbalife continues to gain momentum following its record first quarter earnings. The global nutrition company saw shares fall 43 percent in December after hedge fund manager Bill Ackman alleged that Herbalife operates a pyramid scheme and announced a $1 billion short position in the company. Last week, Herbalife shares climbed above the price they brought before Ackman’s allegations.

One of Herbalife’s strongest supporters has been investor Carl Icahn, who answered Ackman’s accusations by buying up more than 16 percent of the company’s stock. Icahn also defended Herbalife’s business model against Ackman in person during a television program where the two investors debated the charges. In addition, Herbalife’s shareholders recently approved two Icahn nominees to its board of directors. The company has seen a total stock gain of more than 20 percent since April 18.

Read more on Herbalife’s recent stock gain.

As its earnings increase, Herbalife is also receiving international recognition for its corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs. The company’s TEAM Herbalife and Casa Herbalife initiatives were included in the 2012 list of the “Best Social Projects of Russia,” a program that brings the state, society, and private sector together to address social policy reform. The program has the backing of several organizations, including the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Agency for Strategic Initiatives and World Wildlife Fund.

Team Herbalife promotes a healthy, active lifestyle by encouraging individuals to engage in sports and fitness on the local level. Herbalife reports that over 4,000 distributors and customers across more than 30 cities took part in activities such as Ski Russia and the White Nights Marathon in St. Petersburg as part of the program. The Herbalife Family Foundation’s Casa Herbalife program, which aims to improve the nutrition of vulnerable children, supported children’s charities in Russia and mobilized distributors to volunteer at various charities throughout the country.

Read more on how Herbalife is impacting Russia.