The Body Shop . It is nearly impossible to pick up any newspaper and avoid reading a section that deals with the unethical or even illegal conduct of the people who run our organizations. Whether its stock manipulation, dubious accounting practices, or discarding of environmental waste, the stories keep growing. Ethics are” the code of moral values and principles that rule the behavior of a person or group with respect to what is right or wrong (McGraw-Hill, 1)”. What do you think makes a company ethical? I know of a very ethical organization which is The Body Shop. The Body Shop is regarded as a pioneer of modern corporate social responsibility as one the first companies to publish a full report of its efforts and initiatives. When Anita Roddick founded her organization in 1976, she led her organization to stand up for what it believed in. She used $4,000 to open a small shop of natural ingredients cosmetics and personal care products. Her goal was to support herself and her two daughters while her husband spent two years riding horseback from Buenos to New York. Success came quickly and she opened another store before the first year was over. Gordon Roddick returned home in 1977 to join his wife in the enterprise. They decided to franchise the organization during the company’s second year, and by 1984 the company boasted 138 stores, 87 of which were located outside of the United Kingdom. Her organization believed and supported causes such as self-esteem, environmental protection, animal rights, community trade and human rights from sponsoring posters in 1985 for Greenpeace to presenting a petition against animal testing in the European Union with 4,000,000 signatures. The body shop is perceived to be among the most ethical of companies worldwide. Everyone brings his or her values into the workplace. It is up to you as a manager or founder to set the tone for your business.
The Body Shop is one of the companies that took a lead on corporate responsibility. In her role as corporate spokesperson, Roddick has been successful in leading CSR efforts from the top of management. Roddick is immediately identifiable in business circles as the company founder and has received lots of recognition, including Businesswoman of the Year in 1984 (Oates 1988) for her efforts in creating The Body Shop’s CSR foundations. It was in the 80’s that Roddick decided to encourage and contribute to social and environmental change through her company. Although she first allied The Body Shop, she soon began her own campaigns, particularly ones that focused on recycling and on putting an end to animal testing. Her company began to grow into a million dollar company very rapidly. The Body Shop has 67800 employees and 14000 employees working with the franchise network as a consultant. They are famous for providing natural care products with over 69 million customer transactions nationwide. The company offers over 900 products and 200 accessories. (The Body Shop Value Report 2005). They have taken a stand to commit to certain standards. The Body Shop believes in “Delivering value. Anita Roddick once stated, “If I wanted to maximize my profits, which is supposed to be this country’s duties of business, I would have to lie and sell anti-aging cream, which is one of the greatest, most insidious lies out there.” She was a very honest person and didn’t believe in exaggerating or lying to sell her products. She even saved a lot of money by not advertising and letting her products speak for the company.
The Body Shop is a very ethical company and does very well at managing and effecting environmental resources. Anita Roddick has “successfully established herself and her company as leaders in the arena of social responsibility” (Dennis, Neck & Goldsby 1998). The Body Shop believes “a business has a moral obligation to account for its social and environmental performance” (The Body Shop Australia 2007).