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Avon Products, Inc. Marks Earth Month with New "Palm Oil Promise" to Continue Mission to Help End Deforestation

First Major Beauty Company to Commit to 100 Percent Certified Palm Oil

Submitted by: Fenton

Categories: Corporate Social Responsibility, Green Products & Services

Posted: Apr 14, 2011 – 12:38 PM EST

 

NEW YORK, Apr. 14 /CSRwire/ - Second Annual Global Hello Green Tomorrow Fundraising Program Continues to Help Restore Rain Forests in South America and Indonesia

In celebration of Earth Day 2011 and beyond, Avon Products, Inc. [NYSE: AVP] has announced the company's new Palm Oil Promise, a company-wide global commitment to sustainable palm oil, as part of the company's 2011 Hello Green Tomorrow initiatives that also include new global fundraising efforts.

Through the Palm Oil Promise, Avon has become the first major beauty company to commit to 100 percent Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)-certified palm oil through certificates designed to advance the production of sustainable palm oil. Although Avon is not a significant user of palm oil, the company has made the commitment to purchase GreenPalm certificates covering all of its global palm oil use which will help drive demand for sustainable palm oil, increase the supply for sustainable palm oil, and maintain biodiversity and habitat for endangered species. GreenPalm is a certificate trading program endorsed by the RSPO, which seeks to increase sustainable palm oil production.

In support of this commitment, Avon has joined the RSPO (http://rspo.org/) to help continue the development, implementation and verification of credible global standards for sustainable palm oil. Although more than 80 percent of palm oil is used for food products, it is also an ingredient in many cosmetics and personal care products. Palm oil production has come under criticism for destroying rain forests and peatland across Southeast Asia, leading to habitat destruction and high carbon emissions. Avon supports the current moratorium on the conversion of primary forests and peatlands into palm oil plantations.

"GreenPalm enables brands to give genuine support to those in the palm oil industry who are working without harm to people, animals or the environment, and to give others a commercial incentive to use sustainable methods approved by the RSPO," said Bob Norman, general manager of GreenPalm. "It's no surprise that Avon, a brand with a strong ethical track record, is leading the way in supporting sustainable palm oil production."

In 2010, concurrent with the initial launch of its Hello Green Tomorrow program, Avon announced the Avon Paper Promise, a comprehensive policy outlining efforts and goals for promoting sustainable forest use, protecting forests, and reducing demands on forests. Among Avon's goals is the commitment to purchase 100 percent of its paper from certified and or post-consumer recycled content sources within ten years, with a certification preference of Forest Stewardship Council. Currently, 74 percent of Avon's brochure paper meets the Avon Paper Promise commitments.

Global Mobilization and Fundraising

Also this April Avon is launching the second year of the Hello Green Tomorrow global grassroots fundraising and mobilization program, continuing its mission to "plant a future" by empowering a global environmental movement to help restore critically endangered rain forests. Commencing in mid-April and rolling out through the year, all proceeds from the sale of unique Avon fundraising items in more than 50 countries will be contributed to The Nature Conservancy for restoration of the Atlantic Rain Forest in South America and, new this year, to the World Wildlife Fund for its work in the tropical forests of Indonesia (Borneo and Sumatra). The Hello Green Tomorrow fundraising product collection includes the 34 oz. aluminum Hello Green Tomorrow Water Bottle, available only in the US for $8.00 ($4.57 donated to the cause). Avon is also refreshing the website www.hellogreentomorrow.com in mid-April, offering users "green" content such as education on tropical forests, tips, a blog, resources and opportunities to share ideas on personal environmental action.

"Avon celebrates its 125th anniversary this year; and there is no better time for us to look forward and take action to help 'plant a future' than through Hello Green Tomorrow," stated Avon Chairman and CEO Andrea Jung. "Our commitment to giving back to society and the environment traces back to our company's founding principles in 1886. Today we bring this to life by empowering a global environmental movement, and by enhancing our commitment to environmental stewardship throughout our organization. Avon's unique strength is mobilizing people to be a positive force for good in the world, and I believe we can make a significant impact."

While Avon fundraising is global, the proceeds are focused on the two geographic areas with the most critically-endangered and devastated rain forests: forests that help serve as the "lungs of the earth" while supporting extraordinary biodiversity, watersheds and economic opportunity for millions of people.

"Of all the places WWF works, the rate of destruction in Borneo and Sumatra (Indonesia) defies the imagination," said WWF President and CEO Carter Roberts. "Devising a solution equal to the weight of humanity’s pressure on this rich place will take persistence, creativity and collaboration. We are grateful for the support and leadership of partners like Avon who realize we all have an important role to play in meeting this challenge."

"With support from Avon, The Nature Conservancy has made significant progress in restoring Brazil's Atlantic Forest, one of the most endangered and biologically-diverse forests in the world," said Mark Tercek, president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy. "The Atlantic Forest is home to tens of thousands of plant and animal species - many found nowhere else on Earth - and it is the source of drinking water for 70 percent of Brazil's population. It is critical that we save the Atlantic Forest for both people and nature."

This year's efforts build on the inaugural Avon Hello Green Tomorrow program, which was Avon's first-ever global mobilization for environmental stewardship. The program launched in March 2010 with a direct donation of $1 million from Avon, followed by global fundraising that generated $1.1 million more. The total $2.1 million was awarded in 2010 to The Nature Conservancy to help restore the Atlantic Rainforest.

Avon Products, Inc.
Avon, the company for women, is a leading global beauty company, with over $10 billion in annual revenue. As the world's largest direct seller, Avon markets to women in more than 100 countries through approximately 6.5 million active independent Avon Sales Representatives. Avon's product line includes beauty, fashion and home products, and features such well-recognized brand names as Avon Color, Anew, Skin-So-Soft, Advance Techniques, Avon Naturals, and Mark. Avon is a global leader in the causes of breast cancer and domestic violence, with more than $800 million raised and awarded worldwide through the Avon Foundation for Women and global philanthropic programs. The company is committed to continual improvement in environmental stewardship, and was rated #52 on the latest Newsweek green rankings of the top 500 largest US companies and #16 among the 100 Best Corporate Citizens. Learn more about Avon at www.avoncompany.com.

The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) was founded in 1951 and is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The organization is headquartered in the US and works in more than 30 countries. The Nature Conservancy has protected more than 119 million acres of land and 5,000 miles of rivers worldwide, and they operate over 100 marine conservation projects globally. Visit www.nature.org to learn more.

World Wildlife Fund
WWF is one of the world's leading conservation organizations, working in 100 countries for the past 50 years. With the support of almost 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat climate change. Visit www.worldwildlife.org to learn more.

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