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The Body Shop’s B Corp certification is under threat after complaints

Chloe Burney
08 May 2024

Just five months after The Body Shop was purchased by private equity firm Aurelius, its B Corp certification is under review.

The beauty chain, which fell into administration in the UK in February, is at risk of losing its B Corp certification that it was first awarded under its old owner Natura & Co, according to Retail Week.

Administered by non profit B Lab, B Corp is a certification that covers over 300 questions on governance, workers, communities and impact on the environment. The B Corp movement includes over 7,816 companies globally and 2,367 companies in the UK. There are only 66 beauty businesses worldwide to achieve the certification, including The Inkey List, Elemis and Aesop.

To become certified, a business must meet rigorous standards of performance, accountability and transparency in all aspects, including employee benefits, charitable giving and supply chain practices.

The Body Shop was given its certification in 2019, becoming the largest beauty chain with a B Corp in the UK.

The spokesperson for B Lab said: "When there is a change of ownership, a certified B Corp must notify B Lab of their intent to remain within the B Corp community. After this, large enterprises such as The Body Shop must recertify within two years of the change to maintain their certification.

"B Lab has received complaints regarding The Body Shop as part of our public complaints process. These complaints are being reviewed within the wider context of The Body Shop’s change of ownership in December 2023 and news of its administration in February 2024.

"We are looking at all the above issues to determine The Body Shop’s eligibility for continued B Corp certification."

It follows the news that The Body Shop collapsed into administration in the UK in February of this year, shortly after new owners Aurelius took control of the business. Earlier this month, it was revealed that the company paid just £3.5 million upfront for The Body Shop before its collapse into administration.

Despite agreeing to a £207 million deal in November 2023, it came to light that Aurelius has only handed over a small sum of cash to the brand's former owner, Natura & Co.

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