Roberto Marques, group CEO of Natura & Co., visited Fortune’s offices yesterday, just a few days after closing his acquisition of Avon Products. The deal, along with the 2017 acquisition of The Body Shop, has made Natura the world’s fourth largest free-standing beauty company, with 3,000 stores worldwide and 40,000 employees.
Natura has long been on Fortune’s radar for another reason: the Brazilian company was the first public company to become a B-Corp—which requires certification of high levels of social and environmental performance. Marques said B-Corp certification is a “very tough” process, but it was a natural step for Natura, which has long operated with “a triple bottom line”—monitoring social and environmental goals, as well as financial. The company earned a spot on Fortune’s Change the World list in 2018 for its focus on sustainable sourcing of tree oils and other ingredients from the Amazon. “We have over 20 years of history working with communities in the Amazon and have touched more than 5,000 families,” Marques said.
Marques, who joined Natura four years ago, says the company has always pursued social and environmental goals “because it is the right thing to do.” That has become core to the cosmetic brand’s market appeal, and will become an important part of the Avon brand as well.
Interestingly, Natura’s purchase does not include the U.S. Avon business, which was spun off in 2016 and acquired by South Korea’s LG in 2019. Natura also doesn’t do business in China because of an aversion to animal testing. That means the company is largely absent from the world’s two largest markets.
Marques says their aspiration is not to be the biggest beauty company in the world, but rather “the best beauty company for the world.” A worthy goal.
More news below. And for those of you who, like Fortune Editor-in-Chief Clifton Leaf, are obsessed with the profound transformation happening in the health care business, here’s a plug for the Fifth Annual Fortune Brainstorm Health, which is being held in Marina Del Rey, Calif., on April 21-22.
Curated by Cliff, along with cochairs Arianna Huffington and David Agus, this fascinating event explores the collision of the health and tech businesses. It will include, among others, the CEOs of Amgen, Ancestry, AT&T Business, Baxter, Beyond Meat, Box, and Cisco . . . and that only covers through the first three letters of the alphabet! You can learn more here, and request an invitation here. (CEO Daily readers get special consideration.)