The story of Natura shows how corporate activity may be aligned with social development. In 2008, we resumed increasing the creation and distribution of wealth to all our stakeholders. There was an expressive increase in the distribution of wealth to consultants, from R$ 1.7 billion in 2007 to R$ 2.0 billion in 2008. However, we are still not satisfied, and we believe we can progress further in our social indicators.

In May 2008, a survey conducted by Ipsos Loyalty, using the Brazil Economic Classification Criteria of the Brazilian Association of Research Companies (ABEP)¹, outlined the profile of our consultants. It showed that the majority (86%) are from classes B and C and that the sale of Natura’s products is an important supplement of family income. The sales produce from 20% to 50% of family income for one third of consultants. Over half of them have more than one child at home. In all regions of Brazil, at least half of them sell only Natura products.

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This is the only or main source of income for the majority of the Natura Consultant Advisers (NCAs) (75%). For 53% of them, this activity represents somewhere between 20% and 50% of family income. Most of them (68%) are from class B and their main motivation to sell Natura’s products is, in addition to the income, the possibility of learning and establishing new relationships.

Therefore, our activity contributes to minimize social problems, such as unemployment. In accordance with the Brazilian Association of Direct Selling Companies (ABEVD), in Brazil, direct sales provide significant social and economic contributions to families and the country as a whole. In 2008, the industry handled R$ 18.5 billion, an increase of 14.1% in relation to 2007. The direct sales are estimated to provide work opportunity and income generation to around two million Brazilians.

We also create value for the communities that supply the ingredients from nature and which receive funds in four different ways: for the supply of raw materials; the sharing of benefits from the access to the genetic heritage or associated traditional knowledge; use of image; and in funds and agreements to promote sustainable development.

In 2008, 14 contracts for the use of the genetic heritage and sharing of benefits (Curb) were signed, eight with communities and six with other players (companies, government, and farmers). We also paid for Curbs related to the processes that were still being analyzed by the Management Council of Genetic Heritage (CGEN), which is linked to the Ministry of the Environment (MMA). With the knowledge of this agency, Natura opted to make the payments to the communities, as it was already being benefited by these contracts.

Most of the processes related to the sharing of benefits of Natura are still under analysis in the CGEN. As instructed by the agency, we made payments for all the contracts filed, which included processes that started in 2004. In some cases, the payments related to the sharing of benefits referred to products launched in 2001. Therefore, the impressive increase in the amounts related to the sharing of benefits is related to the fact that, until 2007, Natura had paid only for the contracts that were authorized by the CGEN (three supplier communities and five companies and family farmers) until 2008. In 2008, however, we made payments for the 19 filed contracts.

Learn more about the indirect financial impact of the supplier communities in the Chapter Suppliers and Supplier communities.

Investment Matrix

The amount of Natura’s investments in corporate responsibility was maintained at the same levels as the previous year. The highlights were related to the environment, thanks to the investments in carbon offset projects and consultants. There was an increase in the amounts invested in Natura Movement and society, in support and sponsorships.

There was a reduction in investments in corporate education, which followed the 2008 restructuring process. The training courses to the sales force, as well as to the plant staff, which are focused on quality of relationships and sustainability, remained unchanged. Thus the corporate education area was preserved, since we had a lot of activity at lower costs.

In the Matrix, we consolidated investments in projects or actions that are not intrinsic to Natura’s business and go beyond the legal requirements.

Crer para Ver (Believing is Seeing)

Education is the primary force for structural change in society. For this reason, since 1995, we have been developing Crer para Ver, a program to improve the quality of education in Brazilian public schools. It is based on the participation of our consultants, who sell without profit products exclusively developed for the Crer para Ver line.

The funds raised without profit to Natura or remuneration to consultants make many projects possible. In 2008, we launched new products for the line in the Brazilian portfolio, such as the post-it kit, set of pencils, and shopping bags, which are an alternative to plastic bags.

In Brazil we raised a total of R$ 3,767,000, R$ 3,381,000 of which were invested in educational initiatives. That difference is explained by the fact that the total amount raised in one year goes to a fund that invests in many projects supported by the program in the following years. In 2008, we launched the Crer para Ver program in some countries in Latin America, such as Argentina.

The total annual investment in projects of the Crer para Ver program dropped in 2008 due to the end of the campaign whereby consultants encourage enrollment with the Education of Youngsters and Adults (EJA), a program of the Ministry of Education (MEC).

Projects supported by the Crer Para Ver program

Developed in partnership with the Avisa Lá Institute and the Razão Social Institute, the project also has the participation and support of many companies. It caters to children between zero and six years old and is present in 31 municipalities in 13 Brazilian states. This project aim to implementing a virtual community of opinion makers (directors, educational coordinators, teachers and technicians), by means of in-person and remote actions to strengthen, disseminate and develop quality practices in children’s education. In 2008, investments were made in the infrastructure of secretaries’ offices, acquisition of educational materials and professional development. Among the results achieved, 79% of local opinion makers presented the final version of the institutional project proposed at the beginning of the process, 100% of directors or coordinators held meetings with their team of teachers and 52% of the teachers started to frequently provide materials that are different from those they used to offer at the beginning of the year.

Incentive to Reading Project - EJA
Conducted in partnership with the NGOs Ação Educativa, Alfabetização Solidária and Center for Studies and Research in Education, Culture and Community Action, the project involves 1,500 of the Education of Youngsters and Adults program´s school in 783 cities. Between 2006 and 2008, we distributed 50 book collections to the participating schools, totaling 75,000 books, in addition to support materials, with suggestions of activities related to reading and guidance on the management and proper use of the collection. This initiative was approved by 99.5% of the teachers involved in the program and 98.4% of these teachers stated that they carry out reading activities in class based on the materials sent.

Reading Meetings
This program was made possible by a partnership with the Center for Documentation and Community Action and it is aimed at raising the awareness of teachers who work with children between four and six years old on the importance of actions that help the development of children’s reading capabilities. The project lasts two years and, between 2007 and 2008, 248 schools from 10 municipalities participated. The project serves all the schools from the municipalities chosen. In order to deepen the work of the teachers and strengthen the program, books and materials selected by specialists in education were distributed. A total of 20,566 books were delivered, 84 of which were children’s books and 65 were literature for teachers.

Chapada Project
The Chapada Institute of Education and Research is the partner of Natura in this program, which aims at improving the Basic Education Development Rate and reducing drop-out and failure rates at schools from 25 municipalities in the Chapada Diamantina and semi-arid regions of the state of Bahia. To achieve these targets, the program bets on the continued education of directors, educational coordinators, technical supervisors and teachers. In 2008, 22 events to mobilize the 26 participating schools were held in order to ensure the continuity of the program after the change in public mandates resulting from elections. The project directly serves 895 directors, supervisors and educational coordinators and indirectly, 5,800 teachers and 124,000 students.

You Are What You Are Because of What You Know
Implemented by the Regional Institute for Appropriate Small Cattle Farming (IRPAA), which operates in the cities of Santa Sé, Senhor do Bonfim and Filadélfia, the program aims at training teachers that work in the EJA program. Besides just working with educational issues, the project wants to foster reflection on the local reality of students. The idea is to awaken in students a new way, by placing the educational content into the context of the world around them. One hundred sixty teachers and over 3,700 students have benefited. An informative book on the education by youngsters and adults from the semi-arid region of Brazil was also published, which is the result of a joint development of the project’s participants. In 2008, as expected, the partnership between the Crer para Ver Program and the IRPAA came to an end.

Resulting from a partnership with the Center for Public Policies Studies of the State University of Campinas and the Education Board in Cajamar, this program includes 29 pre and primary schools of the city and aims to bring parents closer to their children’s school life. At meetings – both in-person and remote – with students’ parents, employees, teachers and educational managers, topics related to the school are discussed. We expect the project’s participants to become multiplying agents and the number of parents involved in the schools to increase. In 2008, the program directly reached 160 people and, indirectly, the whole local education network, or around 11,000 students. Based on their learning, proposals for activities in the topics addressed were prepared and are expected to be implemented in 2009.

Our Digital Language
Conceived together with the Education Board of Cajamar and with the Klick Education Portal, the project proposes to bring students from the final grades of primary school and from the EJA program into the digital world. Thanks to the Our Digital Language program, 210 students developed a number of activities through the use of computers. The program also extends to the training of teachers from the municipal system and, at the end of the program, the students from the seven municipal schools of Cajamar created an online magazine through which they could improve their writing and speaking.

Click here to see Amount Invested in Believing is Seeing (Crer para Ver) Program.

Support and Sponsorships

Our support and sponsorships work covers three fronts: sustainable development, strengthening of civil society organizations, and Brazilian culture. At the cultural level, we continued with the Natura Musical project, which supports initiatives that showcase Brazil’s musical heritage. The projects are chosen through invitations to bid, based on tax incentive laws. In 2008, Natura Musical sponsored 31 projects all over Brazil, in addition to the other 79 projects supported since its launch in 2005.

Our support and sponsorship guidelines are a way of aligning investments in institutional projects with the beliefs that guide our corporate behavior. We also guide our sustainable development work toward conscious consumption initiatives, social inclusion, and incentives for urban green areas. We try to select initiatives that provide society with a closer and more integrated experience with nature in urban areas, so as to promote awareness of interdependence and knowledge of biodiversity.

We sponsor make-up workshops, given by volunteer consultants to physically and emotionally fragile women. Until 2007, the workshops took place only in hospitals that treated cancer patients. From 2008 we included low-income communities in Rio de Janeiro at the cultural centers of the AfroReggae Group. The objective is to promote exchanges, self-knowledge, and interaction between people.

We continue to support entities and associations that represent our sector and contribute to sustainable development. Accordingly, we support the Brazilian Association of Corporate Communication in offering courses to journalists on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines, and the GRI itself in its mission to develop globally accepted standards for sustainability reports through a process of stakeholder engagement. We have also supported the Ethos Institute since its foundation in 1985, as well as its campaigns and pacts in favor of the dissemination of corporate social responsibility in Brazil, among which are the Corporate Pact for Integrity and against Corruption.

Main projects supported in 2008:

Natura Musical
Natura Musical is Natura’s cultural sponsorship program committed to promoting and disseminating music that comes from the sincere, inventive and harmonious combination of typically Brazilian elements with universal concepts, ideas and sounds. The sponsored projects are chosen indirectly but also through invitations to bid, based on cultural incentive laws, such as the Rouanet Law, Audiovisual Law and Cultural Incentive Laws in the states of São Paulo and Minas Gerais. In 2008, we supported over 100 musical projects of very different styles, from Quilombolas dances to the recording of singer Marisa Monte’s DVD.

Sustainable Development
DNA Database of Species from Brazilian Flora
An important project in 2008, and which will extend through to the end of 2009, is the DNA Database of Species from Brazilian Flora, an initiative of the Botanical Gardens of the city of Rio de Janeiro. The agreement, signed in 2007, established that 2,000 new samples should be included in the DNA Database system.

Strengthening of Civil Society Organizations
Natura partnered with Ashoka, an international nonprofit organization, to sponsor the event for the presentation of the entity´s new social entrepreneurs in the South American continent. In partnership with Ashoka, we developed in Chile the Social Entrepreneur Natura Consultant (NC) program, which identifies NCs who have an entrepreneurial profile. The program consists in financially supporting the NCs selected for their own development and we offer a professional training course provided by Ashoka in order to strengthen their entrepreneurial profile and establish experience and contact exchange networks. The program was launched in March 2008 in Chile only. Nine projects were selected in 2008.

AfroReggae Institute
Through the partnership with the AfroReggae Institute, for the second consecutive year, Natura was the institutional sponsor of the group, contributing to the promotion of cultural activities in the communities of Vigário Geral, Complexo do Alemão, Cantagalo, Pavão-Pavãozinho and Nova Iguaçu in the city of Rio de Janeiro.