French cosmetics group Rocher adopts ‘benefit corporation’ status
French group Rocher, a pioneer in plant-based cosmetics founded 60 years ago, has adopted the status of ‘benefit corporation’, with the explicit mission of “reconnecting men and women with nature.” Benefit corporations were first introduced in the USA in 2010. In May last year, France’s new company legislation, known as PACTE law, recognised them as companies that formally include social and environmental goals in their mission statement.
Rocher announced its new status on Monday December 9 at the group’s long-established headquarters in La Gacilly, Brittany. Speaking to a select audience, CEO Bris Rocher, the grandson of the group’s founder, said: “In a world that is increasingly urbanised and digitalised, it is essential to return to the fundamentals of life and to give back to nature the place it merits in our society. And it is essential that brands are fully involved in this commitment ... Our company purpose, and this need to renew the connection between the players in our eco-system and the natural world, will therefore need to be at the heart of all our actions."
“Promoting the connection between [Rocher’s] communities and nature,” and “taking action to foster biodiversity in the regions [where Rocher operates],” are among the group’s declared objectives. Rocher owns 10 brands - among them its leading brand Yves Rocher, Arbonne, Petit Bateau and Dr Pierre Ricaud - and generates a revenue of €2.7 billion.
Other groups in France are considering adopting the status of ‘benefit corporation’, as a way to underline that, besides the profit motive, their purpose is to also have a positive impact on society and the environment. This is a response to people’s increasing willingness to consume responsibly, and can also be an asset in terms of corporate recruiting.
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