The Body Shop allocates £2m for ‘World Bio-Bridges Mission’

As part of its latest efforts to "re-wild the world", The Body Shop has today (4 July) launched a new funding platform aiming to raise more than £2m to add ten more regenerative Bio-Bridges around the globe by 2020.

The Body Shop’s Bio-Bridges programme aims to protect and regenerate threatened habitat across the world from exploitation, unsustainable harvesting and potential poaching. Today’s launch of the World Bio-Bridges Mission fund will protect existing wildlife corridors.

“Our new approach to corporate philanthropy embraces the philosophy that we leverage The Body Shop’s core skills, knowledge and experience,” The Body Shop’s international director of corporate responsibility Christopher Davis said.

“These drivers will multiply our impact and help address the loss of habitat and biodiversity. Through protecting and regenerating land, working with local communities and seeking partnerships with civil and state organisation around the world, the World Bio-Bridges Mission can make a substantial difference to some of the planet’s richest and most diverse areas.”

An additional ten bridges will be created under the latest announcement, building on the previous projects in Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia, while engaging millions of customers on how they can help protect threatened wildlife and animals. Funding for the new bridges will vary through location, conservation partner, habitat and region.

Originally launched in May 2016, the Bio-Bridges programme is an integral pillar of The Body Shop’s Enrich Not Exploit commitment to build 75m square metres of Bio-Bridges by 2020. Working in collaboration with the World Land Trust, The Body Shop established the first Bio-Bridge in the Khe Nuoc Trong forest in Vietnam, connecting it local communities to raise awareness.

Before Christmas, The Body Shop extended the programme further; allocating funds to biological surveys and community engagement projects to raise local awareness of the endangered species. The funds were split between three projects, with 58% going to Vietnam and 21% each to Indonesia and Malaysia.

One of the key educational aims of the initiative is to link the bridges to the surrounding communities to enrich local biodiversity through sustainable sourcing practices and carbon balancing.

Hotspot ingredients

The Bio-Bridges project also enables The Body Shop to identify new natural ingredients from biodiversity hotspots. The company officially opened its £1m innovation hub in East Croydon last year, which has created a pipeline to deliver pioneering cosmetics produced from these hotspots.

Just months after the innovation lab opened, The Body Shop took edie on a guided tour for the Sustainable Business Covered podcast. In the episode, The Body Shop’s director of corporate social responsibility Christopher Davis and research and innovation director Gaetane David discuss how the cosmetics retailer is championing ethical sourcing practices while catering to consumer demand.

Matt Mace

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