An Interview with Paolo Braguzzi on the B Corp Beauty Coalition
We had the opportunity to discuss with Paolo Braguzzi, former CEO of Davines, the launch of the B Corp Beauty Coalition and how companies in the cosmetics industry can come together and have a greater positive impact.
What is the B Corp Beauty Coalition? What is its vision?
The coalition gathers some leading independent Certified B Corporations seeking to improve the social and environmental standards of the beauty industry. The coalition’s vision is to deliver ‘beauty for good’. All members are committed to collaborating and exchanging knowledge, sharing better practices, implementing improvement actions, and influencing the beauty industry to trigger broader changes that can ultimately improve its social and environmental footprint.
Who is Paolo Braguzzi, and what is your role in this coalition?
After leading a B Corp for several years — I was the CEO of Davines — I’m now focusing on volunteering and activism, mostly in favor of the B Corp movement, and within this, I recently joined the Supervisory Board of B Lab Europe. So, we can say that I’m a B Corp activist. In the Coalition, I’m simply trying to put the pieces together, supporting the founding companies in making it happen.
It’s very exciting that the coalition is officially launched. Can you summarize what the critical milestones in getting it to launch were?
The critical point has been the involvement and commitment of the seven founders of the coalition: Antica Erboristeria, Davines, Dr. Bronner’s, Expanscience, N&B Natural is better, Rudolph Care, and Skandinavisk. Together we clarified the most important thing, which is the “why” of the coalition. Then there was all the preparation work, including the recruitment of other companies — and we are continuing to recruit now that it is launched.
Who can join the coalition? How did you set the eligibility criteria?
There are four criteria for now: be a certified B Corp; belong to the Beauty industry as a manufacturer, a brand owner or as part of the supply chain for the industry; be willing to co-operate and exchange information at a pre-competitive level to improve along environmental and social lines, and finally be willing to change the industry to make it more sustainable.
What is it like working on such a collaborative initiative? How do you experience it? Any highs and lows to share so far?
On one hand, it’s exciting. On the other hand, kicking off such an initiative requires energy and resources. Sometimes, they are not available because everyone has to focus on the projects of their own company.
Is it hard to build a genuine relationship with your industry competitors?
So far, we haven’t experienced any issue with this. However, the working groups are starting now, and that’s when some problems could arise.
Can you share with us what were essential considerations for you in terms of the governance framework?
We’ll try to have a shortlist of rules of the game, and then we’ll favor the participation of the members. We are creating a Board whose mission will be to guide the organization. Then, we will have a coordination team at the executive level and finally, we will have working teams focused on the key topics we selected so far.
The purpose of the B Corp Beauty Coalition is to improve the sustainability standards of the Beauty Industry. What are the most crucial issues/challenges to tackle in this field?
I think that they are well reflected by the key topics we selected: sustainability of packaging, the sustainability of ingredients, the logistics.
What are essential short-and mid-term steps of the coalition?
Well, the foundation first, and right after, we want to start the working groups and get to some quick wins to prove that such a way of working together can be productive.
Any tips you want to share with fellow companies who might be on their way to creating a collective action for their industry?
Everything has to do with people, so my suggestion is to start with a small number of very committed people, then they can scale up and engage their organizations from within.
About the Beauty Coalition:
Founded in 2021, the B Corp Beauty Coalition is a global, membership-based collective action group of more than 26 Certified B Corps from 3 continents in the cosmetics, personal care, and beauty industries that shares best practices and collaborates to improve members individual businesses’ positive impacts on the world and together push the cosmetics and beauty industries forward to a cleaner, greener, more just and inclusive future. For more information, visit www. BCorpBeauty.org