United Kingdom

United Kingdom

BODY SHOP OFFICIALLY OPENS ITS STAKE

The founder of The Body Shop inaugurated a wind farm in Wales in which the international cosmetic company is a shareholder. The aim is to cover all electricity consumed at their production headquarters through renewables.

Anita Roddick formally opened a wind farm at Bryn Titli in Powys, Wales which is partly owned by her international cosmetics company, The Body Shop. The site, comprising 22, 450 kW Bonus turbines, was developed by National Wind Power (NWP). The majority shareholder is National Power -- the larger of NWP's two parent companies -- which owns 60% of the £11 million wind farm. Local utility SWALEC has a 25% stake while The Body Shop, which vigorously markets itself as an ethical and environmentally sound business, owns the remaining 15%.

Before switching on the wind turbines on October 4, Roddick said The Body Shop had pledged to invest in energy capacity at Bryn Titli equivalent to electricity consumed by its production headquarters at Littlehampton in Sussex. However, The Body Shop's investment in the Welsh project is starting with a minority stake -- covering just over half of its headquarters electricity requirements. "I am delighted that The Body Shop has been able to take this important step towards our company's ultimate goal of energy self-sufficiency in the UK," Roddick said. "We believe passionately in the need for energy conservation, but becoming environmentally sustainable also means replacing what energy we must use with renewables."

The company's "green" credentials have come in for a battering over recent months as criticisms have been raised about the degree to which The Body Shop fulfils all its claims. The controversy appears to have made little impact on sales, however. Drawing an analogy with wind development Roddick said: "Of course wind energy developers have their critics. But as The Body Shop occasionally discovers, it does not matter how much you do, there will always be small-minded minorities, vested interests or politically motivated individuals who seek to undermine progress." One way the critics could be silenced was by developers meeting their arguments head on, making sure that democratic processes were always respected and by adhering to the strictest environmental and social guidelines, she continued. "I believe that we have shown that here."

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