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CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

Groundbreaking move gives ‘Nature’ a key place on company board

By our News Team | 2022

UK business amends its constitution to allow Nature the same voting rights as any other company director on corporate decision-making.

A UK-based beauty company has broken new ground by appointing ‘Nature’ to its board of directors and effectively giving the natural world a say in how it conducts its operations and plans its business strategy.

Faith In Nature is a Scottish company that sells soap and haircare products, as well as household cleaners and shampoo for dogs. Following extensive consultation with international legal and environmental experts, it amended the company’s constitution to allow Nature the same voting rights as any other company director.

Corporate Governance

Photo credit: Faith in Nature

This new approach is being welcomed by environmentalists and others who are regularly at loggerheads with the corporate world, accusing businesses of greenwashing and paying lip-service to climate concerns.

“Nature will be represented on the board through a proxy role whereby a human who is legally bound to speak on behalf of the natural world, acts on behalf of Nature (much as a guardian acts on behalf of a child in the courts of law),” a spokesperson for Faith in Nature explained.

‘Fundamentally impact how we do business’

“The presence of this representative for Nature will fundamentally impact how we do business and ensure that Nature has a voice and a seat at the table on major business decisions.”

The brand said it would provide that guardian with resources to consult with experts on anything from ingredient sourcing to packaging, in order to make better-informed decisions that put the needs of Nature first.

The website Trend Watching commented: “Consumers aren’t just paying close attention to the values companies preach, but also to how they abide by those values. By pioneering the legal personhood of Nature in business, Faith in Nature is both giving the natural world a voice and creating the structural change needed to follow through.”

According to a news report in the London-based The Guardian newspaper, the Nature Guardian’s pay is ringfenced from the main board of Faith In Nature so that he or she can remain independent. 

The company has also committed to be transparent about its board decisions – even those that go against the representations made by the nature guardian – and to publish its reasons for making them. 

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