The Activity of Natura from the Perspective of Sustainable Development and of Corporate Social Responsibility

15 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2007

See all articles by Carla Leal

Carla Leal

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Marta Sambiase

Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie

Leonardo Cruz Basso

Mackenzie Presbyterian University - Business Administration

Date Written: August 17, 2007


Although an implicit association exists between the concepts of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility, this relationship merits further debate and more extensive coverage, both for the academic evolution of the concepts and to allow business actions to be oriented by a single, integrated objective. Consequently, this study seeks to present the two concepts and the relationship between them, and to investigate the practices of the Natura company in the Brazilian Amazon from a perspective of integration between corporate social responsibility and sustainable development. The sustainable development concept adopted for this study is the one most frequently used, from the report entitled Our Common Future of the World Commission for Economic Development (WCED), known as the Brundtland report, where sustainable development is held to be "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (WCED, 1987, p. 9). Carroll (1979, p.500 apud Carroll, 1999, p.7) upholds that "the social responsibility of business encompasses the economic, legal, ethical and discretionary expectations that society has of organizations at a given point in time". This definition of CSR continues to be one of the most widely accepted and is adopted by this study. The search for a company active in the Brazilian Amazon occurred on account of the region's significant relevance in terms of environmental preservation. The Amazon has been the target of debates, accusations and studies in a wide range of areas of knowledge, and accordingly, applied social sciences are included in this context, striving to adopt a view that is in line with the other areas. The natural riches of the Amazon and the manner in which these have been utilized and explored are the focal point of studies and concerns of governments, firms and non-governmental entities. This panorama results in a series of business projects geared towards the sustainable use of the Amazon's resources, in pursuit of socially responsible behavior. An example of these projects is the Saboaria (soaps factory) of the Brazilian cosmetics company Natura. The research problem that motivates this article is translated in the question: Is it possible to reconcile the objectives of sustainable development with a socially responsible performance of the Natura company in the environment of the Brazilian Amazon? The case study method was used for the development of the study, as it consisted of the analysis of the list of phenomena of a specific organization. The authors made use of secondary data, provided by Natura itself, and of information available to the public in media of the Brazilian press. In brief, the intention of this study is to demonstrate the coexistence and integration of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility concepts, translated into strategies and practices of organizational management.

Keywords: corporate social responsability, sustainable development

JEL Classification: A13, M14, N50, O13, Q00, Q20

Suggested Citation

Camargo Leal, Carla and Lombardi, Marta Fabiano Sambiase and Cruz Basso, Leonardo, The Activity of Natura from the Perspective of Sustainable Development and of Corporate Social Responsibility (August 17, 2007). Available at SSRN: or

Carla Camargo Leal (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Marta Fabiano Sambiase Lombardi

Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie ( email )

Rua da Consolação 920
São Paulo, 010302907
55-11-21148262 (Phone)


Leonardo Cruz Basso

Mackenzie Presbyterian University - Business Administration ( email )

Rua da Consolacao, 896 7 - andar sala 73
01302-907 Sao Paulo
+55 11 32368597 (Phone)
+55 11 32368600 (Fax)

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