Beautycounter appointed Jen Lee as its first chief impact officer in August to meet growing consumer demand for broader corporate responsibility initiatives. Lee was previously the brand’s senior VP of supply chain.
Lee focuses on overseeing product safety, as well as the brand’s sustainability and advocacy initiatives. “When we see sustainability, we think of waste reduction, but I think our consumers demand that we’re looking at general responsibility as a whole,” she said, such as a company’s charitable giving or safety standards, which don’t fall under sustainability.
Given the role’s broad scope and her background in manufacturing and supply chains, Lee is focusing on addressing the company’s so-called Scope 3 emissions, which are the greenhouse gases from an organization’s supply chain that are trickier to measure and reduce.
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“What I think is valuable about my role is I’m sitting on the executive team embedding our mission” throughout the organization, whereas “usually it would be a department inside an executive’s team,” said Lee. This includes being “part of all non-mission activities,” such as financial discussions.
Lee works with the CMO on a “rolling” basis, including “continuously briefing our marketing team” about any initiatives or awards her team is working on. This has included publicizing the company’s work on government regulation such as the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act (MoCRA) in December, she said, which intends to give the FDA more authority to regulate cosmetics such as giving it the ability to issue a mandatory recall if it deems a product unsafe.
To encourage employee participation beyond the leadership team, she runs a “mission power hour” which provides training for associates on topics such as lobbying, personal sustainability and the company’s carbon net zero goal.
Lee noted that the company plans to focus more on social governance including diversity and inclusion, responsible sourcing and continuing its corporate giving strategy.