Faith in Nature, which makes plastic-free and refillable beauty and hygiene products, says it has become the “first company in the world” to appoint nature as a director.
According to the company’s creative director Simeon Rose, the role will involve nature being represented by a human who is “legally bound to speak on behalf of the natural world”.
“Although Nature’s seat does need to be filled by a human, that human is really just Nature’s mouthpiece,” Rose said in a statement. “The role is fluid, meaning that whoever really needs to be in that seat, can be.”
This means that the role could be filled by environmental scientists or conservationists who can advocate in the environment’s interests.
For now, the Edinburgh-based company said it has appointed representatives from Lawyers for Nature and Earth Law Centre to fill the role.
“Both have significant expertise in advocating for the Rights of Nature, have a huge network of experts they can work with and are already expanding our horizons of what this means,” Rose explained.
Brontie Ansell, director of Lawyers for Nature, will join the company’s next board meeting on behalf of nature.
Faith in Nature updated its corporate documents to reflect that it would work to “have a positive impact on nature as a whole” and “to minimise the prospect of any harmful impact of its business operations on nature”.
Ansell told The Guardian that her role can be compared to a guardian acting on behalf of child in court.
Expressing confidence in Faith in Nature’s commitment to the decision, she said: “We needed a really strong methodology for holding this board to account so that it didn’t just become greenwashing. And that’s through public accountability and peer pressure.”
She added: “I think my role is about taking complex information and translating it into something that the board can actually [take] action [on].”
In a statement on its website, Faith in Nature said: “So what can we expect going forward? Better informed, less impactful, more responsible decisions. Quite what those are yet, none of us know. This is, quite literally a leap of faith.”