"Our activism" -Domestically

Ways We Give Back to Society


“Our Mission at Aveda is to care for the world we live in, from the products we make to the ways in which we give back to society. At Aveda, we strive to set an example for environmental leadership and responsibility, not just in the world of beauty, but around the world.”


Earth Month - 10 years of clean water

In April of each year since 1999, our Aveda network of salons, spas, Aveda Institutes and Experience Centers, dedicated beauty industry professionals, employees, and guests celebrate Earth Month, a month-long campaign with a simple mission to love, celebrate and raise funds to protect people, animals and the environment with a special focus on protecting clean water. Earth Month combines fund-raising with education and engagement around the Aveda Mission to deepen our commitment to care for the world we live in. Aveda donates all proceeds from the $12 suggested retail price of Light the Way™ candles to Global Greengrants Fund, while grassroots activities organized by our local salons, Institutes and Experience Centers throughout the Aveda network raise funds for local and regional nonprofit organizations.

In 2016, Earth Month raised $6.4 million, bringing the total fundraising since the program’s inception in 1999 to $50 million, of which $37 million has been raised by grassroots activities and events, representing an astounding commitment by the global Aveda network of concerned salon owners, beauty professionals, Aveda educators, Aveda Institute students and staff, Experience Center retail team members and their guests. The funds raised by the Aveda network support the work of Aveda’s Earth Month Partners: 70 nonprofit organizations working to protect clean water around the world.

Aveda Earth Month began as a way for Aveda celebrate Earth Day and recognize its responsibility to give back to the Earth and the communities that the company depends on as a business. In the early years, the focus of Earth Month was on protecting biodiversity and defending critical habitats such as ancient forests, combatting climate change, and protecting endangered species. In 2007, we began to focus on protecting water resources and access to clean water.

Melissa Chelminiak, Aveda Director of Mission, Partner and Stakeholder Engagement, continues:

“As a vital ingredient in Aveda products, a critical resource in both Aveda manufacturing and the success of our Aveda network salons and spas, and an essential resource for all life on earth, we believe protecting clean water is our responsibility. In 2016, we celebrated 10 years of raising funds to protect and support global and local water-related issues and concerns through network-wide education and engagement, and we remain committed to continuing this important focus in the future.

“The success of Aveda’s Earth Month campaign is due to the enormous dedication, passion, and love of our individual Aveda network members. Each and every grassroots effort, salon service offering, or individual donation is one piece of the larger panorama and together create amazing accomplishments. We continue to drive more fruitful Aveda network relationships and use our unique and long-standing affiliations with our nonprofit partners, to increase our impact through the Earth Month campaign year after year.”




Dave Rapaport, Aveda Vice President of Earth and Community Care, observed that:

“The big win during the past two years has been Melissa’s success in deepening the relationships and leveraging the wisdom of our Earth Month partners which has increased the overall effectiveness of Earth Month. It’s the Earth Month partners that help fuel activism, raise consciousness about protecting the health of the planet, and move people to action.”

Network Events for Clean Water

In fiscal year 2016, 72% of global concept salons and 90% of lifestyle salons participated in Earth Month. The primary fund-raiser used by these network members is Appointments for Clean WaterSM, in which a portion of the proceeds from select beauty and wellness services is donated to local Earth Month partner organizations. In Washington, for example, funds raised this year went to Puget Soundkeeper to maintain a healthy, thriving Puget Sound ecosystem. In New Jersey and New York, funds raised went to Clean Ocean Action to improve the degraded water quality of the marine waters from Cape May, New Jersey to Montauk, New York.0

Grassroots Aveda network efforts across the world were particularly successful and eye-catching. One such campaign, Catwalks for Water, raised $585,000 at events across the globe including the United States, Canada and Japan. Upcycled, artistic fashion came to life on the catwalks by repurposing discarded Aveda hair color tubes, boxes, Aveda Shammy Cloths, perming rods and other items. Numerous other creative Aveda network charity events were also held such as silent auctions, raffles, and in-store donations, all contributing to Aveda’s most successful Earth Month yet.

Light the Way™

Our limited-edition Light the Way™ candle, launched in 2006 originally to raise money for protecting endangered species, has generated a total of $13 million for Earth Month. Candle sales for fiscal year 2015 and 2016 averaged almost $2 million per year and were donated exclusively to the Global Greengrants Fund (GGF) for water-related projects supporting grassroots community-level organizations around the globe working to protect, restore and transform their environment. By the end of FY 2016, the Light the Way candle program has provided the funding for GGF to make over 1,800 grants in more than 85 countries benefitting more than 900,000 lives-- by providing and protecting clean water!

National Audubon Society Partnership

In early 2016, Aveda launched Aveda LoveComposition Oil with a sensual aroma featuring Australian sandalwood and certified organic vetiver and jasmine, created to honor the life and legacy of Aveda founder Horst Rechelbacher with $4 per bottle donated to support the National Audubon Society’s global climate change initiatives. The pure flower and plant essences in Aveda Loveare those Horst loved to wear, and are sourced with the deep love and respect he had for the Earth.

The partnership will continue to grow in 2018 with Aveda supporting Audubon’s Plants for Birds campaign. Aveda Experience Centers will host in-store events along with their local Audubon chapters to educate and engage guests on the importance of restoring critical habitat for birds, bees, butterflies and people with a focus on native plants. This will include a strong focus on community volunteerism to restore green community spaces in both city and rural areas.






Aveda Earth Month Milestones


Aveda was founded with the principles of a commitment to earth and community care.


Aveda becomes the first company to sign Ceres Principles, mobilizing leaders on climate changes and water scarcity.


Aveda’s first in-salon Earth Day event, a precursor to the Earth Month Campaign.


Aveda’s Earth Month Campaign debuts, raising funds for organizations combatting deforestation.


The Light the Way™ candle is launched, with 100% of proceeds donated to Earth Month Partners protecting endangered species. First Light the Way™ candle sales raise $520,000 and Earth Month fundraising reaches $1.5 million.


Aveda partners with Global Greengrants Fund, a leading environmental nonprofit organization, to support grassroots clean water projects around the world.


Aveda Cut-A-Thon wins Guinness World record for the most money raised for charity through hair cuts in one day.


Aveda’s Earth Month Campaign reaches $44 million fund-raising milestone with $38 million directed to protect clean water projects globally and locally.


Aveda’s Earth Month Campaign celebrates 10 Years of Protecting Clean Water and reaches a cumulative Earth Month $50 million fund-raising milestone.


Aveda Earth Month Partners

Joint efforts among the Aveda network raised money for 70 nonprofit Earth Month Partners around the globe working to address a wide range of local water issues as of December 2016.



A Drop of Life Limited

Friends of Haystock Rock

Alliance for the Great Lakes

Gulf Restoration Network

American Rivers

Heal the Bay

Apalachicola Riverkeeper

Hoosier Environmental Council

Audubon Iowa

Idaho Rivers United

Audubon Kansas

Kentucky Waterways Alliance

Audubon Minnesota

Lake Champlain Committee

Audubon Missouri

League to Save Lake Tahoe

Audubon Nebraska

Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper

Audubon North Dakota

McKenzie River Trust

Audubon South Dakota

Natural Resources Council of Maine

Cahaba River Society

Ogeechee Riverkeeper

Cape Fear River Watch

Puget Soundkeeper

Catawba Riverkeeper

Rocky Mountain Field Institute

Chattahoochee Riverkeeper

Rogue Riverkeeper

Clark Fork Coalition

San Marcos River

Clean Ocean Action

Sierra Club Foundation - Ohio Chapter

Clean Water Fund California

Small Change Fund

Clean Water Fund Northeast

Spokane Riverkeeper

Columbia Riverkeeper

St. Johns Riverkeeper

Deschutes River Alliance

Surfrider Foundation

Eco Knights

Tennessee Clean Water Network

Environmental Advocates of New York

Western Resource Advocates

Environmental Defense Center

Wild Earth Guardians

Everglades Foundation

World Wildlife Fund

Forests Forever

Yadkin Riverkeeper

A decade ago, Aveda joined forces with a number of Audubon Society chapters to establish one of the strongest Earth Month partnerships. Beginning with the Audubon Ohio Chapter in 2007, the partnership grew to include Audubon Minnesota in 2008, followed by Audubon Kansas, Audubon Missouri, Audubon Nebraska, Audubon North Dakota and Audubon South Dakota in 2010. The Aveda network salons partner with their local Audubon chapters to help fund programs aimed at safeguarding water for birds and people by improving the health of freshwater resources and protecting and restoring critical wetlands, lake and river systems and floodplain forests. For Aveda, birds are an important part of our intricate ecosystem and a crucial piece of the biodiversity we depend on for our products. Aveda’s partnership with Audubon is a keystone Earth Month effort that illustrates Aveda’s commitment to making a meaningful impact for healthy ecosystems.

In 2016, Aveda raised a total of $503,482 for Audubon chapters across seven states.


“For over three decades, Aveda has inspired millions of people by showing us how wellness, strength, and beauty are possible when we take the time to nurture and restore our bodies and our planet. That principle is the foundation for Audubon Minnesota’s Earth Month partnership, which has helped us restore our treasured Mississippi River by planting thousands of trees each year that clean up our water and provide habitat for birds. As our precious waters face increased pressure from overuse and pollution, Aveda has emerged as a global leader through its commitment to changing how we treat our lakes, rivers, and drinking water. With Aveda’s support and inspiration, Audubon Minnesota is engaging children and young adults all over the state by connecting clean water to the people and birds who depend on it. Our goal is to instill in them a lifelong appreciation and passion for protecting our water so that we can leave a legacy of clean, abundant water for future generations.”

Molly Pederson, Executive Director, Audubon Minnesota


Water in the Rocky Mountain region and in the entire western part of the United States is becoming scarcer. Local water conservancy organization Western Resource Advocates (WRA) focuses on sustaining healthy rivers and lakes, and protecting western land and air through law, science, and economics. Melissa says, “Our Aveda network is very passionate about WRA.” Their mission of helping western communities and governments make smarter water choices for the benefit of a shared, sustainable future aligns with Aveda’s own Earth Month mission. She adds, “In 2016 WRA wanted to try a new approach to sharing information about what’s happening in the west related to freshwater protection, water conservation, and defending water for wildlife. It’s challenging to communicate this information in a way that raises people’s interest and also explains why Aveda cares about the cause. WRA came up with a cool campaign to connect water issues directly to our products. For example, Aveda’s Dry Remedy™ product line was linked to ‘dry rivers,’ which connected the concept that we need water to perform the services we offer. This campaign helped us raise the amazing funds we achieved this year. In preparation for our 2017 campaign, we shared this best practice with other Earth Month partners for inspiration on how to connect with our network and guests on a deeper level.”

In 2016, Aveda raised a total of $251,277 for Western Resource Advocates.


“Through our decade-long Earth Month partnership, Aveda has been a critical supporter of WRA’s mission to protect the West’s water. Together, we’ve raised awareness about clean water and the value of rivers, helped cities become more water-smart, saved fish species from extinction, and helped usher in a new era of stewardship for our most precious and life-giving resource: water.

“Aveda has helped us:

·       Team up with farmers, cities, state officials and federal agencies to protect healthy rivers for boating, sensitive fish species, and the environment in Colorado, Utah, Arizona and elsewhere.

·       Safeguard the Great Salt Lake ecosystem and the 8 million birds it supports by challenging illegal discharges of toxic pollutants, improving monitoring and water quality studies, and working with state agencies, sportsmen and others to protect habitat in the most sensitive areas of the lake.

·       Advance urban conservation, water recycling, private investment, and new land use policies to help cities become more “water smart” and place less pressure on our region’s rivers. Most recently, we co-led the successful effort to make residential rain barrels legal in Colorado for the first time.

·       Help keep water clean through analyzing water quality issues on federal land, opposing dirty fuels (e.g., oil shale and tar sands), and using the Clean Water Act to protect Great Salt Lake.”

“Thanks to the wholehearted support of Aveda salon owners, workers and guests, WRA has been able to creatively respond to some of the West’s toughest water challenges, generating real and measurable impact. We greatly value our Earth Month partnership and send our thanks to the entire Aveda community.”

Jon Goldin-Dubois, President, Western Resources Advocates


The Alliance for the Great Lakes is the largest organization dedicated solely to protecting the Great Lakes in North America. Earth Month donations help support the Alliance’s programs on local community education, policy advocacy, and first-hand remediation to keep local waterways clean. Our ongoing relationship and close communication meant that we had a ready partner to respond to the contaminated drinking water emergency in Flint, Michigan with 10% of funds raised by the Aveda network for the Alliance directed to local organizations working to remedy the situation.

Melissa observed that “The situation in Flint, Michigan was an important reminder for all of us that protecting clean water in the local communities where we live and work is more important now than ever before. We cannot take our clean drinking water for granted.”

In 2016, Aveda raised a total of $416,601 for the Alliance for the Great Lakes.

The Gulf Restoration Network is committed to uniting and empowering people to protect and restore the natural resources of the Gulf Region by addressing sewage and industrial water pollution, preventing wetland destruction, and protecting Florida’s rivers, waters and wetlands.

A priority issue for the Gulf Restoration Network since its founding in 1994 has been advocating for the health of the Mississippi River and reducing fertilizer pollution that causes the Dead Zone, an area of low oxygen that forms every summer in the Gulf of Mexico due to excessive nutrient runoff. GRN’s work includes seeking strong limits on nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in the Mississippi River and its tributaries; pushing for enforcement of permit requirements to limit what polluters put into the water; and advocating for changes to farm subsidies to reward good farm practices that minimize nitrogen runoff and avoid subsidizing pollution that creates the Dead Zone.

In 2016, Aveda raised a total of $301,052 for the Gulf Restoration Network.

Breast Cancer Awareness

Each year, Aveda participates in the Esteé Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign by raising funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF).[1] In 2015 and 2016 at total of $597,000 was raised from a portion of the proceeds from the sale of a limited-edition Hand Relief™ Moisturizing Creme. The donations to BCRF supported cruelty-free research at Columbia University into the interaction between environmental exposures and genetic susceptibility to breast cancer. Aveda’s contributions are supplemented with a variety of fundraising efforts by employees that raised an impressive $36,800 in 2015 and 2016. Norm Lelm, Aveda Supply Chain Distribution Manager, helps raise money every year both for the Aveda Earth Month campaign and for Breast Cancer Awareness. You can find Norm selling his homemade birdhouses and crafts at our employee fair using scraps of wood from his son’s woodworking business and license plates from neighboring salvage yards. He wants to show people that everyone can make a difference. “Anyone can do small things that contribute to good causes. I think the major impact I have is that I show people this. You don’t have to be a leader to do some good in the world.”

Aveda Volunteers

Aveda has an extensive outreach program to encourage employees to volunteer in their local communities.  The company organizes a number of volunteer events as part of our Activism for the Earth campaign and makes it as easy as possible to join in.  Aveda also encourages employees to volunteer for charitable causes that they consider important.

Activism for the Earth Events

When the snow disappears and the ice leaves the lakes, Minnesotans start volunteering on outdoor projects. At the end of April during Earth Month, 25 Aveda employees along with a healthy posse of their children spent an afternoon assisting Minnesota Audubon in cleaning up and restoring an oak savannah along the Mississippi River in St. Paul. The area was chosen in part because it was adjacent to a study project reforesting the river bottom.

In May, Aveda partnered with St. Paul Parks and Recreation, Minnesota Audubon and Urban Roots. The four-day event involved a cross section of the company, from custodial staff to vice presidents, pitching in to haul brush, remove garlic mustard, and prep urban gardens among the myriad of tasks that the nearly 150 employees accomplished over those four days. Participants experienced seeing immediate positive impacts on their local environment from their collective work, leading to many comments about looking forward to other opportunities to volunteer and contribute.

Employee Volunteering


When we asked our colleagues for some examples of volunteer efforts, we were flooded with replies.  Here are three volunteer stories:

Tricia Carlsen, Aveda Consumer Communications

Tricia spends most of her volunteer time at her daughter’s elementary school coordinating fundraisers, chaperoning on field trips, participating in track and field days and running with Girls on the Run.

“Girls on the Run is an important organization to me because it’s dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams. While training for the run, the girls learn life skills through energetic, interactive lessons, and running games. Running is used to inspire and motivate them, encourage lifelong health and fitness, and build confidence through accomplishment. After the big run at the end of the season the girls feel like the impossible is possible; they learn that they can achieve anything.”

“It’s amazing to unlock a child’s potential and earn their trust and respect. It’s also wonderful to get them to see what they are capable of doing and to realize that they have the confidence to do it.”

Michelle Newlander, Aveda Creative

Michelle volunteers for United Legacy, a Minnesota-based nonprofit search and rescue organization specializing in search management. United Legacy organizes public and private search efforts with the help of volunteer searchers and law enforcement to find loved ones who have gone missing.

“I’ve seen and felt the enormous impact that two separate abductions have had on my community. No family should ever be alone in searching for their loved ones, we are all too familiar with the emotional impact that can have on family. United Legacy is on the ground and ready to get out there and take action to find your loved one the minute they go missing.”

“This amazing group of volunteers has become like a second family to me. We rally around each other, support and genuinely care for one another. The effort that everyone puts in to finding loved ones is truly amazing.”

Robin Neuenfeldt, Supply Chain GBSC New Product Launch

Robin is a member of the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) a volunteer nonprofit organization dedicated to raising funds to support programs at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.   

“CHA members participate in partnerships, fundraising events, and network with organizations and groups that work together to help provide a positive health care experience for all children. I like to volunteer in support of CHA because sometimes children in need can’t get the help they require. The wonderful doctors, nurses and medical staff at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota are able to step in and use every resource available to them to push back the darkness of disease, injury and illness, and provide a place for hurting children and families to seek protection, peace, and return to health.”

“I co-created and have co-chaired a fundraising event to attract new supporters to CHA. To date this little event has raised over $20,000 to support programs at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota!”


Aveda Employee Volunteering Impact

Fiscal Years 2015-2016

Volunteer hours


$ value of employee time



Aveda Network Volunteers

The salon owners, stylists and estheticians in the Aveda network have a number of opportunities to participate in voluntary Earth Month activities to raise money for environmental causes. For some, volunteering is an ongoing activity. At Square One Salon and Spa in Dayton, Ohio, an Aveda Concept Salon, a core focus of their business is:

“We will do anything we can to benefit those facing extraordinary challenges. Charity is part of our goal.”

 Brent Johnson, co-owner of Square One Salon and Spa, talks about one of their major volunteer efforts:

“We hold an annual fund-raiser to help a local nonprofit, Hospice of Dayton. The Hair Show and Luncheon event was an incredible success raising approximately $90,000 and sponsored by local Dayton companies. Attended by approximately 500 people, over a dozen local salons worked with 2-4 models each to represent the theme of ‘Under the Sea.’  It was a great opportunity to come together as community of salons and support each other's creativity and charitable hearts. We assigned different roles in the event to established and upcoming stylists to build on their strengths and expand their opportunities for responsibilities in and out of the salons.”

PHOTOS available with Model Releases

[1] In Australia, where BCRF is not a registered charity, funds are raised for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.