Our commitment to people and biodiversity
Weleda contributes to a world in which people and biodiversity thrive. The UEBT label for “SOURCING WITH RESPECT” certifies that biodiversity is being protected during the cultivation, harvesting and further processing of the natural ingredients we use. It also shows our commitment to paying everyone in our supply chain fair wages and treating them with respect.
What does the UEBT label "SOURCING WITH RESPECT" mean?
The UEBT label, issued by the Union for Ethical BioTrade, certifies all of our actions pertaining to the sourcing of natural ingredients for Weleda natural cosmetics. It ensures consumers that we care about people and biodiversity: the soil, microorganisms, water and air as well as plants, animals and the people involved in sourcing our natural ingredients. However, the label is neither a product certification, nor does it certify the individual raw material.
How do we protect the habitats in which our natural ingredients grow?
We bear responsibility for the people who grow, harvest and process our natural ingredients. Only by working together can we guarantee that these habitats are not exploited, but used and protected sustainably. This is what the UEBT label stands for. Weleda is one of the first companies worldwide to carry the UEBT label on its products.
Rik Kutsch Lojenga, Executive Director of UEBT and expert on the ethical sourcing of natural ingredient:
“We are so proud that Weleda has achieved ethical sourcing system certification by UEBT and will be one of the first brands to place the UEBT trust mark on its products. By meeting our internationally recognized standard, a company assures customers that, when sourcing raw materials, biodiversity is conserved and used sustainably, and that all partners along the chain are treated equitably and paid fairly.”
What principles guide our business activities?
The UEBT standard encompasses 7 main criteria:
- Conservation of biodiversity
- Sustainable use of biodiversity
- Fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from the use of biodiversity between companies and local communities
- Traceability to identify the origins of natural ingredients
- Compliance with national and international laws
- Adequate working conditions and ensuring food security for those involved in local sourcing activities
- Clarity about land tenure, right of use and access to natural resources
What is UEBT?
The Union for Ethical Biotrade (UEBT) is a non-profit association supporting and verifying company commitments to sourcing with respect. It provides a globally recognized standard for the ethical sourcing of natural ingredients. It began as a United Nations initiative, and maintains strong partnerships with UN organisations such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the BioTrade Initiative of the Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
Why did Weleda choose UEBT?
In comparison to other available certifications, the UEBT standard addresses social, ecological as well as economic criteria. In meeting these criteria, we are taking an active role in preserving the diversity of our ecosystems. We are providing a habitat for animals and plants, while helping people around the world to lead a dignified and healthy life. We are conserving natural resources in order to provide future generations with a sound basis for life.
How does Weleda support local communities?
- We are currently nurturing about 50 long-term cultivation partnerships worldwide.
- We support local projects in providing additional support to communities in sourcing areas, for example with medical care and education.
- Social sustainability is much more than fair pay. Aspects such as protection from discrimination and child or forced labour, upholding rights to association, and promoting occupational safety and labour law are examples of the many international regulations on which the UEBT standard is based.
- Farmers receive fair prices that cover the costs of implementing best practices and enable them to improve the quality of life for themselves and their communities.
- Local food security must not be endangered by our sourcing activities. We review our supply chains according to these principles and take action if necessary.
- We match our practices to this demanding standard down to the field level, carry out control audits if necessary and take measures for improvement together with our local partners.
- We also ensure that cultural freedom and the knowledge of indigenous communities about biodiversity are upheld.
How is Weleda committed to preserving biodiversity?
- We require our partners to obtain information on endangered species in the sourcing area, for example from environmental ministries and local NGOs. On the basis of this information, we can take appropriate measures to prevent extinction of endangered species or actively participate in existing projects to protect biodiversity. For example, according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), we source rare and protected plant species such as arnica from sustainable and certified organic production. Not only does our project support biodiversity, but also the local farmers.
- We support our partners in converting to organic farming – without pesticides and monocultures.
- We encourage our cultivation partners to plant flower strips and hedgerows, which provide a habitat for many insects.
Leading by example:
A growing number of consumers are consciously opting for natural cosmetics from Weleda. This increasing demand enables us to make an ever-greater positive impact on people and biodiversity in our supply chains. The UEBT certification for “SOURCING WITH RESPECT” is an important contribution in this respect. Our vision is that more and more companies will join us in following this path of ethical sourcing – for themselves, for consumers and for our planet.