Our supply chain is sustainable and equitable
When you purchase our natural skin care products, you contribute to a world in which both people and biodiversity can thrive. Not only do we ensure that our natural raw materials are grown organically or biodynamically, but also that the people who grow and harvest them are treated fairly and with respect. We also want to be able to trace our natural raw materials back to their source. As a member of the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT), we adhere to the strict social, economic and ecological criteria set by the organisation. The values it defines are for the benefit of both people and planet.
Our commitment to sustainable sourcing
Over 80 percent of our certifiable raw materials are sourced from certified organic farming and, wherever possible, from biodynamic farming. We are working to increase this percentage every year. Through new partnerships with certified organic producers and new organic and biodynamic cultivation projects. We also place great emphasis on the quality of our ingredients. Many of the plants we use for our natural cosmetics and medicines are grown in our own gardens. We also source raw materials through long-standing partners.
Our Vision is to be a benchmark company on ethical and sustainable sourcing within our industry.
Ethical sourcing is a top priority
We want you to know exactly what you’re getting from us. That’s why we have been a full member of UEBT since 2011 and have ensured that all our supply chains for natural raw materials meet its standards – all the way back to the origin of the plants. In 2018, we received the UEBT Sourcing with Respect certification. The UEBT standard promotes sustainable local development and the protection and mindful use of biodiversity. As part of the certification process, UEBT audits the supply chains for all natural raw materials used in our natural cosmetic products. With the UEBT seal we guarantee that we preserve and sustainably use biodiversity in the best possible way during plant cultivation, harvesting and further processing. We are also committed to treating all of our cultivation partners fairly and equitably, upholding human and labour rights, and supporting community development.
Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT)
UEBT is a non-profit association, which aims to contribute to a world in which all people and biodiversity thrive. It works to regenerate nature and secure a better future for people through ethical sourcing of Ingredients from biodiversity. 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).
The 7 principles of the UEBT standard
- Conservation of biodiversity
- Sustainable use of biodiversity
- Fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from the use of biodiversity
- Socio-economic sustainability (productive, financial and market management)
- Compliance with national and international legislation
- Respect for the rights of actors involved in BioTrade activities
- Clarity about land tenure, right of use and access to natural resources
Discover the source of our raw materials
Fragrant lavender from Moldova
The fields in Moldova are filled with the bright purple blossoms of fragrant lavender. At the edges of the fields, mobile distillation units process the freshly gathered plants into essential oil. Only about twenty years ago, there was hardly any market for lavender in Moldova. Today, it provides us with large amounts of lavender for the production of Weleda natural skin care products. It’s wonderful to see what’s happening in the area: our partner has added fish stocks to a small lake near the fields, cut back overgrown reeds and set up beehives. It’s not just the quality of the soil that is important here, but also its biodiversity. Only then is nature healthy. That’s why we are currently working with the villagers to help them convert to biodynamic agriculture.
Precious sandalwood oil from New Caledonia
The sandalwood oil we use as a fragrance in some of our products is sourced from one of the islands of New Caledonia in the South Pacific. The oil is extracted from the wood of the trees. Because sandalwood is particularly rare, each tree is tagged with a GPS sensor to prevent illegal harvesting. The people treat this valuable natural resource with care. To test whether the tree is mature enough for harvesting, a tiny hole is drilled into the wood. Then the hole is closed again with resin, so the tree can continue to grow if necessary. We were there when the trees were harvested, visited the wood mill and oil distillery and observed as fragrant sandalwood oil was extracted from the soft chunks of wood.
Arnica wild collection
What is likely Europe’s most abundant source of arnica can be found growing wild in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania. Weleda is helping to protect this resource and support the local people. A meadow alone usually doesn’t produce much for a farmer. But if arnica grows there, the meadow offers an additional source of income, giving the owner an incentive to leave it in its original state. These wild plants are harvested and processed according to strict sustainability and quality standards, which local pickers learn about in training workshops.
Ratanhia from the Andes
Every year a family in Peru makes the long journey up to the Andean Plains to harvest Ratanhia plants and roots for Weleda. Of course we have a permit for certified wild collection; it’s important to us that we also protect this plant species. How much of the plant is there? Have the soil conditions changed? Has anything changed since last year? Everything is carefully observed and documented. To determine which of the wild meadows should be harvested, we consult with experts from local universities and nature conservation organisations.
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What sustainability means to us
Sustainability is part of our identity. Our pharmaceuticals and natural skin care are not only good for you. We are striving to make our business even more future-proof and sustainable and care for the climate.
We strive to continuously improve our packaging
Why do we use plastic packaging? Because so far, there’s no perfect solution for all our products. But we are working hard to make our packaging even better, to reduce its impact on the environment.
We care for biodiversity around the world
In producing our natural skin care and pharmaceutical products, we treat the earth’s resources with care at every step – starting with the seeds that we plant. In doing so, we are protecting biodiversity and nurturing healthy soils around the world.