BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 29 June '18

Clean beauty pioneer Weleda has become Europe’s first UEBT-certified beauty brand

Weleda is Europe’s first beauty brand – and one of only two worldwide – to achieve the new UEBT certification for sourcing with respect.

UEBT (Union for Ethical Bio Trade) is a non-profit organisation that provides a globally recognised standard for sustainable sourcing and the use of raw materials.

Why it’s big news

Weleda manufactures over 120 natural and organic cosmetics, and more than 1,000 pharmaceuticals. Sustainable sourcing is crucial: over 1,000 natural ingredients go into these products each year.

Around 81% (over 2,000 tonnes) of all the plant ingredients used at Weleda are organic, making the company one of the world’s largest buyers of organic raw materials.

Over 120 plants are used, freshly picked, in tinctures for Weleda products. As an example, 30 tonnes of fresh arnica flowers generate 5 tonnes of dried flowers. Oil is extracted from these flowers and used in Weleda’s Arnica Massage Oil and Stretch Mark Massage Oil.

What does UEBT certification mean?

UEBT certification will help consumers tell that they are buying products from a company that treats people and biodiversity with respect.

Bas Schneiders, head of international strategic sourcing at Weleda, said, ‘With certification we are taking the next step: creating a significant impact for the growers, collectors and producers working for us’.

In order for a brand to be certified, UEBT looks at its entire sourcing system. One part of the process is to validate that the brand has incorporated the requirements from the UEBT standard into its systems for sourcing and processing natural ingredients.

Certified companies also need to verify that they have implemented sourcing practices throughout the supply chains for their natural ingredients.

Sustainability as a process, not a goal

Annette Piperidis, manager of sustainable sourcing at Weleda, said that the brand has ‘received many awards in recent years for our efforts to achieve sustainability in our supply chains’.

She added that sustainability ‘is not a goal for us’, but ‘a process in which we constantly strive to optimise. For this reason, it was important to us to take our efforts to the next level and to tackle further challenges.

UEBT Certified logo

‘We are so proud that Weleda has achieved ethical sourcing system certification by the UEBT and will be one of the first brands to place the UEBT trust mark on its products.

‘By meeting our internationally recognised standard, a company assures customers that, when sourcing raw materials, biodiversity is conserved and sourced sustainably, and that all partners along the supply chain are treated equitably and paid fairly.’

RIK KUTSCH LOJENGA
UEBT’s executive director and a global expert on ethical sourcing of natural ingredients

‘a new generation of green entrepreneurs’

Weleda became a full member of the Union for Ethical BioTrade in 2011. With its membership, Weleda reaffirmed its traditional principles of ethical business practice and applied the UEBT standard to its raw material procurement.

UEBT values such as conservation, the sustainable use of biodiversity and the fair compensation of all partners in the supply chain correspond with Weleda’s own long-held principles.

‘Weleda has pioneered sustainable business practices and Steiner’s approach is inspiring a new generation of green entrepreneurs. At Weleda we believe, for instance, that value must be shared equally across the supply chain otherwise winners and losers are created and the system fails. Truly sustainable business practice is something which takes vision, dedication and daily commitment from everyone in the business.’

JAYN STERLAND
Managing director of Weleda UK

The new certification and label was unveiled at the UEBT conference in Paris, 20 June 2018, and will start to appear on packs in 2019.