UEBT'S Ethical BioTrade Standard describes the main issues that must be considered when putting ethical sourcing of natural ingredients into practice. The conservation and the sustainable use of biodiversity are two of the most important principles companies have to follow, but what do these concepts exactly entail?
The conservation of biodiversity
It means taking care of the plants and animals sourced for natural ingredients, as well as the natural environments in which they exist and grow. For example, there should be no clearing of forests for cultivation or collection activities and measures should be taken to avoid harming other species living in the natural environment in which sourcing activities take place. In addition, sourcing activities should actively seek to contribute to local conservation projects and traditional practices that protect biodiversity are recorded, recognized and encouraged. Business activities should be run in line with ecological legislation, especially those about the equitable sharing of benefits deriving from biodiversity use.
Sustainable use of biodiversity
It refers to the management of biodiversity in sourcing activities that ensures plant and animal populations stay healthy and productive with the passing of time. For example, sourcing activities follow management plans specifying areas and seasons in which cultivation and harvest are allowed. Negative impacts on the ecosystems like contaminating the air, the water, the soil with harmful agrochemicals or waste for instance, should also be avoided.