Importance of biodiversity for business
With growing consumer interest in natural products, companies increasingly prefer to use plant-based ingredients in their products, rather than synthetics. A variety of herbs, flowers, roots and bark are used as in beauty, food and health products, often as active ingredients, oils, fragrances or other types of enhancing ingredients.
As a result of this growing popularity and use, companies are increasingly recognising how their capacity to innovate and sell these desired products depends on biodiversity conservation. They are undertaking efforts to improve their impact on biodiversity along their supply chains not only because it is a consumer expectation, but because there is a strong business case for sourcing with respect.
These sustainability trends coincide with new international and national rules (such as rules on access and benefit sharing, or ABS) on the use of biodiversity for research and development. These rules require companies to obtain prior authorisation before researching biodiversity for product innovation, and to share the benefits resulting from this research with countries and local stakeholders who have used biodiversity in sourcing regions for generations.
Today, ethical sourcing of biodiversity is rising higher and higher on the corporate agenda in beauty, food and pharmaceutical sectors, with leading companies making strong commitments to respect the diversity of life on Earth.