Companies must prepare concrete action plans for saving biodiversity

European Business & Biodiversity Campaign - News

Companies must prepare concrete action plans for saving biodiversity

In future, companies will have to submit a Biodiversity Action Plan for certification according to the UEBT standard. In cooperation with the Global Nature Fund, the Union for Ethical BioTrade has published a guideline that supports companies in developing and implementing measures for the sustainable use and conservation of biological diversity.

The non-profit Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT) today has published detailed guidance that will help companies make plans for conserving biodiversity in and around the farms where they source natural raw ingredients such as edible oils, seeds, nuts, resins, flowers, herbs and spices used in food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. The guidance that has been developed together with Global Nature Fund (GNF), is a road map to achieving UEBT certification against the internationally recognised Ethical BioTrade standard. UEBT certifies more than 100 different ingredients and companies will need to follow a ‘Biodiversity Action Plan’ for each ingredient they source to achieve and maintain their UEBT ingredient certification. Actions can include protecting natural ecosystems, re-creating natural structures, maintaining good soil and water and enhancing beneficial organisms on farms such as bees. Ultimately, this will drive positive impact on how companies sustainably use and conserve biodiversity.

Biodiversity Action Plans will be further discussed at the Beauty of Sourcing with Respect Conference, an annual event in Paris that brings together executives from global beauty brands, as well as company leaders from the natural pharmaceutical, specialty food, and personal care sectors, in addition to non-profit experts, policymakers and others. This year’s event takes place on 20-21 May.

"A Biodiversity Action Plan shows the way for a company to sustainably use and conserve biodiversity when sourcing natural raw materials. Companies can use it for continuous improvement in their supply chains and more concretely communicate their actions and results on protecting nature and people. We are pleased to be able to offer full guidance on how to develop these plans, linked to our growing natural ingredient certification program," said Rik Kutsch Lojenga, UEBT’s Executive Director and a leading global expert on ethical sourcing of biodiversity-based ingredients.

Tobias Ludes, Project Manager at the GNF said, "Within our project LIFE Food & Biodiversity we are working together with companies and food standards to anchor the protection of biodiversity more firmly in the food sector. In UEBT we have found a very committed partner! This work is pushing company awareness of biodiversity’s importance to their business and making it part of their actions on the ground, beyond the actual harvesting and processing of an ingredient."

Biodiversity Action Plans
These guidelines have been developed through a collaboration between UEBT and the Global Nature Fund (GNF) as part of the EU LIFE Project "Biodiversity in Standards and Labels for the Food Industry." This work is also supported in part by UNCTAD through its BioTrade Facilitation Programme: Linking trade, biodiversity and sustainable development. UNCTAD and UEBT also gratefully acknowledge the financial contribution of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO. Download: Biodiversity Action Plans – Full Guidance
About the Global Nature Fund (GNF)
Global Nature Fund is a non-profit international foundation for the protection of environment and nature, headquartered in Germany. Since 2010 the foundation is supporting companies from all industries in integrating biodiversity into their corporate management. The current project "Biodiversity in Standards and Labels for the Food Industry", aims to improve the biodiversity performance of standards and labels within the food industry. The project is funded by the LIFE programme of the European Union. More information can be found at:
About the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT)
UEBT is a non-profit association that promotes sourcing with respect. They support and verify companies’ commitments to innovation and sourcing practices that contribute to a world in which people and biodiversity thrive. Natural ingredient supply chains that comply with the Ethical BioTrade standard (the UEBT standard) should have measures in place that contribute to sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity. More information can be found at:
Beauty of Sourcing with Respect Conference in Paris
Since 2008 UEBT has been organizing the Beauty of Sourcing with Respect Conference annually. The conference is organized on a non-profit basis. This year’s event on 20-21 May is supported by L’Oréal, Natura, Symrise, Weleda, ABS Capacity Development Initiative and LVMH Recherche. For more information please visit the UEBT website:
Press Release Global Nature Fund, 21.03.2019