Sustainable sourcing relies on dialogue, respect and transparency, says Aveda exec

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Natural environment

Successfully working with source communities in ingredients partnerships requires dialogue, respect and transparency, according to Pascal Bordat from Aveda.

Bordat, who is Vice President of Research and Development at Aveda, spoke at the in-focus sustainable sourcing round table at this year’s in-cosmetics in Milan.

The aim of the event was to look at ways companies can make a positive impact with their operations, in contrast to focusing on how they can reduce their negative impact with tools such as the life cycle assessments, and Bordat was joined by Filipe Sabara from Beraca and Michel Philippe from L’Oreal.

According to Bordat, sourcing in a way that can positively impact communities will only be successful if it is based on a positive constructive dialogue with the source communities, in addition to transparency.

“Transparency is necessary all along the supply chain, it is not always easy to have full traceability, but it is necessary,”​ he said.

Respect is also a key word, and is especially important regarding community work, he added. For Bordat, this need for respect also requires a long time frame.

“You can’t have respect on both sides if you don’t build it over time,”​ he said.

The Nagoya Protocol

Bordat also referenced three international treaties or texts that can affect companies’ sourcing of companies: the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the UN declaration of rights of communities, and the Nagoya Protocol.

The Nagoya Protocol, Filipe Sabara from Beraca explained, affects how companies access biodiversity and traditional knowledge.

“If you are taking a plant from somewhere you have to share the benefits,” ​he said.

Green chemistry

Developing positive sourcing relationships was not the only practice highlighted during the in-focus event, which also covered how green chemistry can be used to improve a company’s operations.

Michel Phillipe from L’Oreal explained that new technologies can make great impacts.

“We can develop new ingredients or improve them with green chemistry principles,”​ he said, adding that this included looking at atom efficiency, ecotoxicity, persistence in the environment and the starting materials.

Phillipe added that L’Oreal worked with suppliers concentrating on five axes including the health and safety of the ingredient for humans and the environment, the social impact of the ingredients, its affect on biodiversity and whether it conforms to principles of fairtrade.

Related topics: Formulation & Science

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