Report: Sustainability will be increasingly important for biotech companies

By Chris BARKER

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Asia-pacific

Report: Sustainability will be increasingly important for biotech companies
Sustainability will increasingly determine the future of the global marine biotech market, according to a report by research firm Global Industry Analysts.

The paper ‘Marine Biotechnology- a Global Strategic Business Report’ highlights the fact that sourcing ingredients from marine environments is a major barrier to entry for cosmetics companies and prevents the vast majority of potential organisms from being used.

GIA suggests that sustainability of ingredients is the way forward, pointing to examples of companies which have developed eco-friendly operations, which also offer benefits in terms of availability of resources.

Commenting on the outlook for the cosmetics industry, the report notes: “Marine biotechnology is expected to witness steady growth in the future years, driven by the continuous rise in demand for natural products and the increase in investment inflows into this space.”

“Increasing use of marine ingredients in food, agriculture and cosmetics industries is a major driving factor for the marine biotechnology market.”

Sustainability important to allow bioresources to be used

GIA highlights the fact that the increased use of biotechnology is now coinciding with the destruction of marine ecosystems, which is a great risk due to the relatively fragile nature of most of these organisms compared to their “terrestrial” ​alternatives.

In particular, the report suggests that the reason why on 50 of the 30,000 known varieties of marine algae are utilized by the cosmetics industry is due to the difficulty in sourcing these ingredients without damaging existing populations of organisms.

The analyst comments: rising popularity of marine ingredients has been found to coincide with the erosion of marine ecosystems, specifically corals. Consequently, focus has shifted onto tapping the huge resources of marine life without causing any adverse impact on the ecosystem.”

“Given the rising demand for marine ingredients from cosmetics industry, raw material providers are under pressure to ensure steady supply.”

The report points to the example of companies such as Ocean Basis and Lacote, which create products based on algae and seaweed using sustainable methods, as the way forward for companies.

Drastic growth anticipated

The company anticipates that the global marine biotechnology market will grow by almost 30% by 2018, rising from US$3.7bn in 2013 to US $4.9bn.

Geographically, Europe and North America are still the leading markets for marine biotechnology, with the Asia-Pacific region also gaining ground. In the EU, France and Scotland are considered “at the forefront of” ​marine biotechnology.

Prestige brands which use marine ingredients are also coming to the forefront, with the report highlighting products such as Estée Lauder’s Crème de la Mer, The Steiner Group’s Elemis, and Beiersdorf’s La Prairie.

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