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UEBT Reflects on Ethical Beauty Sourcing for International Day for Biodiversity
Posted: May 22, 2013
To commemorate the International Day for Biodiversity, May 22, 2013, the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT) has published the report of this year’s Beauty of Sourcing with Respect Conference, which focused on how biodiversity is reshaping the beauty industry.
This annual conference brings together cosmetics and personal care companies to share experiences on the ethical sourcing of biodiversity. It is a chance to discuss latest developments and best practices in this field with internationally recognized experts, decision-makers and other stakeholders. Over the last five years, the focus of the conference has moved from awareness raising to experience sharing, with increasing contributions from companies that are members of UEBT. The 2013 edition was supported by L’Oréal and Natura Cosmetics, and drew 150 participants, the largest number of participants to date.
Rik Kutsch Lojenga, UEBT, pointed out major changes that occurred over the last five years with regard to ethical sourcing of biodiversity, including a rising biodiversity awareness among consumers; increased company reporting on biodiversity (from 13% in 2009 to 32% in 2013); improved understanding of access and benefit sharing (ABS); and the growing realization that biodiversity is an issue for companies looking to grow in emerging economies.
In a passionate keynote speech with examples from around the world, Prof. Gilles Boeuf, president of the French National Museum of Natural History, stressed the importance of biodiversity for the planet and humankind. He urged conference participants to take action regarding biodiversity, making sure that the 2020 biodiversity targets set by the United Nations are not missed.
The UEBT Biodiversity Barometer underscores that consumers expect industry to take action on biodiversity. Insights obtained over the last five years, i.e. 31,000 consumers surveyed in 11 countries, show that biodiversity is a concept of growing global importance. In 2013, the survey looked particularly at Chinese consumers, which, similar to Brazilian consumers, show remarkably high awareness on biodiversity, reconfirming the importance of biodiversity in emerging markets.