The conference will explore how companies are creating brand value through ethical sourcing of biodiversity, with brands such as Natura Cosmetics, Weleda, Body Shop and Lu all sharing their experiences and presenting their new strategies for the years ahead.
“Biodiversity is an important source of innovation and raw materials in the beauty sector. The UEBT conference offers a unique opportunity to meet leading experts and stay informed about the latest developments around ethical sourcing of biodiversity,” says Bas Schneiders, Head International Strategic Sourcing at Weleda, one of the conference sponsors.
At the conference a panel of experts will also discuss how attention for ethical sourcing of biodiversity has changed over the last ten years, and what lies ahead.
This will be supported by new results of international research, including the annual UEBT Biodiversity Barometer, and interviews with various company representatives.
“The research conducted by UEBT over the last eight years shows growing consumer awareness of biodiversity as well as a clear expectation for business to respect biodiversity,” says Rik Kutsch Lojenga, UEBT’s Executive Director.
“UEBT, through membership, certification and technical support, offers business a path to embrace this opportunity and become part of the solution to conserve global biodiversity and share its benefits equitably.”
New rules and strategies
Another focus at the event will be on responding to new rules and expectations on biodiversity based innovation, following new national laws triggered by the UN Nagoya Protocol, adopted in 2014.
These laws require companies to obtain approvals and negotiate benefit sharing before conducting R&D on a country’s biodiversity; and representatives from Nestlé, L’Oréal and the Himalaya Drug Company will share how their companies address these changes and incorporate them in wider sustainability strategies.
Representatives from Beraca, a Brazilian ingredient supplier, and countries such as Morocco will subsequently share the practical experiences in going through specific Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) procedures and negotiations.
“What is unique in the ‘Beauty of Sourcing with Respect’ conference is the mix of international participants from business, government and other organizations,” says María Julia Oliva, Senior Coordinator for Policy and Technical Support at UEBT.
“This year we welcome representatives from various African and Latin American governments, and from international agencies such as the Convention on Biological Diversity. This ensures vibrant, enriching discussions and remarkable networking opportunities.”