With an increasing number of companies turning to sustainable sourcing, probably no other region comes under the microscope more than the Latin American region, namely because it is still home to some of the largest swathes of virgin forests and territories, in the world.
In line with this significant resource, and increasing number of Latin American-based ingredients suppliers and cosmetic manufacturers have been turning to the most biologically diverse region in the planet to source ingredients and raw materials that have often been used by indigenous people for thousands of years.
Respecting environment and local communities
But such is the awareness and importance of preserving this biodiversity, it has become expected that any products that are sourced from the region are done so in a way that respects the environment and the local communities.
The Sustainable Cosmetics Summit will be taking place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, September 24 – 26, will focus on a number of the leading players in the region and the initiatives they have undertaken to fulfill these criteria.
One of the biggest cosmetics players in Latin America is Natura, which is also the biggest player in its native Brazil.
Natura plays its part in saving the eco-system
The company will be contributing to the presentations during the event and will be highlighting the fact that it is involved in a number of sustainable sourcing projects, that promote biodiversity while catering to local community needs.
Second in size to Natura in the Brazil cosmetics market is Grupo Botaicario, which has set up a foundation for conservation projects that protects over 11,000 hectares of Atlantic rainforest and cerrado, donating over $10m to nature reserve programs.
Multinational finished goods companies are also getting in on the act, with Organic Monitor pointing to the fact that players such as L’Oreal, Johnson & Johnson and Unilever have all recently set up research and development facilities in the region.
Ingredients companies committ to greater accountability
Likewise all the big global ingredients players such as Symrise and Givaudan are being attracted to the biodiversity and huge scope for expansion, and in turn are establishing ethical sourcing programs for the ingredients that they source there.
Although there are no rigid protocols or regulations in place to govern cosmetics players that are sourcing from the regions rich biodiversity, Organic Monitor points to the work that is being carried out by the Union For Ethical BioTrade (UEBT), which has done much to commit companies to ethical sourcing practices.
Members of the organization include Brazilian natural ingredients player Beraca, together with Colombian company Lab Favre have been involved in projects that address environmental degradation and social inequality.
Natura Brasil, Grupo Boticario, L’Oreal, Beraca, Lab Favre, and UEBT are all scheduled to give presentations at the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit that will touch on ethical and sustainability issues.