Now, more than ever before, conscious consumers expect brands to conduct business ethically. These consumers are indeed looking for natural, safe ingredients; however, they are scrutinizing the supply chain in increasing detail. Now, consumers are savvy to the fact that just because an ingredient is natural, doesn’t mean it’s sustainably sourced, which requires substantial supply chain innovation.
Equally, they want brands to be as socially responsible as they are environmentally conscious; for instance, in the United States, 65% of younger millennials believe brands should speak up on social issues (Mintel, 2020). This means that brands should consider the socio-economic impact of their sourcing practices. For example, does the raw material extraction ensure the equitable and fair distribution of the area’s natural resources? How does the brand’s involvement benefit the community that produces it?
Beauty brands need to consider how they can analyze the sustainability of their supply chain, incorporate social responsibility projects, and how these initiatives can ultimately lead to full supply chain network optimization. Often, an innovative supply chain is the key to gains across the board, both environmentally, socially, and financially. Provital is doing its part to create a more ethically-minded supply chain – here’s how.
Innovative sustainability assessment
A cornerstone of Provital’s supply chain innovation is our sustainability risk analysis. We measure the sustainability risks associated with our supply chain by using a new tool that analyses the potential environmental impact of raw material extraction, according to the supplier. This is followed by the production of a detailed plan of improvement actions for materials that present a higher sustainability risk.
As of last year, Provital has assessed 48% of its total raw materials; with respect to total purchase volume for 2019, we have assessed 67% of the total raw materials purchased. In recognition of the company’s commitment to ethics and sustainable development, the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT) sent us a renewed membership certificate for 2019.
Furthermore, Provital was the first cosmetic ingredient supplier to be certified fully compliant with the Nagoya Protocol for access and benefit-sharing. Looking to the future, we intend to maintain the status and continue to implement more projects that fairly and equitably distribute natural resources, while developing high-quality active ingredients.
Case study in supply chain innovation: Provital and Mujeres y Ambiente
An interesting example of how Provital is implementing ethical supply chain innovation is our project with Mujeres y Ambiente (Women and the Environment) in Queretaro, Mexico. This organization was founded by Eulalia Moreno in 2010, alongside her two daughters. With assistance from the Autonomous University of Queretaro (AUQ), the group was founded to enhance economic opportunities for women in the area, while using environmentally sound cultivation processes.
Four years after Mujeres y Ambiente was founded, Provital joined forces with the group to cultivate raw materials for our active ingredients. Now, this exceptional micro-enterprise provides Provital with sustainably cultivated aromatic and medicinal plants, including the powerful botanical Agastache Mexicana, which is the main raw material in our active ingredient Agascalm™. This partnership is helping lift the community out of poverty, promote gender equality, and protect the planet.
Today, we are proud that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) continues to highlight Provital and our project in Mexico as an example of an access and benefit-sharing project that complies with the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Nagoya Protocol. With these principles and ethics, Provital strives to ensure that every touchpoint in our innovative supply chain places social responsibility and sustainability at its core.