GRI 304: Biodiversity
Explanation of the material topic and its boundary
As population grows and levels of consumption rise, natural ecosystems are being replaced by agriculture, means of producing energy, and settlement. In addition, climate change is undermining the ecological processes that support healthy, productive landscapes.
These developments pose a challenge to the sustainable and profitable growth of many supply chains as well as the socio-economic stability of the communities that depend on them. This has immediate consequences for our sourcing activities – our business relies on a supply of diverse natural resources for the creation of our flavour and fragrance products.
A combination of protection, sustainable management and, where necessary, restoration is then needed at a landscape scale to ensure the future of a diverse, living planet. It is essential for the long-term future of our Company that we assist in the effort to conserve biodiversity. To this end, we abide by global rules and policies on biodiversity conservation and also help to reduce the pressure on natural resources. We insist on responsible sourcing from suppliers and investigate more efficient use of naturals as well as alternative sources of key natural raw materials.
It is part of our business as well as our responsibility to join forces with local stakeholders to preserve the equilibrium of the landscapes from which we source: our Responsible Sourcing Policy requires all suppliers of raw materials to conserve biodiversity.
We strive to prevent the loss of species and support the implementation of best management practices and climate adaptation strategies that can help preserve yield and income, sustaining the long-term viability of complex value chains of smallholder farmers, small traders and transformers.
The Convention on Biological Diversity is the main international instrument giving a general framework for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from its use. The Nagoya Protocol implements Article 15 of the convention, which covers access to genetic resources – and associated traditional knowledge – and sharing of monetary and nonmonetary benefits linked to their use. We have identified the potential implications of the Nagoya Protocol and its access and benefit sharing (ABS) framework on our activities in order to comply with all our obligations.
We also support the Givaudan Foundation in engaging with local and international NGOs involved in the conservation of vulnerable ecosystems and have formed numerous partnerships with local stakeholders to conserve local landscapes and genetic resources.
For example, we have been collaborating for about a decade with the University of California, Riverside to support the care and preservation of one of the world’s most extensive, unique and diverse citrus collections, and have joined forces with international organisations such as the Natural Resources Stewardship Circle (NRSC) to contribute to enhancing biodiversity in the areas where we source our natural raw materials. As NRSC members, we follow their guidelines on best practices.
Significant impacts of activities, products, and services on biodiversity
Access and Benefit-sharing
In 2019, we continued the review of our ABS internal procedures, updating them to keep them aligned with the ever-changing landscape of local ABS regulations.
Our broad ABS working group has been extended to cover a wider range of functions affected by ABS, playing a particularly significant role in Procurement, Regulatory and Science & Technology. This group oversees the coordination of ABS-related activities and the management of ABS-relevant data across Givaudan.
In terms of internal procedures, we have, following the integration of the Naturex business, reviewed ABS procedures to ensure a consistent approach to both upstream supply aspects as well as a coordinated approach to delivering appropriate information to our customers. Externally, we continue to maintain close links with expert advisors on ABS and are working closely with the Union for Ethical Biotrade (UEBT), while continuing to work with industry bodies such as the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) and the International Organization for the Flavor Industry (IOFI) to ensure access to the most recent information and interpretation of ABS topics.
From the perspective of innovation, all our programmes take the principles of the Nagoya Protocol into account. Research teams have initiated internal processes to record and manage information related to the use of genetic resources for research. We continually assess the potential impact of biodiversity laws worldwide.
We have initiatives to preserve biodiversity in three areas, all of which fall under our approach to Sourcing for Shared Value, which is based on a best practice approach and has brought significant improvement.
We address specific issues of biodiversity preservation such as those related to deforestation, in our supply chains by including it as a key component of our Responsible Sourcing Policy, which asks suppliers of raw materials to respect a set of environmental value requirements. In 2019, as part of our Responsible Sourcing Programme, we continued the mapping of four raw material supply chains with potential risk for deforestation issues: palm, cheese, butter and soy. This builds on the work done in 2018 in the area of beef and cheese supply chains that showed that these products have limited exposure to deforestation risks because of their countries of origin: Sweden, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, the US, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Norway, Ireland and other EU countries. The mapping of palm, butter and soy supply chains is still underway due to their breadth and depth which will provide further visibility and a solid basis for further dialogue with our broad suppliers base.
We have also implemented several initiatives through our Communities at Source programme. We continued work on reducing fuelwood consumption and replantation of fuel wood trees in the distillation of key ingredients such as clove leaf oil, ylang ylang and patchouli.