The sustainability switch: Weleda releases new sustainability commitments and goals

The latest brand to be featured in BD’s sustainability switch series, highlighting the positive changes brands are making in order to become more environmentally friendly, is skincare company, Weleda.

The brand has recently released its Annual Sustainability Report 2018, which, Weleda Australia managing director, David Johnston, told BD, “outlines our sustainability programme for the entire Weleda group and commits to some comprehensive and ambitious objectives globally over the next four years.”

“Whether it’s through fair trade, biodynamic cultivation, or responsible use of environmental resources, sustainability is part of our roots,” said Johnston.

The report highlights seven areas of action to achieve by 2022:

Regenerative farming and preservation of biodiversity

A key pillar of the sustainability programme is the promotion of regenerative farming as a contribution to climate protection and the preservation of biodiversity. At present, the organic proportion of natural raw materials is more than 80 per cent, with the share coming from biodynamic cultivation expected to grow from around 10 per cent to 30 per cent by 2022.

“We really see a huge benefit in sharing knowledge of biodynamics with our partners around the globe as a way to deal with enhancing biodiversity and healing the earth. Our aim is for 100 per cent biodynamic in the future,” said Johnston.

Certified management system for raw materials

In cooperation with the Union for Ethical Biotrade (UEBT), Weleda was the first European company to set up and certify a management system for the entire supply chain of all raw materials used in its natural and organic cosmetics.

Speaking about the UEBT, Johnston said, “This is a great organisation that ensures everyone and everything along the entire growing, harvesting and production are treated fairly, paid the right wage, indigenous communities consulted, and the earth and resources respected.”

Transparency regarding true costs

Weleda intends to create even greater transparency regarding true costs. This type of cost accounting takes into account the negative and positive external effects of raw material procurement. A pilot project to determine the costs of two important raw materials has already been successfully completed.


The brand seeks ecologically sustainable solutions for its packaging at all levels. By 2022, the proportion of recycled material in packaging for natural and organic cosmetics is expected to more than double. Together with its market partners, the company is developing new ways to reduce packaging, improve recycling options and create new designs and packaging systems.

B-Corp sustainability movement

Weleda has set itself the goal of having the entire Group B-Corp-certified worldwide by 2022. The international B-Corp sustainability movement (B=Benefit) requires the entire company to consistently focus on meaningfulness and a demonstrable positive impact on people and nature.

Sustainable innovations

Sustainable innovations will continue to be an important driver of growth in the future. With careful market research and the establishment of an Idea Factory, Weleda aims to ensure the identification of ideas that are effective in the long term. Thanks to a tighter focus, fewer innovations are to be developed, but with more relevance for consumers.