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Beiersdorf Reports Contribution of Shea & Smallholder Project in Its Climate Care Mission

Published on 2022-07-11. Edited By : SpecialChem

TAGS:  Sustainability / Natural Cosmetics   

Beiersdorf Reports Contribution of Shea & Smallholder Project in Its Climate Care MissionBeiersdorf reports impactful progress for projects that are currently underway in the West African countries of Burkina Faso and Ghana to empower women in the shea supply chain.

They have learned how to protect their valuable source of income by managing the shea parklands, so far, 5,000 seedlings of the shea tree alone have been planted.

Used in Body & Lip Care

Shea butter, the “gold of the women of Africa”, is a moisturizing all-rounder and an important raw material for Beiersdorf products, particularly in body and lip care. The project is being implemented by Beiersdorf in cooperation with Swedish shea supplier AAK, and it is being supported by a German-based provider of climate protection solutions First Climate, and the Global Shea Alliance.

All shea nuts are gathered in the wild from free-standing, widely scattered trees in the savannah and from farmland owned by local farmers. Planting shea seedlings promotes the farmer-controlled regeneration process by supporting the natural germination of trees.

Feedback from the women who are participating illustrates the positive impact that our involvement has had on the ground. We are incredibly proud that the project has been so successful, despite all the challenges posed by the pandemic, and that we have managed to support these women in sustainable shea production through knowledge sharing and training,” says Julia Beier, responsible sourcing manager at Beiersdorf AG.

Empowering Women

Beiersdorf has been empowering women in the shea supply chain in Ghana and Burkina Faso with several initiatives since 2019. This is an important element of their Responsible Sourcing programs, contributing to our CARE BEYOND SKIN Sustainability Agenda and “Climate Care” mission. In 2019, the Hamburg-based company set itself the goal of supporting 10,000 female shea collectors in West Africa within five years.

The women have gained access to microcredits through additional training in village savings and loan associations, which in turn has allowed them to invest in other trade and business opportunities. “During our visit, we saw first-hand how the women directly implement their newly acquired knowledge, thereby improving their lives and the well-being of their communities,” adds Lisette Townsend, global marketing director for AAK Personal Care.

So far, more than 4,000 women have taken part in the training courses, for example as part of the Clean Cookstoves Initiative. In the process, the women have learned how to use local materials to build safer and more efficient alternatives to traditional stoves.

Reducing Emissions Sustainably with ‘Carbon Insetting’

In 2022, the company has stepped up its commitment and enlisted support from further competent partners, First Climate and SustainCERT, in order to add another element to its existing commitment “Carbon Insetting”. “With this pioneering program, Beiersdorf will help to sustainably reduce emissions generated in its own supply chain,” says Mike Hatert, COO of First Climate.

The company managed the administrative process that resulted in the project’s validation as a recognized emission reduction project by SustainCERT. While local women previously used simple three-stone stoves fueled by firewood to pre-treat shea kernels, they now use energy-efficient cookstoves that they have built themselves. These are 2.5 times more efficient than traditional stoves and can be used for both shea kernel processing as well as home cooking.

This reduces the need for firewood and the related emissions. With a total of 11,000 cookstoves produced and used, the overall expected emission reduction – including private use of the cookstoves – amounts to approximately 53,000 metric tons over a period of 5 years. A total of 2,890 metric tons are expected to be reduced through the more efficient processing of the shea nut kernels alone within the same period.

Beiersdorf believes in little things that make a big difference. The project empowers women with valuable know-how to secure their livelihoods and provide for themselves and their families independently. It is also an example of Beiersdorf’s commitment to supporting smallholder projects, such as those that already exist for palm oil, while contributing to a more sustainable supply chain. “The results of this project are very promising and provide us with valuable guidance on how to achieve our ambitious climate target, which aims to reduce Scope 3 emissions by 30% in absolute terms by 2025,” says Jean-Francois Pascal, vice president of sustainability at Beiersdorf AG.

Source: Beiersdorf

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