Weleda has a responsibility for the places where we work and for the people involved in manufacturing our products. Striving for social responsibility helps individuals and organisations have a positive impact on development, business and society. As a socially-oriented company, we also place great emphasis on providing security, individual development and overall health to employees, suppliers and partners. This helps to ensure minimum social standards, fair prices and long-term agreements.
Union for Ethical Biotrade
In October 2011, Weleda became a full member of the Union for Ethical Biotrade (UEBT), a non-profit organisation that represents a globally recognised standard for sustainable procurement and the use of raw materials. With that membership Weleda reaffirmed principles of ethical business practice and we undertook to apply the UEBT standard for raw material procurement. UEBT values such as conservation, the sustainable use of biodiversity and the fair compensation of all partners in the supply chain, correspond with Weleda’s own long-held principles.
Wherever it is possible to agree on minimum wages, Weleda secures an appropriate basic income for all our delivery partners. The three-year audit by UEBT provides for the gradual integration of all suppliers. We aim to have long-term contracts with suppliers as they allow for reliable planning on both sides - and our delivery partners are then granted another fair-trade certification, which helps them market their products more widely.
Communities, partners and shareholders
Weleda keeps up good relationships and cooperation with communities and local institutions in many countries. We work with local partners where employees are trained regularly and remunerated fairly. These include a cooperative in Morocco, which produces high-quality argan oil for Weleda’s pomegranate skin product line, a family business in Mexico, which produces sesame oil for various facial skin care product lines and a co-operative for almond oil in Spain. In order to stay in touch with changing conditions in the supply chain for raw materials and services as a whole, we continue to work closely with suppliers and shareholders.
Professional development and work-life balance
Social sustainability at Weleda also means taking responsibility for our own employees. Weleda sees itself as a place of human development based on common tasks. The social competence of managers is crucial in ensuring sound, professional collaboration. Our ‘Management in Focus’ programme was launched in 2013 with the aim of introducing binding management standards at the same time as supporting managers – all Weleda managers will have completed this process by 2016.
Weleda also places great value on development opportunities for the 1,900 employees. To keep a work-family life balance, there are numerous support services available, including company-operated day care centres in Germany and France.
Nurturing new talent
Supporting apprentices and young talent is also important for Weleda and we have many roles where occupational training and collaboration with universities brings new skills to us. Apprentices attend joint excursions, such as to a Demeter farm, international training cafes, workshops on anthroposophy and additional training.
In Germany apprentices have been running a ‘junior company’ since 2013, with the aim of getting to know all of the processes involved in founding a company and launching a product. They created a Weleda soap, which is already being sold in Germany.