From our very foundations NUNII’s ethos has been based on a continuous improvement approach which aims to take into consideration the social, economic and environmental impact of all its business areas. The objective being, to reconcile, profitability with the environment and social equity.
As a responsible and innovative company, NUNII has a strong commitment to selecting suppliers with whom we can invest in sustainable development opportunities, without compromising on the quality and safety of the natural ingredients that we source from them. NUNII privileges ingredient suppliers that are members of the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT), a non-profit organisation which fosters ‘supply companies that aim to comply with ethical standards’.
The origin and conditions in which active ingredients are grown, harvested and collected are one of NUNII’s primary concerns. As NUNII sources some its base ingredients in the Madagascar region, we work via our suppliers with rural Malagasy communities. There has been a significant effort on NUNII’s part to share and re-distribute the financial benefits from the plant based ingredients used in the NUNII product lines. This is achieved by increasing the part of the revenue which is devoted to the Madagascan suppliers. This fair and equitable benefit sharing policy dynamically contributes to the sustainable development of local populations, and indirectly contributes towards preserving the high level of biodiversity that is naturally present in the Madagascan territory.
Madagascar is renowned for its abundant plant diversity due to its geographic location in the Indian Ocean, with more than 12,000 varieties of endemic plants. One of these famous plants goes by the Latin name of Centella asiatica (Talapetraka in Madasgascan). It is widely used in dermo-cosmetic products and in a large number of drugs. It is of particular interest to NUNII, as it is famous for its skin-healing properties, and it also plays a significant role in the depigmentation process. When grown and harvested in proper conditions, it is an invaluable ingredient, as when cultivated in a sustainable way, it is naturally highly pure in quality.
Madagascar exports several dozen tons of this plant every year, so it is a precious plant for the local economy, but the harvesting process must be strictly respected : from October to March (this is the Southern hemisphere), the plant stems and leaves are picked, with great care to preserve the plant stolon, or creeping part of the plant. Since the re-growth of the plant is very rapid, usually within 2 to 3 weeks, a new plant quickly comes to fruition. This rapid growth cycle further contributes to the development of the region by allowing several harvests in a season.
NUNII’s supplier provides feedback on the growing and harvesting conditions of the plant, which creates a long-term database on the Centella asiatica. Our supplier also pays close attention to respect the century-old know-how developed in harvesting the plant, which is yet another factor guaranteeing the quality of the ingredient extracted from it.
The cultivation, harvesting and sale of Centella asiatica enables local populations to develop sustainably, since it generates substantial revenue, thus allowing for improved working conditions, and the construction of schools and various infrastructure projects. The working and living conditions of the local rural populations’ have significantly improved throughout the years thanks to a more sustainable and rational harvesting of Centella asiatica. This has been achieved namely through higher rates of children schooling and increased partnering with local small and medium-sized enterprises.
NUNII’s sustainable development policy and supplier projects such as this one in Madagascar are proof that it is possible to develop innovative dermo-cosmetics without compromising on core values such as respecting valuable natural resources, acting responsibly and ethically. That it is possible to ensure fair and equitable benefit sharing for all parties involved in the supply chain which in turn contributes to a higher quality product. All of this enables us to ensure a superior safety and efficacy of active ingredients in NUNII formulations used by doctors and patients worldwide.
A few encouraging figures :
- 1 to 6 kilogrammes of green plant picked a day for the average worker
- 2,500 families actively benefit financially from picking Centella asiatica
- 45 classrooms have been opened in the past decade, and are currently all operational
- In the harvesting region, the school attendance rate is of 76 percent
- At country scale, the school attendance rate is of about 45 percent