AAK team pictured with the Sustainability Pioneer Award Top row – left to right: Lisette Townsend, Laura Schlebes, Emelie Grönsterwall, Angelique Mazur. Bottom row – left to right: Marie Stjernström, Marc Obiols
AAK is proud to announce that it has been recognized with a 2019 Sustainable Beauty Award and named winner in the Sustainability Pioneer Category for the social impact of its Kolo Nafaso direct sourcing program in West Africa.
The award was presented to Lisette Townsend, Global Business Development Manager, and Laura Schlebes, Sustainable Multi Oil Manager, at a reception hosted by the organizers, Ecovia Intelligence, in Paris, France.
“AAK has been undertaking ethical sourcing long before it became fashionable in the personal care industry,” says Amarjit Sahota, Founder and President of Ecovia Intelligence and organizer of the Sustainable Beauty Awards.
“AAK Personal Care is a deserved winner of the Sustainability Pioneer Award because of the positive impact of its Kolo Nafaso program, which is providing income to over 230,000 women shea collectors in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Ivory Coast.”
The AAK Kolo Nafaso direct sourcing program has grown exponentially over the 10 years since it was founded. Based on fair trade principles, it provides the women shea collectors engaged in the program with access to pre-financing, training and logistical support.
External assessments and qualitative studies confirm success in delivering better working conditions, improving livelihoods and empowering the women to make positive choices that contribute to the socio-economic development of the wider population.
A ‘win-win’ opportunity for all. Full details can be found in the AAK June 2019 Shea Progress Report. Reports are published biannually with an updated version due for release in December 2019.
“This award is an acknowledgement of the hard work and dedication of our teams on the ground in West Africa,” says AAK’s Lisette Townsend.
“Also, the growth in our sustainability partnership initiative enables cosmetic manufacturers to actively increase the social value of their brands through investment in targeted training programs that aim to improve health and safety, business development opportunities and financial benefits for the Kolo Nafaso women’s groups.”
AAK achievements in the area of sustainability are many and varied, extending beyond the shea supply chain. All ingredients originate from renewable, natural sources and the company is pledged to reduce consumption of energy and water, and to minimize waste and emissions.
A new video that goes behind the scenes at the AAK factory in Karlshamn, Sweden, and shows sustainable sourcing and processing in action is now live on aakpersonalcare.com.
Full details of AAK sustainability objectives, projects and results can be found in the annual Sustainability Report.