Sally Townsend, Head of Sustainability at Blackmores talks about the award, Blackmores’ historical, present and future commitment to sustainability plus the need for our industry to partner in order to lift supply chain transparency.
Sally Townsend and Brett Friedman hold the inaugrual CMA Sustainability Award
The Blackmores team is so proud to be recognised with the inaugural CMA Sustainability Award and even though this is the first year for this category, it reflects the passion for sustainability that has been part of Blackmores’ culture for more than 87 years.
When I first joined Blackmores (at the previous head office at Balgowlah) the first stop on the site tour was to see the worm farm and the solar panels. Since then the program has matured and in the last year, we’ve shared clear targets to drive our progress.
This has been timely because there is a shifting global landscape and we’re seeing sustainability as a focus for a growing number of investors, consumers and those upstream and downstream in our value chain.
Climate change is central to the agenda which is very important for us given our reliance on natural resources.
The CMA Sustainability Award recognised the work that’s been done across our Group to take climate action. This included the release of Sustainable Nutrition, a literature review to grow understanding of the impact of climate change on natural medicine that was led by Blackmores Institute.
This work was used to inform some key initiatives, in particular our adoption of a clean energy strategy that will see Blackmores Campus move to use a minimum of 50% renewables within 12 months.
Our amazing Strategic Sourcing team has begun a program of work to explore the risk and resilience of key ingredients impacted by global warming.
The award reflects the collaborative efforts across our teams including Blackmores Institute, Sustainability and Group Operations.
Our future focus
The CMA conference was an opportunity to share some insights on our corporate sustainability journey in this rapidly evolving space. The UN Sustainable Development Goals have given us a strong north star, but there are many challenges and opportunities for complementary medicines.
There’s no doubt natural health products have an important role to play in addressing the health needs of the community and we need to meet that growing demand in a way that is protective of natural resources and sourced ethically.
The Australian Modern Slavery Act 2018 has put greater responsibility on everyone in our supply chain to take greater responsibility for the liberties of people that are involved in making their products.
I think the natural healthcare industry has a real opportunity to lead in ensuring ethical supply and production because, for many of us, we’re passionate about improving people’s lives and so there’s an innate humanity in people in this category.
We invited our colleagues across the CMA membership to form a working group to address an industry-wide approach to address the risk of modern slavery. Partnering on a single framework will make it easier for our business partners to comply with the reporting requirements and will lift supply chain transparency across our industry.
Sustainability is definitely a team sport and we can have a greater impact when we work together.