Our biodiversity ambitions to protect and restore nature
Human life depends on earth’s delicate and biodiverse natural ecosystems. Human activity is putting so much pressure on these ecosystems that they are now at risk, making our societies, our economies and our future vulnerable. According to the UN, one million plant and animal species are now threatened with extinction.
At Reckitt, we rely on natural resources in our supply chain, such as fresh water and rubber trees, to make our flagship brands. Latex for Durex condoms, palm oil for soaps, and fragrances for our perfumes.
Abundant natural resources are the result of a healthy ecosystem. Whilst we must protect biodiversity to preserve our supply chain, more importantly, we have a responsibility to build nature’s resilience, and strengthen the communities that rely on a thriving ecosystem day to day.
The impact of our activities is felt locally, so action to protect and restore nature needs to be locally relevant. Across our supply chain, we need to identify what needs to be protected, restored and managed.
Our approach to biodiversity
In line with our purpose to protect, heal and nurture in the relentless pursuit of a cleaner, healthier world, we are working on a biodiversity strategy that supports a nature-positive future.
We are partnering with Nature-based Insetting (NbI), whose co-founders are world-leading experts in biodiversity at the University of Oxford. Together, we are measuring the impact of our priority natural raw materials, such as latex. The resulting framework will assess Reckitt’s nature impacts, risks, and dependencies, while also identifying opportunities to protect and restore biodiversity at a local level. This framework will guide our actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, address biodiversity priorities and enhance people’s livelihoods.
Latex is one of the commodities we’ve chosen to prioritise - a core ingredient for Durex, the world’s number one condom brand. It is farmed in a region called Surat Thani in Thailand. We’ve evaluated the impact of the latex we source on forests and species. And we’re working with partners on the ground, such as Earthworm Foundation, local farmers and governments, to build on the latex farmer-focused activities we’ve been funding since 2017. This will ensure we deliver on the opportunities to improve biodiversity that have been highlighted in the NbI analysis.
We are working to shape targets that are economically viable and bring positive climate, biodiversity and social impact to the region. Our work on latex in Surat Thani, will put our methodology to the test. The outcomes and learnings are being shared as part of our work with the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD).
We will use what we learn to create a clear roadmap towards business-leading sustainability ambitions for latex in 2023, which will be implemented in 2024. This will form part of Reckitt’s biodiversity ambitions, that support a nature positive future for a cleaner, healthier world.
Working in partnership to achieve our vision
We recognise that with nature in rapid decline, we must make a positive impact now while we test and embed the more rigorous biodiversity framework. So, we’re also creating brand partnerships to help us drive towards our sustainability ambitions. A partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is reaping rewards on several fronts. On a global level, we’re working to protect and restore over 2,000km of freshwater habitats in the Amazon and Ganges. Air Wick and WWF are working together to connect people with nature to raise awareness and inspire them to take supportive action. And Finish and WWF are working to replenish 500 million litres of freshwater in the UK.
Through these brand partnerships and our biodiversity roadmap, we hope to meaningfully contribute to a healthier planet and fairer society. And by 2030, we will have tried and tested approaches for how best to intervene to redress and mitigate biodiversity impacts across our supply chain.
The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide... It is not too late to make a difference, but only if we start now at every level from local to global.