Sustainability and responsible growth

Join our AAK sustainability team in conversation

Listen to Aude Traore, AAK Sustainability Manager in West Africa, discuss the process, benefits, and learnings of verifying our Kolo Nafaso direct shea sourcing program.

Kolo Nafaso is the largest verified program in West Africa, focused on poverty alleviation and women’s empowerment through direct trade, interest-free micro-credits, and training.

Click here for the podcast.

AAK honoured as a sustainability leader

AAK is proud to announce that it has been recognized with a 2020 Sustainable Beauty Award and named a winner in the Sustainability Leadership Category. The award was presented by the organizers, Ecovia Intelligence, via video link on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

“AAK is recognized for creating sustainable supply chains which create value for smallholders,” says Amarjit Sahota, Founder and President of Ecovia Intelligence and organizer of the Sustainable Beauty Awards, citing the Kolo Nafaso direct shea sourcing program as one notable example. “Well done, AAK, for your sustainable supply chains and sourcing programs across the globe.”

Find out how our AAK Kolo Nafaso program is benefiting women shea collectors in West Africa
Watch the video

At AAK, sustainable development is fundamental for our business. Hand in hand with financial growth, social and environmental responsibility is key to our continued development and future success. We call this “sustainable growth”. We believe that building sustainability into our everyday activities helps us achieve our vision of being the first choice in value-adding oil solutions.  Here you can read about some of the important work we are doing in various areas.

Download the latest AAK Sustainability Report

Download the latest AAK Shea mid-season progress report

Sustainability stories

Empowering Women (2020)

The AAK Kolo Nafaso direct shea sourcing program was introduced in Burkina Faso in 2009 and extended to Ghana in 2015. Based on fair trade principles and set up as a “win-win” opportunity for all, the number of women shea collectors involved in the program is growing year-on-year. Advancements in shea technology and increasing use in cosmetic formulations are helping to drive social, environmental and economic development in West Africa. Watch the video and download our AAK Sustainability Partner Program brochure to learn how we can work together to do more.

Safer, Friendlier Stoves

Safer, Friendlier Stoves

To improve conditions and safety for women in Burkino Faso, AAK has developed an alternative rocket stove that requires significantly less firewood and reduces the risk of fire related burns and accidents. The solution not only helps to fight deforestation and reduce CO2 emissions, but also makes life easier and safer for the women.  Since 2016, we have taught almost 6,000 women to build safer, more efficient rocket stoves using locally available materials. An impact study carried out between February-April 2019 showed on average the rocket stoves have 2.5 times more thermal efficiency than traditional three stone cookers and save around 20% in wood consumption.

Sustainable Sourcing

Sustainable Sourcing

Our raw materials are derived from renewable sources, and locally grown rapeseed is an important raw material for our ingredients to the personal care industry. Its oil contains two essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (Omega 6) and alpha-linolenic acid (Omega 3), as well as vitamin E (tocopherol). Through close cooperation with local farmers, we are able to maintain control of the entire value chain, from production of raw material to finished products.

Ethical Supply Chain

Ethical Supply Chain

AAK has implemented a Supplier Code of Conduct for direct raw material suppliers worldwide. The code stipulates our requirements with regard to fourteen highly important areas including Human rights, Working environment, Corruption and Discrimination.

Sustainable processing

Go behind the scenes to see our sustainable processing in action. All our ingredients are sourced from renewable botanicals and carefully optimized to offer new opportunities for cosmetic formulators. We strive constantly to reduce our consumption of energy and water and minimize waste and emissions. Download our Sustainability Report for details. Guided by our expert team, the film follows the processing of canola, from locally grown seeds to a highly stable oil with superior sensory properties and skin care functionality.

Sustainable Shea

Shea kernels from West Africa are a very important and unique raw material for AAK. Over more than 60 years, we have gained extensive knowledge and experience of this raw material and the local communities in which we operate. We have also initiated a solidarity sourcing programme in Burkina Faso that drives sustainable development in the region and helps fight poverty. View the film to learn more about AAK in West Africa.

Global Shea Alliance

Global Shea Alliance

AAK Personal Care is a world leading supplier of shea-based emollients and bioactives for the personal care industry. We are also a founding member of the Global Shea Alliance, a multi-stakeholder association promoting quality and sustainability in the shea industry. The alliance supports rural African communities and promotes women’s empowerment by strengthening the shea industry and value chain.



As a member of the United Nations Global Compact since 2002, we are committed to taking a precautionary approach to environmental challenges, undertaking initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility, and encouraging the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies. Our ingredients for the personal care industry are based on renewable vegetable sources and embody this commitment.