Sustainability and responsible growth
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.
Empowering Women (2018)
In 2009, AAK initiated a responsible sourcing project in Burkina Faso based on Fair Trade principles. Set up as a win-win between women who traditionally collect shea kernels and AAK, the project was called “Kolo Nafaso,” meaning “the house of benefits of shea kernels”. It has since become a new way of doing business for both AAK and over 115,000 women in West Africa. Watch the video to hear stories from the villages and download our new brochure to see how we turn this natural resource into technically advanced emollients.
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. A 2016 trial involving 306 stoves showed a reduction in firewood consumption of 68% on average – a savings of 850 kg of firewood for every 1000 kg of shea kernels prepared!
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
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.
At AAK we specialise in sustainable purification and soft processing, with a focus on both quality and the footprint our production plants leave on the environment. We strive constantly to reduce our consumption of energy and water, and to reduce waste and emissions. Download our Sustainability Report for examples of our latest projects and results, and view the film to learn about our soft processing.
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
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.