20 Jul 2021 --- Apoena Biotech was born in 2018 as an agricultural-facing business, but it is now launching a beauty biotech ingredient business which has been built around sustainability.
The company is about to launch its first ingredient, which will be used in a multifunctional skin care product with co-surfactant and anti-inflammatory/anti-aging properties.
Over the next two years, it is aiming to broaden its ingredients’ portfolio to target various areas of the hair and skin care categories while also expanding the business beyond the domestic Brazilian and Latin American markets to eventually take it worldwide.
But before any of this can happen, the company established that the main focus for the business would be sustainability, making it the foundations for its new beauty and personal care operations. BPC Insights talked to Sérgio Gonçalves, marketing consultant at Apoena Biotech, by K4R Consulting, to find out more.
Why is sustainability so important to your business model?
Click to EnlargeSérgio Gonçalves, Marketing Consultant of Apoena Biotech, by K4R Consulting. Source: Apoena It is more than important to Apoena Biotech´s business model. We believe sustainability has become a commitment of all business models, since we all are part of the problem but also the solution to the critical global issues related to this topic.
In our case, once the actives created and developed from biotechnology are derived from microorganisms to GRAS standards, this technology is in essence sustainable, with the advantage of being ´greener´ than plant based ingredients. Biotech has low environmental impact - specially in carbon emissions - eliminating stages of monitoring and control of planting, harvesting and extraction. Deforesting to plant and obtain the actives is not a sustainable practice, such as the case of palm oil. In light of this, biotechnology is the up-to-date way to access nature, preserve the planet, promote people’s wellbeing and provide a sustainable economy. Sustainability is what the market expects from companies. Apoena Biotech sees sustainability as its purpose and makes it a crucial part of its business model.
What makes your business model sustainable?
Our business model is sustainable because we are producing ingredients from microorganisms, specifically fungi and bacteria, with low environmental impact production processes. Biotech processes are cleaner and have low energy consumption. With respect to raw materials, it is not necessary to cultivate or extract as is is the case for plant origin ingredients; and it does not impact communities or necessitate sustainability practices being conceptualized, developed, implemented and certified. Biotech also has a minimal impact on the supply chain, as the raw materials are obtained from banks which can be stored in smaller spaces, making transport far easier. OECD data shows that biotech-based industries can reduce costs and environmental footprints by as much as 80%, while petrochemical solvents were reduced by 90% or eliminated completely.
What impact might the incorporation of your ingredients have to the sustainability of the average beauty brand? And how would you explain this to a beauty brand?
Click to EnlargeApoena Biotech is aiming to push the boundaries of formulation sustainability.Sustainability is an immediate global issue accelerated by the pandemic crisis. The ESG agenda and United Nations SDG mobilization are pushing responsible consumption and production, as well as other critical topics. More than ever, consumers prefer companies that do good, and beauty brands should be addressing this demand. According to the Openstreams Global Beauty Industry Summit - Official Report 2020 - the top three main actions in sustainability are reducing packaging and employing sustainable materials; establishing a global definition and certification for “clean”; and finding eco-friendly waste management alternatives. Reflecting on all of these points, biotech beauty solutions can be a part of the solution because they have proven efficacy, low environmental impact and competitive prices, while supporting a sustainable economy and taking care of people and the planet.
Do you believe that biotechnology is the future for beauty formulation? If so, why?
We believe biotechnology is the future that is happening right now. The proximity of biotech-derived microorganisms to those of humans means that these types of ingredients are more effective in skin care applications. Considering this, it makes no sense to degrade the environment, either by using plant products or fossil origin products, to create a safe and effective cosmetic solution. Biotechnology is a solution that makes all of this criteria possible, providing wellbeing for people, the planet and the economy.
By Simon Pitman, BPC Insights Senior Editor