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ABC’s Sustainable Herbs Program Launches Updated Sustainability and Regenerative Practices Toolkit 2.0

Resource-rich toolkit offers opportunities for herb businesses to enhance and successfully implement their commitment operating more sustainably

AUSTIN, Texas (March 3, 2023) – The American Botanical Council’s (ABC) Sustainable Herbs Program (SHP) has launched the SHP Sustainability and Regenerative Practices Toolkit 2.0, an updated, expansive collection of resources to generate awareness and engage leaders in the global botanical industry in implementing ecologically and socially responsible practices. The Toolkit is user-friendly, and freely accessible. The toolkit is greatly expanded and revised from the initial SHP toolkit released in 2021.

Ensuring the long-term supply of the medicinal and aromatic plants on which an herb, tea, dietary supplement, and/or natural cosmetics company depends is crucial to its success. But it can be overwhelming to know where to begin without reliable guidance. The SHP Toolkit 2.0 offers a map to help companies at different stages of their sustainability journey. It brings together resources and case studies from other sectors of various industries to inform, inspire, and guide a company’s progress.

The SHP Toolkit 2.0 includes the following:

  • A short self-assessment to gauge where a company stands in its sustainability journey. This assessment can also be used as the basis for annual sustainability reporting and for certification audits.

  • Access to webinars with experienced experts diving into key topics explored in the Toolkit, in particular, on regenerative farming, wild plant collection and stewardship, living income, and social equity. Insights from these discussions are incorporated into the revised Toolkit, as are links to summaries, video highlights, and the complete recordings.

  • A new design with newly designed infographics.

  • Updated resources, especially summaries of certifications, new programs, and other highly relevant information in this rapidly changing field.

The SHP Toolkit Version 2.0 retains these constructive resources from the original SHP Toolkit:

  • Videos highlighting stories from the field and/or case studies to learn about each topic in the SHP Toolkit through meaningful examples of best practices.

  • Discussion questions to reflect on those examples and how they apply to the unique challenges of each company.

  • Action steps in each of the 10 sections to deepen the learning experience.

  • Curated resources from different sectors organized around topics that are particularly relevant to sourcing medicinal plants.

“The botanical industry is uniquely suited to lead the way in doing business that serves health and wellness for all—for people, plants, and planet, not just finished product consumers,” said Ann Armbrecht, PhD, SHP director. “The challenges threatening the long-term supply of medicinal plants — the climate crisis, the precipitous loss of biodiversity, social and economic inequity, and ongoing supply disruptions from the pandemic are too big for any company to tackle on its own. The Sustainable Herbs Program helps you meet these challenges by providing tools, resources, and pre-competitive collaborative opportunities to take action in a meaningful and constructive way.”

“Congratulations to Sustainable Herbs Program director Ann Armbrecht on the launch of a beautifully revised and expanded version 2.0 of the SHP Toolkit,” said noted medicinal plant sourcing expert Josef Brinckmann, Research Fellow for Medicinal Plants and Botanical Supply Chain at Traditional Medicinals and president of the ABC Board of Trustees. “C-level executives may consider the SHP Toolkit 2.0 a required course for employees responsible for botanical supply chain quality, sustainability, visibility, and assessments of corporate social responsibility in supply chains. Even those with experience in voluntary sustainability standards and responsible supply chains will find fresh ideas and shortcuts to essential information in Version 2.0.”

The SHP Toolkit 2.0 is one of many publications and projects of the Sustainable Herbs Program, which include a video-rich website, a blog and monthly newsletter, webinars on numerous topics related to sustainability and regenerative practices in the global value networks for medicinal and aromatic plants, “brown-bag” seminars, and more. SHP educational content is freely accessible on the SHP website. Accessing the SHP Toolkit 2.0 will require registration, which is also free.

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