Sustainable Nutrition Literature Review

Sustainable Nutrition

Shining a light on the impact of climate change on nutrition:

Read the full report here 

Blackmores Institute has released Sustainable Nutrition, a scientific literature review, assessing climate change and its predicted impacts on human nutritional needs and future access to medicinal herbs and key ingredients used in natural medicine.

Blackmores Institute Director Dr Lesley Braun said:

“Global warming is a reality. There has been a lot of attention on how this will increase sea levels and extreme weather events, but it’s also important to understand how the change will affect nutrition and natural medicine.”

“Understanding the resilience of our natural ingredients empowers us to protect them for future generations. This is especially important for the 80% of people in developing countries who completely depend on traditional herbs as their primary form of healthcare.”

Sustainable Nutrition explores:

  • The impact of climate change on human nutritional needs and changing requirements for supplementary nutrients
  • The need to build a resilient, sustainable supply chain and secure future access to nutrients from natural sources
  • The responsibility to mitigate global warming by managing emissions
  • The Blackmores Group approach to address climate change

The report, based on a comprehensive literature review, considers the likely impact of climate change on flora and fauna, reviews how the nutritional composition of our foods may change as well as the effects on medicinal plants and marine biodiversity. This informs a better understanding of issues including nutrient availability.

“It’s important to recognise that whilst environmental changes will affect our health and nutrition, our industry also has a reliance on the natural environment. Taking responsibility for its protection is vital,” said Dr Braun.

“This is already changing the way we look at product development and supplier partnerships. For example, we know that under the current climate change model, global fish stocks will be under pressure so we’re focused on marine conservation and sustainable fishing initiatives. This is important for our future and also for the communities whose families have fished for generations so they understand the need to approach fisheries in the most responsible way.

“We will also continue to diversify our sources of omega-3s so we build greater resilience into our supply chain. We’re seeing promising developments in algal sources of omega-3s as well as alternative omega sources with a more sustainable biomass to take pressure off fish stocks.

We have started working with farming organisations in Australia looking at how we can make use of by-products from food processing to extract valuable nutrients and fibres for products that would otherwise go to landfill.”

In sharing the findings of this literature review and Blackmores’ sustainability framework the company is encouraging industry and individuals to consider how they can be proactive and engage in projects that help to mitigate the impact of climate change.

“Our sustainability program has always had a strong emphasis on taking responsibility for the environmental footprint of our products and our operations. But increasingly we’re resetting our focus to ensure that our supply chain can adapt to the changing physical world. An important part of that is working with our supply partners to protect and conserve natural resources,” said Blackmores Group Director of Corporate Affairs, Cecile Cooper.

“We want to make the right choices, and this starts with evidence-based information on the regions, species and natural systems that are most vulnerable - which is why the Blackmores Institute literature review is an important piece of work.”

Dr Braun added: “We hope that in sharing our growing understanding about climate change, we will inspire change for the better in our industry,”

Read the full report