In February 2020 Ethical Consumer viewed the Weleda Annual and Sustainability Report 2018 which contained a section on the environment.
An environmental policy was deemed necessary to report on a company's environmental performance and set targets for reducing its impacts in the future. A strong policy would include two future, quantified environmental targets, demonstration by the company that it had a reasonable understanding of its main environmental impacts, be dated within two years and have its environmental data independently verified.
The report discussed regenerative farming, biodiversity, soils, sustainable packaging, palm oil, waste and recycling, energy, renewable electricity, water and the use of natural and organic ingredients as certified by Natrue. Weleda was considered to have demonstrated a reasonable understanding of its main impacts.

The report also had a number of targets. Including
By 2022: "renewable energy share of at least 80% for our own buildings and production facilities" (2018 level at 50%).
By 2022: "100% electricity from renewable sources in all associated companies as well as contract manufacturers and packaging manufacturers" (2018 level at 80% for associated companies, contract and manufacturers not fully known).
Reduction of energy intensity by 2.5 % per year.
Increase in waste recycling rate by 2.5 % annually.
Reduction of potable water intensity by 2.5 % per year.
Reduction of waste intensity by 2.5 % per year.

While the company was certified by the Union for Ethical BioTrade which "certifies all of our actions pertaining to the sourcing of natural ingredients for Weleda natural cosmetics" the company's overall environmental report did not appear to have been independently verified.

Overall Weleda received Ethical Consumer's middle rating for Environmental Reporting and lost half a mark under this category.

Reference:

www.weleda.co.uk (20 February 2020)

In February 2020 Ethical Consumer viewed the Weleda website and saw that it was a cosmetics company. Ethical Consumer expected all cosmetics companies to have policies on the use of toxic chemicals, namely phthalates, parabens and triclosan. Weleda stated that all of its products were free from parabens and phthalates. It also stated that all of its products were certified by Natrue. According to a Natrue factsheet viewed on its website, www.nature.org, it also prohibits the use of triclosan and parabens.
In a questionnaire response received by Ethical Consumer in March 2020 the company stated: "No we do not use any of these synthetic chemicals. They are prohibited by NATRUE and every single natural and organic cosmetic within our range is NATRUE-certified."
The company also stated: "No we do not use micro-plastic beads or synthetic polymers/liquid plastics of any kind[...]Both micro-plastic beads and liquid plastic polymers are prohibited by NATRUE and every single natural and organic cosmetic within our range is NATRUE-certified."
As a result Weleda received Ethical Consumer's best rating for use of toxic chemicals.

Reference:

www.weleda.co.uk (20 February 2020)

In February 2020, Ethical Consumer received a completed questionnaire from Weleda. The company stated "No we do not use micro-plastic beads or synthetic polymers/liquid plastics of any kind." As such the company was deemed to have a positive policy on the use of microplastics. This story has been marked as information only.

According to Beat the Microbead, there are more than 500 known microplastics ingredients that can be found in our personal care products such as toothpastes, face washes, scrubs and shower gels. They are tiny plastic particles that are added for their exfoliating properties, but sometimes purely for aesthetic purposes only.

According to a recent report by Code Check, non-biodegradable liquid polymers were also prevalent across a wide range of cosmetic products. Like microplastics, these materials degrade with a similar difficulty in the environment and may cause similar harm.

In 2018, the UK government banned the use of microbeads in toothpastes, shower gels and facial scrubs. However, some products classified as “leave on” were not subject to the ban, this would include lotions, sun cream and makeup, as well as abrasive cleaning products. This ban did not extend to non-biodegradable liquid polymers.

Reference:

Company questionnaire (February 2020)

In February 2020 Ethical Consumer searched the Weleda website for information on the company's use of palm oil.
The following statement was found: "We were among the first companies to switch suppliers so that the palm oil we use is certified organic and comes entirely from cultivation which doesn’t destroy native wilderness, and which is produced by people working under fair conditions. We insist on guaranteed traceability so that we can tell where our palm oil originated and check these conditions. We don’t pretend this is easy. Lack of transparency within the market for processed raw materials continues to make it difficult for us to achieve our aims. With palm oil derivatives, especially, there is often no way of telling whether the source matches up to our stringent requirements all the way along the supply chain. The company's Annual and Sustainability Report 2018 also stated "Weleda has for years been working for more sustainable palm oil production in the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and the Forum for Sustainable Palm Oil (FONAP)."
Ethical Consumer viewed the company's Annual Communication on Progress (ACOP) which report use of palm oil to the RSPO.
100% of the company's crude palm oil was RSPO certified as identity preserved (22% of total palm oil products). 99.5% (78% of total palm products) of the company's palm derivatives were certified through mass balance and 0.05% through Book and Claim.
The company received extra marks for organic certification and FONAP membership. It also stated in a questionnaire response received by Ethical Consumer in March 2020 that "All our [crude] palm oil is certified organic and Identity Preserved quality from AgroPalma in Brazil and can be traced to a single plantation. We just use this in our soap."
Overall, Weleda received Ethical Consumer's best rating for Palm Oil.

Reference:

www.weleda.co.uk (20 February 2020)