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Biological Diversity and the Environment
Fermentation offers a reduced environmental footprint for many ingredients.
Evolva focuses on â€śingredients with issuesâ€ť â€“ where their supply from traditional approaches is limited, expensive or otherwise challenged. One frequentÂ theme are ingredients thatÂ only occur in low amounts in a plant,Â often less than 1% of the plant’s dry weight. This makes itÂ necessary to grow many (wet weight) tonnes of the plant to get just 1 kilo of the desired ingredient.
Put this together with the fact that the plant may not be an â€śidealâ€ť agricultural crop, and traditional cultivation methods can require:
- A significant amount of land to produceÂ a small amount of ingredient
- A lot of water, in particular to grow the plant in the first place
- The use of significant amounts of solvents to extract the ingredient
- A lot of energy (some manual, some fuel based) throughout the process
Fermentation processes can use less land, less water, less energy and less (or no) solvents. This, of course, is on a case-by-case basis. There areÂ ingredients for which fermentation does not improve the environmental footprint, but these ingredients are largely outside our focus.
Safe microbes in contained environments
AllÂ our ingredients are produced in contained, â€śclosed-loopâ€ť manufacturing facilities that are regularly inspected and approved by relevant national authorities. The chanceÂ ofÂ our yeasts escaping is minimal.
Further, our yeasts are not good at livingÂ wild.Â They are Chihuahuas, bred to be good at doing one thing only, and thatÂ in the pamperedÂ (for a yeast) conditions of ourÂ fermenters.Â Â LikeÂ Chihuahuas, they need lots ofÂ tenderÂ loving care to survive, and stand little chance against theÂ wolves of theÂ microbial world.
Finally, we are talking about a food grade organismÂ that most of us eat most of the time.Â We useÂ bakerâ€™s yeast – as found on the shelves of your local supermarket –Â which thenÂ contains a few extra plant genes that allows itÂ to make the sameÂ ingredient as the plant. Very likely you areÂ eating many of these genes already (f.x. whenever you eat Madagascan vanilla, you are likely to be also eating vanilla orchid genes).
The UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
Evolva is committed to following both the letter and the spirit of the CBD.
WeÂ supportÂ the three main aims of the CBD – the conservation of biodiversity,Â the sustainable use of its components, andÂ the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources.
As one part of our commitment, we donate 1% of our product revenues to support biodiversity conservation andÂ science education in poorer countries.Â More information on our approach can be found on the ”Giving Back” page.