Biological Diversity and the Environment

Environmental footprint

Fermentation offers a reduced environmental footprint for many ingredients.

Evolva focuses on “ingredients with issues” – where their supply from traditional approaches is limited, expensive or otherwise challenged. One frequent theme are ingredients that only occur in low amounts in a plant, often less than 1% of the plant’s dry weight. This makes it 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 “ideal” agricultural crop, and traditional cultivation methods can require:

  • A significant amount of land to produce 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 are ingredients for which fermentation does not improve the environmental footprint, but these ingredients are largely outside our focus.

Safe microbes in contained environments

All our ingredients are produced in contained, “closed-loop” manufacturing facilities that are regularly inspected and approved by relevant national authorities. The chance of our yeasts escaping is minimal.

Further, our yeasts are not good at living wild.  They are Chihuahuas, bred to be good at doing one thing only, and that in the pampered (for a yeast) conditions of our fermenters.  Like Chihuahuas, they need lots of tender loving care to survive, and stand little chance against the wolves of the microbial world.

Finally, we are talking about a food grade organism that most of us eat most of the time.  We use baker’s yeast – as found on the shelves of your local supermarket – which then contains a few extra plant genes that allows it to make the same ingredient as the plant. Very likely you are 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.

We support the three main aims of the CBD – the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of its components, and 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 and science education in poorer countries.  More information on our approach can be found on the ”Giving Back” page.

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