Sustainability principles


The Sustainable Development Goals are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a "blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all". The SDGs were agreed in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly and are intended to be achieved by 2030.

Many in the supplement sector are already playing their part at national, regional and international level to address the challenges posed by climate change, environmental degradation, biodiversity loss, the burden of malnutrition and non-communicable diseases.

However, a shift to sustainable systems cannot take place without the involvement of the majority of those involved in the supplement sector, whether they are large or smaller companies.

While the IADSA Code of Ethical Principles calls on all businesses in the food supplement sector to “strive to integrate sustainability practices into their operations and to embrace efforts to reduce inequality, discrimination, and injustice”, it is considered important to help establish a culture of sustainability within the sector.

The IADSA Guiding Principles on Sustainability have therefore been developed for all involved in the food supplement sector to help accelerate action and collaboration towards a sustainable present and future. These principles do not replace national or regional laws, regulations or codes.


For the purposes of this document:

  • The term “food supplement” should be understood as referring to products which are defined in different jurisdictions as food supplements, dietary supplements, health supplements, nutraceuticals and health foods or by any other terms used to describe the category.
  • The term “sustainability” covers the environmental, social and/or economic pillars, as defined by the United Nations.
  • Sustainable claims refer to messages used to promote a product, process, business or service with reference to one of the three UN pillars of sustainability. This also covers the use of certification and seals of approval, and other marketing and advertising.


  1. Maintain and continuously improve awareness and understanding of sustainability principles and environmental stewardship.
  2. Incorporate global, regional, indigenous, and local societal values related to environmental impact along with traditional and cultural values.
  3. Integrate environmental stewardship and sustainability planning into the life-cycle planning and management of products and activities at the earliest possible stage.
  4. Carry out activities towards sustainability objectives in a transparent way and assess them periodically.
  5. Only use claims relating to sustainability in marketing and advertising that relate to a substantiated environmental, social and/or economic impact.
  6. Only use claims relating to sustainability in marketing and advertising that accurately convey the sustainable attributes of products and help consumers to make informed choices.
  7. Ensure that all actions taken in relation to sustainability safeguard fair competition between actors.
  8. Ensure that quality and safety are not compromised in actions taken with respect to sustainability.