Sustainable Development

As the essential oil market continues to expand, it is critical to understand and protect the ecosystems where the plants that produce these oils grow. Sustainability is a process comprised of identifying steps that lead to more resilient and diverse natural and human systems.

Simply put, “Sustainable Development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Currently, it is a key initiative for cooperation at the global level. At APRC we believe the time is now to address urgent issues in the essential oil sector so that it can provide essential oils responsibly.


We conduct research and assessments under 4 thematic areas:

Wildcrafted Forest Species

Essential oils such as Frankincense, Palo Santo, and Spikenard are harvested from plants that grow wild, not in plantations.

Cultivated Species

Oils such as Lavender, Rosemary, and Tea Tree (Melaleuca) are harvested from plants grown on cultivated farms.

New and Emerging Species

Thousands of plant species produce essential oils, many of which have not yet been discovered, distilled, and tested.

Threatened and Endangered Species

Some of the species that produce essential oils—especially those harvested in the wild—are in danger of decline and extinction.

Our Services Include:

  • These reports review the current sustainability status of essential oil-producing species.
  • They provide background information on the ecology of the species, where it grows, how harvesting is done, and where there are opportunities for improving the sustainability of harvesting.
  • Unlike many documents on essential oil species, which often contain errors and inaccuracies, these reports only contain information from reputable scientific sources or from the field observations of APRC’s researchers. Reporting the truth of the matter is our only agenda.
  • These reviews are publically available.
  • We offer assessments of the sustainability of our clients’ operations.
  • For these assessments, we trace the supply chain from plant to bottle, identifying key concerns and leverage points for sustainability at each node.
  • We can tailor these assessments to our clients’ needs—our goal is to aid our clients in improving their business.
  • These assessments are confidential to the clients.
  • The index allows us to rank the sustainability of each oil and each company’s operations.
  • We conduct qualitative and quantitative measurements of 1) the overall vulnerability of the species to unsustainable use; 2) the sustainability of the local situation; and 3) the sustainability of the client’s specific operation.
  • This allows us to benchmark the sustainability of a client’s operation against the competition, as well as rank the overall sustainability of each oil.
  • We believe essential oil users have a right to accurate, unbiased information about where their oils come from.
  • We provide information and education on the sources of these oils, the plants and ecosystems they come from, and the ways in which users can support sustainability to ensure the plants and ecosystems are as healthy as the oils they use.