Award-winning Nepali handmade paper company’s responsible business model receive international recognition

KATHMANDU, NEPAL – Himalayan Bio Trade P. Ltd. (HBTL), was recently ranked by the Nepal Handmade Paper Association (HANDPASS) as one of the top ten exporters of Handmade Paper Products for 2007-08 in addition to its international recognition by US-based Aveda beauty care company to incorporate HBTL paper products as a theme for their Christmas holiday line.

A Nepali non-governmental organization, the Asia Network for Sustainable Agriculture and Bioresources (ANSAB) helped HBTL, a natural products processing and trading company owned by the consortium of community based forest enterprises of Nepal, to ensure that it was following internationally recognized guidelines for socially responsible businesses. In other words, HBTL’s approach to managing their biness processes maximizes their positive impact on stakeholders, both within the company and in wider society.

For example, the rural indigenous communities, that manage the forests where the lokta bark used to create the handmade paper is found, have, with ANSAB’s assistance, established an innovative model enterprise called Malika Handmade Paper Company located in Bajhang. This community enterprise uses traditional paper making methods that provide income generating opportunities at a local level. They also teach marginalized groups to ensure the sustainability of the lokta and how to put into practice modern quality control practices. Sheets of natural paper are then transported from the paper enterprises to HBTL’s Kathmandu based facility where a wide range of paper products are assembled and printed. Due to the high standards followed throughout the process (from collection to production), ANSAB was able to link HBTL to international contacts, such as Aveda.

“With the right kind of support, there are opportunities to position Nepali businesses as global leaders in sustainable business practices.” says ANSAB Executive Director Bhishma Subedi. “We are proud that HBTL’s recognition as a top exporter shows that it is possible for a corporation to improve lives within our communities while also reducing their impact on the environment.”

About ANSAB:

Established in 1992, ANSAB is an independent, not-for-profit, non-governmental organization with its headquarters based in Kathmandu, Nepal. It works toward ensuring rich biodiversity and prosperous communities in the South Asia region and has facilitated communities to use sustainable resource management practices and maximize the benefits of local enterprises to raise living standards.

About HBTL:

As a natural products processing and trading company owned by a consortium of community-based forest enterprises in Nepal, HBTL offers a range of high quality natural products including hand made paper products, essential oils, medicinal and aromatic herbs and morel mushrooms.