GCI: How important is it to go green at your company, and how does producing a natural or organic brand further the eco-friendly vision you have?
Mike Indursky, Chief Marketing & Strategic Officer, Burt’s Bees Inc., www.burtsbees.com: This company was founded on two simple and profound beliefs: natural products work in harmony with our bodies to promote balance and well-being; and we should respect, preserve and improve the precious resource of our environment. To effectively operate at the highest levels of sustainability, we have set 2020 Sustainability Goals and key performance indexes regarding waste and energy reduction. In fact, all employee bonuses are tied to performance in sustainability. Specifically, here are some of the ways we’re reaching our goals. We have offset all of our energy use through Renewable Choice Energy until we have access to alternative energy sources for our operations in N.C. We are partnering with the Pollinator Partnership to raise awareness of declining honeybee health, an issue near and dear to us. We produced a PSA on the subject which ran before Bee Movie (first two weeks of launch). The PSA encouraged consumers to sign up for bee-friendly seeds on our Web site, and millions of flowers have been planted as a result. We are dedicated to environmentally sensitive packaging as outlined above. We use LEAN manufacturing processes to ensure that we operate our facilities with the least amount of energy, water and waste. We’ve forged a partnership with Habitat for Humanity, which to start, has resulted in a completed home in the first low-income green community in North Carolina, Hope Crossing. Over 160 employees dedicated nearly 2,000 hours to help build the home and have supplemented the company’s sponsorship with their own resources to provide additional green features, such as solar panels. The new Burt’s Bees Greater Good Foundation will extend our philanthropic effort through a giving program funded by a percentage of sales that will support local and national organizations working in the areas of our Greater Good model—natural (well-being), environmental (sustainability) and humanitarian (social responsibility).
Achille Riviello, Perfumer, drom Fragrances International, Ltd., www.drom.com: Going green makes sense—and not just from the business perspective. Of course, the consumers are demanding more and more eco-friendly and organic products, and these consumers speak with their wallets. We need to be responsive to their demands, or we will be behind curve instead of in our customary position, ahead of it. drom’s eco-responsible philosophy also underlines such an approach, and our management team includes an officer dedicated to insuring our green path. In addition to other plans, we will install in 2008 enough solar-panel electric generation capacity to power our entire German creative and production facility that employs 170 people. drom is also environmentally certified according to DIN EN 14001:2005.
Carina Menzies, Owner, Everyday Minerals, www.everydayminerals.com: We’re the only company I know that goes overseas to investigate whether or not the products and components being provided are actually organic and sustainable. People think the USDA certification is the entire picture. It isn’t. What good is the label when your product plundered a Thai village of all of its white tea leaves and has left it with nothing? You need to go that extra mile and determine if the sources of your products have integrity.
Angella Green, Brand Manager, JASON Natural Products, www.jason-natural.com: JASON’s unit cartons are made from 100% recycled stock, and now, our collateral pieces are even made from 100% post consumer waste and are ancient forest-friendly.
Ido Leffler, CEO, Yes To Carrots, www.yes-to-carrots.com: To reduce the number of people driving to the factory, we’ve bought a Yes To Carrots shuttle, so people can get to work together. Our manufacturing facilities are located in Israel’s Negev desert—an economic development zone—and provides jobs to 160 local residents that might otherwise not have employment opportunities near their homes…. A very important initiative for the company is the Yes To Carrots Seed Fund. This nonprofit fund was founded to help communities in need develop and maintain an organic food source. We work with our partner organizations to provide these groups with equipment, seeds, irrigation support and other tools to keep them going.
Noah Bremen, President, Noah’s Naturals, www.noahsnaturals.com: Noah’s Naturals is now a member of 1% for the Planet, the leading organization for eco-friendly charities. 1% of our sales are donated to charities that specifically ensure our precious earth is protected.
Sharon Christie, President and CEO, Aromafloria, www.aromafloria.com: We have been 100% wind powered for the past two years, and we became organically certified last year.