Sustainability is a topic worth discussing when it comes to your favorite companies. Are big brands helping the planet, or hurting it?
For Nature's Path, success in business means we are socially responsible, environmentally sustainable, and financially viable. We believe one can't exist without the others, and every year we strive to make it further down the path of sustainability. We've rounded up some specific examples to show you our commitment to always leaving the earth better than we found it:
1. Growing Organic
It's difficult to know what you're buying at the grocery store when you see buzzwords like "fresh" and "natural". But unlike these labels, the certified organic label is backed by a set of rigorous federal production and processing standards.
Every ingredient we use to make our products is certified organic, which is the gold standard when it comes to avoiding artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, fertilizers, pesticides, and genetically engineered ingredients. Always look for the USDA Organic logo or the Canadian Organic logo when purchasing your groceries.
The Nature's Path commitment to organic simultaneously ensures that our products are non-GMO. GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are experimental plants or animals that have had their DNA altered in a laboratory to express traits like herbicide resistance. GMOs haven't been properly tested for human safety yet, and there are significant restrictions or bans on the use of GMOs in nearly 50 countries around the world.
If a product is Non-GMO Project Verified, it means that organic regulations have been set in place to prohibit the use of genetically modified ingredients. Always look for the Non-GMO Project Verification seal when purchasing your groceries.
2. Zero Waste
For a company or facility to be considered Zero Waste, they must have a 90% diversion rate from landfills and incinerators for over 12 months. Becoming Zero Waste is beneficial for a number of reasons: it reduces landfill and incineration waste, it ends plastic pollution, and it creates a circular economy.
In April 2016, we earned the Zero Waste certification for two of our three manufacturing plants. This year we earned the Zero Waste certification for our third plant, which is a huge accomplishment!
3. Climate Neutral
We're working to continually reduce the use of electricity, paperboard, and CO2 emissions per ton of product produced. We also purchase Renewable Energy Credits (REC’s) that support green energy projects in North America. These credits account for all of our electricity purchased by the company. We have been a Climate Smart Business certified company since 2014, and in 2017 we joined the Climate Collaborative Project and committed to all 9 commitment areas.
This year our Blaine (USA) manufacturing plant was awarded Partners for Clean Air gold from the Northwest Clean Air Agency. Now that's pretty cool!
4. Preserving Water
Between 2013 and 2016 we've supported over 380,000 acres of organic farmland, promoting watershed protection and reducing the water needed to grow crops. We use cleaning agents approved by organic food productions standards, meaning dangerous chemicals are not being added to the water we use. We’re converting wastewater from our Blaine facility into biogas and energy.
5. Educating, Inspiring and Engaging
We educate our team members, seek to inspire through sharing our successes and challenges, and engage in the broader community to drive the sustainability agenda.
Nature's Path has been recognized as one of Canada's Top 50 Greenest Employers since 2009, we are a member of BICEP (Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy), and we report and share best practices with the Sustainable Food Trade Association and other like-minded organizations every year.
Within the office, we host sustainability training for all team members, regularly sharing updates and information about our sustainability goals to keep our team members up-to-date. We've also implemented a number of initiatives including Health and Wellness Week and Bike to Work Week to encourage sustainability at Nature's Path.
6. Giving Back
We've started a number of movements that give back to animals, people, and the environment!
Through our partnership with 1% for the Planet, 1% of sales from all EnviroKidz products are donated to nonprofit organizations that support endangered species, habitat restoration, and environmental education to kids worldwide. By purchasing a box of Gorilla Munch Cereal, you're supporting the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, by purchasing a box of Leapin' Lemurs Cereal, you're supporting the Lemur Conservation Foundation ... you get the idea!
We also pledge to give up to $1 million per year in cash or food donations to local food banks through our Love Crunch Bite4Bite Program.
Every year we host Eat Well Do Good, a foodraiser that supports local food banks near each of our facilities. Nature's Path employees volunteer their time to organize and support this event.
Since 2002, we have donated more than $18 million in cash and food donations to each of these causes mentioned above.
Looking for more details? Click here to view our 2016 Sustainability Report!