Alter Eco: Sustainable everything, from soil to packaging
Known as a maker of sustainably sourced quinoa and chocolate, Alter Eco became known in the natural industry as a leader in responsible sourcing, prioritizing USDA Organic, Fair Trade USA and Carbon Neutral Product certifications. Holding both Public Benefit Corporation and B-Corp status, Alter Eco has been working with the Rodale Institute to spearhead a Regenerative Organic Certification. Alter Eco cofounder, Edouard Rollet, notes, “This is not meant to be another certification, it is a super certification and works with current suppliers and systems with higher standards in terms of social fairness, soil health and animal welfare.” He adds, “How can we raise the bar for organic and include some of the new challenges we are facing in soil health?” As part of the company’s efforts to become a carbon negative company, Alter Eco works in tandem with PUR Projet, a reforestation program to plant trees and offset CO2 production. The company has done large scale reforestation in Peru since 2008. At Expo West you can expect to see the company’s compostable packaging in action.
BOS Iced Tea: From trees to transport
Sustainability can be an issue if transport of product is involved. Newly launched in the U.S., South African rooibos iced tea brand, BOS Iced Tea has had to work on solutions to offset their carbon footprint. Since Day 1, BOS has worked with Greenpop to plant and maintain 1 tree for every 2,000 cans of BOS sold. To date BOS has planted more than 17,000 trees in previously underprivileged and under-greened schools and public spaces. By 2020, BOS hopes to plant more than 50,000 trees. In addition, the rooibos used in the tea is sustainably sourced in South Africa, harvested by hand without the use of machinery and sun dried. Since it has to be shipped to the U.S. for production, BOS breaks down the rooibos into an extract in South Africa before sending it to the U.S. This cuts down on shipping waste by eliminating the need for pallets and machinery in transport.
Danone North America: Not stopping at B-Corp
And people thought sustainability was for small companies. Not so much. In April 2018, Danone North America became the largest Certified B Corporation in the world. Incorporating as a Public Benefit Corporation legally committed the Danone subsidiary to balance shareholders’ financial interests with social and environmental considerations. Becoming a Certified B Corporation took this commitment one step further. The company continues to take on fighting climate change, driving more sustainable ingredient sourcing, advancing packaging recyclability, reducing waste, conserving water, fighting hunger, supporting local communities and ensuring animal welfare. These efforts include their recent announcement to support circularity of packaging—a focus on packaging that is made, reused or recycled continuously. The company has made a global commitment to aim for 100% of its packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. Danone North America will have a booth in the lobby at Expo West dedicated to B-Corp education and engagement.
Goddess Garden: Taking names and making changes
What’s not to like about organic sunscreen? It’s not only good for us, it’s good for the planet. This B-corp company defines success by the amount of chemicals it can take off peoples’ skin and out of the environment by providing safe alternatives. And Goddess Garden has had some wins as of late. The company’s mineral sunscreens are free of oxybenzone and octinoxate, two common chemicals found in sunscreens which have been shown to increase the susceptibility of coral reefs to the bleaching caused by warmer temps. In fact, research that the company conducted with the University of Colorado found that it takes only a small amount of sunscreen containing oxybenzone to cause serious damage to a coral reef. So when company founder, Nova Covington, heard that legislators in Hawaii were trying to pass a bill to ban the use and sale of these chemicals, she jumped in to participate in the awareness campaign that reef-safe options in sunscreen are available. The company gathered nearly 55,000 signatures through a Care2 petition and sent it to Hawaiian Governor Ige to help encourage him to sign the bill, which he did on July 3, 2018. Goddess Garden will introduce a baby care line at Expo West.
Justin's Nut Butters: Bee the change
From their Boulder, Colorado office to the Expo West show floor, Justin’s Nut Butter is prioritizing sustainability. At home the company is focusing on hunger relief, environmental education and pollinator conservation through their “Nuts for Bees” program. The company is working with national, state and local pollinators on pollinator conservation efforts. Noting that Justin’s main ingredients include nuts, cashews and almonds, which need bees to grow, Alyssa Harding, Justin’s corporate social responsibility and external relations manager says, “Without bees there would be no Justin’s.” The company is also working with Climate Collaborative on packaging and food waste initiatives. Now Justin’s is taking that mindfulness from the company’s supply chain to the floors of Expo West with a commitment to reduce and manage waste at the show. The company has developed tradeshow guidelines that amongst other things address how the employees travel and manage show waste. Harding encourages collaboration amongst companies in sharing such initiatives, "Inherently everyone is pursuing all of the same goals. If we don’t work together how true do those goals really ring.”
Pathwater: Saving oceans 1 bottle at a time
The official water sponsor of Expo West, Pathwater is not your usual water company. The company's purified water is sold in reusable, BPA-free aluminum bottles. Started by a group of social entrepreneurs who love the California coast and are on a mission to clean up the single-use water bottle mess, Pathwater is striving to change the water business with the use of more sustainable practices. A great initiative considering the average American uses 156 plastic bottles per year and 8 million tons of plastic to go into the oceans annually. By 2050, it's estimated there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. So at just $2-3 a bottle, we think this is an initiative worth supporting.