Thrive Market published its first-ever impact report this week, detailing the company’s achievements in the realm of social and environmental sustainability over the past five years, and how it plans to take these goals even farther in 2020.
Some of the highlights of the report include goals to become a Certified B Corporation and obtain TRUE Zero Waste certification this year. And by measuring the impact of past initiatives and setting goals for the future, this deep dive into the company’s mission and priorities offers a multi-faceted look at the “hows” and “whys” of its business objectives.
At a time when ecommerce is booming—along with the added packaging materials and carbon footprint it implies—and environmental blights like single-use plastics are returning to stores and food service, it’s particularly heartening to see an online retailer make an ongoing commitment to better and more sustainable packaging solutions. It’s also notable that these are being shipped from fulfillment centers that run on renewable energy and recycle or reuse 90% of their waste.
Here are a few other important takeaways from Thrive Market’s mission and impact report.
Food standards rise
Non-GMO, certified organic and regenerative agriculture were focal points for onboarding new brands in 2019, bringing the total number of non-GMO food products available on Thrive Market to around 800. Sustainably produced wine was another category that saw growth, with expansion to more than 40 suppliers of organic and biodynamically produced wines.
Ethical sourcing also figures into the mission, which emphasizes growing direct-trade partnerships and supporting farmer-led projects. The company attained full certification for its frozen meat program from the Global Animal Partnership for animal welfare standards in 2019 and is pursuing Marine Stewardship Council certification for all of its seafood in 2020.
With the recent addition of five regenerative and biodynamic products to their catalog, Thrive Market has also underlined its ongoing commitment to supporting regenerative agriculture. This includes a pledge to work with Teton Valley farmers to help them convert to regenerative practices and to increase partnerships with farmers that implement these methods both in the United States and abroad.
Doing more for the planet
Packaging waste is no small issue when it comes to e-commerce, which is why Thrive Market’s use of boxes, tape and packing materials that are not only made from recyclable paper, but also curbside recyclable, all the more commendable. Additionally, all plastic spill bags are made of recycled, recyclable content, or are of reusable, food-grade quality.
Taking this one step farther, 2020 plans include finding more eco-friendly (biodegradable or compostable) spill bag options, and committing to switching packing materials to lighter, paper void fill made with 100% recycled content.
With regard to its carbon footprint, Thrive Market attained 100% carbon neutrality throughout its business in 2019, offsetting its carbon emissions through investments in an Amazon conservation project in Brazil to protect some 500,000 acres of rainforest and mitigate the release of 12.5 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
A company’s commitment to zero waste deserves an extra mention, and Thrive Market is no exception. 2020 promises to be a big year for this, with the company seeking zero waste certification across all of its facilities in 2020 through partnerships with Green Business Certification Inc. and TRUE.