Herbalist & Alchemist Publishes 2022 Sustainability Report,
Reaches Zero Waste Milestone
Washington, NJ (February 16, 2023) — Herbalist & Alchemist, the first herbal products company to become a certified B Corp, has released its 2022 Sustainability Report which shows that the company has once again made significant headway. The report, which recaps sustainability progress made in 2021, outlines the many aspects of the company’s efforts, including reaching the milestone of zero waste.
“Much of the credit for our continued progress goes to the H&A Green Team, an internal coalition of employees working on sustainability in a more streamlined way,” said CEO Beth Lambert. “As companies try to find a way to seriously address sustainability programs, we found harnessing internal commitment works very well when we set up our Green Team.”
In 2019 Herbalist & Alchemist set the goal to become zero waste in operations, and in 2021 reached the qualifications required before pursuing Zero Waste certification, which is less than 10% of waste goes to the landfill, with the other 90% diverted, reused, donated, or composted. The Green Team has done in-depth research into diverting materials usually landfilled, including donating ice packs, used to keep herbs fresh in transport, to local children’s camps and food pantries, sending pallet straps to an artist who creates abstract works from debris, and donating and upcycling 55-gallon barrels into rain barrels, raised beds, and for equine activities like barrel racing. Other specific changes include smaller shipping boxes, substituting bubble wrap with plant-based material for smaller items, and working with TerraCycle and SustainAbilities. They work with Trex for the plastic bags and film that can’t be avoided, including pallet wrap used for the company’s recent move into a larger facility. Unusable and depleted plant material is composted to supply local organic farms: the 59,000 lbs. diverted from the landfill over the last decades means an estimated 13.4 tons of CO2 were sequestered.
Radical reduction in waste has contributed to the company’s total carbon emissions falling to 1% in the Scope 1 direct emissions category. By breaking down Scope 3 emissions into sub-categories, the company has discovered further ways to reduce those emissions.
H&A also placed great emphasis on supporting growers who practice Regenerative Agriculture, Permaculture, Biodynamics, Regenerative Organic, Forest Grown, FairWild, Ecologically and Ethically Wildcrafted, Wild-Simulated, Non-GMO, Grown Naturally and Organic Compatible practices in sourcing raw materials for H&A products in the belief that carbon-storing, regenerative agriculture is essential in combating climate change.
For example, as wildcrafted raw goods have become less predictable, wild-simulated growing is emerging as a desirable option. H&A’s American Ginseng grower has over 50 years of experience in growing high-quality, forest-grown, wild-simulated ginseng. This grower doesn’t harvest roots until they are at least six to eight years old or more, to ensure maximum Ginsenoside levels. Wild ginseng is usually considered the most potent, since the roots are harvested when older, and growing in the wild provides the best environment for Ginsenoside production within the plant. They grow their ginseng in a natural way at a high elevation under a canopy of hardwood forest, and their usage of seed stock developed from wild seed, gathered locally, results in a root with maximum potency.
“While it can be daunting for manufacturers to address some of these issues sustainably, there are tools out there to quantify and set a baseline,” Beth continued. “Once you have a baseline you can address improvements. For example, the B Corp carbon estimator is very helpful. And when you see the progress you can make over time, you see the impact one company can make.”