Our commitment to sustainability extends to everything we do – from how we travel, what we purchase, how we package our foods, and how we built our office. We strongly believe that our planet has been pushed to the edge of viability by human behaviors, and it is our collective responsibility to stop doing harm and begin reversing the damage to our delicate home.
By supporting organic and sustainable agriculture, we are putting less chemicals into the earth, protecting rainforests (and all the incredible bio-diversity and carbon dioxide absorbing capacity they have), rebuilding watersheds, and providing farmers a viable alternative to clear cutting or oil exploration to make their living.
We recently were recognized by the Culver City Sustainable Business Council as a Certified Green Business for all that we do!
We import our foods from around the globe, which may at first seem counter to environmentally friendly practices. And while we support the local food movement, we’re also aware that shipping food via ocean freight ships is far, far more efficient (13 times more!) than via truck. The shipping of our perfectly succulent olives from Peru to our plant in Los Angeles (4,236 miles) puts less carbon dioxide into the air than if we drove the olives down from San Francisco! No amount of carbon dioxide emission is good for the planet, so we go the extra mile and we purchase carbon cap-and-trade permits from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, called “RGGI-allowances” or “carbon credits,” for all of the carbon dioxide emitted as we transport our food into the US.
We also purchase these same RCGI credits to offset the carbon dioxide from all of our airplane travel. Each carbon credit that we purchase reduces those available for other producers, forcing them to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by the amount we purchase.
Another way we put our environmental values into practice is by buying our electrical power from a solar energy source in San Diego. Our entire office, warehouse, and production facility here in Culver City, California is 100% powdered by solar!
All of these carbon offsetting strategies and renewable energy usage allow us to be members of the Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership.
When we did the build-out of our office/warehouse space, we did so in the most environmentally sensitive way we could, using ecological materials and installing energy and water saving equipment to help us minimize any negative environmental impact. The following are the specific things we did:
- Low VOC paints
- Water based coatings
- Durra Board recovered agricultural fiber used for building employee cubicles
- FLOR recycled carpet squares for conference room floor
- 3Form recycled plastic wall panels
- All energy star appliances: Washer/dryer, refrigerator
- FSC certified wood for cabinets
- Low energy use fluorescents for all light fixtures
- Natural Light skylights to all but eliminate artificial light during the day
- Dual flush toilets
- Waterless urinals
- Areators on sink faucets
- Insulated glass windows
- Used and stained existing concrete floors
- Soy glue plywood used for office desks
Another area that we spend a lot of time working on is product packaging. We are committed to staying on the cutting edge of materials technology that will allow us to deliver our foods to you fresh and intact with a minimum amount of waste going into landfills. For our Essential Living Foods branded products we’ve found recyclable and bio-degradable packaging options for every single item we sell. We’re proud of this accomplishment, and we’re glad to be doing our part to help us all live lightly on the Earth!
Our superfood powders come in a recycled steel canisters, which can be easily reused and/or recycled. Our olives, live, unfiltered olive oil, and agave nectars all come in glass jars and bottles for easy recycling. And the labels used on those bottles is 100% biodegradable (put name and a hyperlink here to the label company).
We stayed away from the conventional plastic bags with a zipper for our snacks (Superfruits, Trail Mix, Raw Cacao, Raw Chocolate, Nuts). Instead we use cardboard boxes, which are bio-degradable, and are made from 100% recycled paper (minimum 50% post consumer). Inside the cardboard we use a biodegradable alternative called NatureFlex that is completely compostable AND made from renewable raw materials AND now completely carbon neutral. We use that same compostable material to wrap our Superbars and Raw Chocolate Truffles.