Burt’s Bees documents sustainable business practices

RALEIGH, N.C. Burt’s Bees, a maker of natural personal care products, has released a Corporate Social Responsibility Report to document the brand’s commitment to sustainable business practices.

The report, dubbed “The Greater Good Social and Environmental Progress Report: 2008 and Before,” assesses three key areas: Natural ingredients and processes, environmental stewardship and humanitarian efforts.

  • Natural ingredients and processes as a path to well-being: While the company’s products average 99 percent natural, the brand has set a goal of being 100 percent natural by 2011 and in the most environmentally sensitive packaging possible. As part of this effort, the company, in 2007, eliminated the use of shrinkwrap on the lip balms and lip shimmers to reduce energy use and packaging waste. They also pioneered the introduction of a TerraSkin wrapper for bar soap. TerraSkin is a treeless and bleach-free paper alternative made from limestone that degrades quickly back to its original state.

  • Environmental Stewardship as it relates to sustainability in Burt’s Bees operations, supply chain and packaging: The company has set a goal to be the “greenest personal care company on Earth” by 2020. Year to year, through the first half of 2008, the company has cut its electricity use by 14 percent per sales dollar and reduced manufacturing related water use by more than 20 percent. Other steps along the way include off-setting all of the company’s energy use and setting an incentive plan that ties all employee bonuses to the company’s progress in sustainability. In an effort to get to zero waste, the company has reduced waste to landfill by more than 50 percent in one year.

  • Humanitarian efforts that support the well-being of its constituents: Within the Research Triangle Park community, Burt’s Bees has partnered with Habitat for Humanity to begin building a second home in North Carolina’s first green affordable housing community. Earlier this year, Burt’s Bees closed its operations for a day to take the company out to build a playground for the community with KaBOOM!, a non-profit dedicated to building playgrounds in walking distance to every child in the country.

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