Mountain Rose Herbs proves to be a pacesetter for sustainability in the personal care industry

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

Mountain Rose Herbs proves to be a pacesetter for sustainability in the personal care industry

Related tags: Leadership in energy and environmental design

The natural products maker and retailer launched as a mission-driven company in 1987 with the “core belief that people, plants, and planet are more important than profit.” And now Mountain Rose Herbs has become Oregon’s first Platinum Zero Waste Facility.

The reputable non-profit organization Green Business Certification (CBGI) runs the Zero Waste program along with several others, including the LEED green building certification.

Stephanie Barger, director of market development at GBCI, explains that “to achieve Zero Waste Platinum, companies must go beyond diversion and work upstream with vendors, closed-loop policies and total participation of employees to meet very stringent standards.”

“Mountain Rose Herbs delivers a beautiful product through outstanding leadership. They have successfully implemented Zero Waste strategies with a positive impact on their entire supply chain and community,” ​she adds in a press release announcing the certification.

Zero Waste

It was ten years ago that Mountain Rose Herbs instated a zero-waste policy. “Our commitment goes so deep that our facilities team actually handsorts all of our trash,”​ says Alyssa Lawless, director of sustainability at the company, in the release. “We also work with community partners to upcycle materials that would typically go to the landfill,” ​she says. Lawless is the company’s first director of sustainability and has been in the role since 2012.

Besides this latest accolade, Mountain Rose Herbs has accrued numerous sustainable and responsible business certifications, among them USDA Organic, Oregon Tilth Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Fair For Life, and Salmon-Safe.

Industry priority

Sustainability in sourcing, manufacturing, distribution—really in every facet of the industry—has been a focus for big and small brands alike.

L'Oreal, for instance, has undertaken several initiatives to limit the company’s, and the community’s, dependence on conventional energy. As part of its Sharing Beauty with All strategy, L’Oréal has plans to reduce its carbon footprint by 60% and better the environmental profile of all of the company’s products. Under this initiative L’Oréal announced plans to build Kentucky’s largest private solar facility​. And, in September of last year the beauty maker announced its Lights by L’Oréal program, where the company installed LED lighting along New York City’s Hudson River Park, a public space very near the new L’Oréal headquarters.

More recently, regional support for this sort of sustainability initiative has been thrown into doubt. On day one of the Trump administration, that team made fundamental  changes to the whitehouse.gov site, including removing the climate change page. And there’s no indication that the current US leadership will value or support sustainability programs. Quite the contrary, in fact, the White House energy page now explains that, “The Trump Administration will embrace the shale oil and gas revolution.”

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