Sustainability leader ecostore has achieved B Corporation Certification for its Australasian operations, which took over two years to achieve.
The New Zealand-based company is constantly innovating to reduce its environmental impact, from biodegradable ingredients to carbonzero certified manufacturing, plastic made from sugar cane, launching its own plastic return programme and creating over 200 refill stations to reduce plastic consumption.
Australia’s general manager Steve Messina says now more than ever, ecostore sees the need to do even more, especially in the face of critical events such as the pandemic and the ever-increasing impact of climate change. He says this accreditation represents the highest independent standard that organisations like ecostore can achieve to demonstrate to customers, consumers and partners alike that ecostore does all it can to make the world a better place.
“By achieving B Corp certification, not only does the planet benefit, but ecostore will be more resilient and future-proofed. The ethical, environmental and better for you trends have continued to grow in recent years... we need more organisations to drive this agenda. However, it’s important that consumers can trust that the brands that they buy meet the highest ethical and sustainability standards and feel good about that choice. We believe this accreditation will help set us apart from other organisations that are also active in this space,” he said.
The foundations of the ecostore business have always centred around putting people and planet ahead of profit, with an emphasis on social wealth creation and environmental responsibility, making the world a safer place, putting people’s health first and giving consumers the choice of products without nasty chemicals.
It's three key sustainability priorities in Australia are to (1) reduce the carbon footprint of their operations and increase the use of renewables and offsets, (2) empower Australia’s circular economy; and (3) enhance sustainability by making a public commitment to work towards ambitious targets of 100 per cent of plastic packaging to be reusable or recyclable by 2023.
Ecostore is already reducing its carbon footprint and plans to do more. Its manufacturing site has been Carbonzero certified since 2010, and in 2019 the company expanded this to cover all other New Zealand and Australia locations where it operates. It has offset greenhouse gas emissions from all of its associated Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (indirect) emission sources as well as the emissions from the transport of its goods to all delivery channels in NZ and up to the point of distribution abroad.
“Our emissions are offset through a portfolio of international projects which either reduce or avoid the production of emissions, while also supporting sustainable development,” said Messina, confirm that the company's current portfolio includes Gyapa cook stoves in Ghana, and solar and wind projects in India.
Expanding on ecostore's plans to empower the circular economy, Messina said, “[The plastic waste crisis] requires us to move toward a circular economy, that’s why we are eliminating plastic where we can, by introducing innovations such as the recent launch of our plastic free hair care bars, and trialling reuse solutions like our refill stations and where there are no plastic-free solutions we are using the best plastic we possibly can ie. a mix of recycled and sugar plastic.”
Highlighting the company's intention to enhance sustainability, Messina says that ecostore plans to have 100 per cent of its bottles made from renewable or recycled content by 2025 and move from single-use to reuse by selling more bulk packs (via refill stations and consumer purchase) over five years.
“All of this by signing up to A Line in the Sand, the New Zealand plastic Packaging Declaration and the ANZPAC Plastic Pact. We believe it's important to make such a public commitment, as it serves as a means of holding ourselves to account in helping make a difference. The crisis that we're facing as a society is so significant, that we also hope that our commitment will inspire others to follow,” he said.
In a Covid-19 world, ecostore has been driven by its socially-responsible and purpose-led fundamentals, prioritising activities that benefit affected communities and the holistic future of the planet.
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, ecostore has donated over $600,000 worth of stock to Foodbank, Children’s Ground, Second Bite, St Kilda Mums, The Happy Boxes Project and The Beauty Bank. Its most recent donation was $70,000 worth of stock to Share the Dignity, Sister Works, Kids First and the Happy Box Project.
“We saw a significant spike in demand when Covid-19 hit in early 2020 and 2021 has continued to cycle that strong growth from last year, YTD by an estimated 12%. The team is working hard to optimise our plans and spread the brand’s positive message of delivering highly efficacious eco-friendly products to as many consumers as we can. As a result, we’re always working to secure more listings in new retail channels, launch meaningful innovation and communicate what we stand for through marketing messaging. We’ve got some exciting stuff coming up in these areas so stay tuned," added Messina.