Cosmetics company Burt’s Bees is seeking to foster a circular economy by 2025, with commitments to reach net-zero plastic, support a climate-focused future, and improve people’s livelihoods across its supply chain.
The sustainability targets are outlined in the brand’s retrospective 2020 impact report which also detailed several accomplishments, including formulas with 99.6-per-cent natural origin, packaging that uses 50-per-cent recycled material on average and is fully recyclable, maintaining landfill-free operations, and providing $4.1 million in grants to protect biodiversity.
“Our focus has long been centred on the wellbeing of people and the natural world. The challenges of the pandemic have only heightened the importance of protecting nature as a resource, for the health of people and all life on Earth,” said Paula Alexander, senior director of sustainability, Burt’s Bees.
“That’s why we’ve chosen to focus on systemic changes across our supply chain while working toward a circular economy – to enable a more connected and stable relationship between people and nature.”
To reach its net-zero targets by 2025, the company will cut the use of virgin packaging materials such as plastic and fibre by 33 per cent and transition towards 100-per-cent recyclable, reusable, or compostable packaging for all its products. These initiatives were developed in alignment with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economic Global Commitment, which defines a circular economy for plastic.
The company has also teamed up with The Recycling Partnership to fund improvements in US municipal recycling systems to improve recycling rates outside the brand’s value chain. In addition, the company will invest in plastic waste collection and recycling credits that would drive consumers to lessen their plastic footprint.
For the company’s climate-focused targets, it has transitioned to 100-per-cent renewable energy as of January this year, as part of a 12-year, 70-megawatt virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) with Enel Green Power helping to put solar grids in Texas. The brand will also continue its certification on being CarbonNeutral certified by building an eight-year commitment to offset carbon emissions.
Burt’s Bees will also accelerate efforts to improve its ingredient sourcing practices through supply chain investment projects that will help safeguard access to clean water, support women and children’s empowerment; and promote health, biodiversity, and safety, and through responsible sourcing with third-party audits.
“We envision a world where people are doing well by nature and for nature, without compromise. This is the legacy of our founders who prized nature for its restorative benefits and to this day help preserve wilderness for future generations,” shared Alexander.