Executive director, Environmental Sustainability for Aveda
Since our inception in 1978, our focus has been on producing plant-based personal-care products. Currently, 90 percent of the essential oils that go into our products are certified organic, and, as we continue to learn about the functionality of plants, we are able to use even more. That's been a lot of work for our suppliers. In terms of the industry, we're certainly a leader, as a lot of companies have come into organics. In the scope of personal- care products, we're small but we've been a catalyst for so much change. The packaging of products, to how stores get designed, we're always getting chased. So it's good to see the big players step in and say there's some action there. It's competition for us. It keeps us on our toes and forces us to get better.
We're thrilled that more people are becoming aware of the social and environmental impacts of these things. In general, I think consumers are oblivious to what is in their product. We look at the entire lifecycle of the product and the package, from the ground to the bottle. We believe that sustainable agriculture is a better method of sourcing raw materials, certainly better than something coming out of a nonrenewable barrel of oil. One hundred percent of the energy used at our distribution center and manufacturing facility in Blaine, Minn., is from wind energy. Aveda is the largest private purchaser of wind energy in the state of Minnesota.
In the last eight years, Aveda has raised more than $6 million for environmental causes and this year we will have raised $8 million if we meet our goal. Last year, we raised $1.5 million for threatened and endangered plant species. This year we hope to raise $1.8 million to bring clean water to people who desperately need it.