Sustainability is defined by the United Nations as the ability to meet the present’s needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. It is fundamentally a balancing act of its three pillars: environmental, social, and economic impacts. Cognizant of this, we at Verdure Sciences® have integrated sustainability into our corporate culture and mission. We continuously refine our efforts through our two programs, Verdugration® and Verdure Cares®, as well as through strategic alignment with key partners, stakeholders, and organizations.
Verdugration® and its counterpart, Verdure Cares®, aim to open the conversation of sustainability within corporate initiatives. Verdugration® encompasses sustainability, traceability, and transparency for the company’s practices. Verdure Cares® is a subset of this overarching program, focusing on sustainable relationships and partnerships as well as social impacts. From our employees to farmers, cultivators to harvesters, and distributors to customers, Verdure Sciences aims to mold long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships.
Our Sustainability Goals At Verdure Sciences®
- Support trust & transparency through rigorous quality standards, clean label initiatives, third party accreditations and compliance programs to promote botanical integrity and health & wellbeing
- Advocate for the environmental sustainability of our botanicals through assessments, compliance programs and key industry partnerships
- Advocate for the social sustainability of ‘our people’ involved in the botanical ingredient value chain through programs & initiatives
Connecting To The UN SDGs
Alignment of our goals and efforts with those of our partners imparts a larger, lasting impact. Therefore, we have chosen to coordinate our efforts with a broader, worldwide mission: the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In 2015, the UN shared The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This document outlines seventeen sustainable development goals (SDGs) that aim to improve health & education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth–all while tackling climate change and fighting to preserve our environment. We also acknowledge that these goals are integrated; it is difficult to completely tackle one without addressing another.
Our goal to align with the UN SDGs extends beyond simply making an effort. At the heart of Verdure Sciences® are strong case studies and paper trails to substantiate our impacts.
In an effort to promote global wellbeing, we have chosen to begin our alignment initiatives and detailed assessments with select United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals that highlight both our goals and top global risk categories, such as climate change and biodiversity. In particular, we have focused on SDG #3: good health and wellbeing, SDG #13: climate action, and SDG #15: life on land.
We have also made strides to encompass efforts that reach far beyond these three primary goals, including, but not limited to, touch points on #4: quality education, #6 clean water and sanitation, #7 affordable and clean energy, #8 decent work and economic growth, #9 industry innovation and infrastructure, #12 responsible consumption and production, and #17 partnerships for the goals.
SDG #3: Good Health & Wellbeing
- Goal: “Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages”1
- By reducing preventable deaths, illnesses, and diseases, improving access to reproductive & and healthcare resources globally, and substantially reducing the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals, and air, water, and soil pollution and contamination by 20301
- What that means at Verdure Sciences
- Verdure Sciences® has implemented a sustainability and compliance program for our manufacturing partners to advocate for the sustainability of our plants, people, and the planet. We have a collaborative, open-ended attitude toward commending our suppliers to operate with the earth in mind. Our goal is to enact change by sharing knowledge and resources with a value-added approach. However, we are aware that our international organizations operate under different sets of circumstances and regulatory requirements. Because of this, our alignment is ensured through our qualification processes. We have focused our efforts on clean-label ingredients, the cultivation of raw botanical materials, and organic operations. In conjunction, we work for employee wellness through contributions to the communities in which we operate, such as healthcare donations and monetary contributions.
- Social Wellbeing
- Beyond environmental sustainability, Verdure strives to maintain long-term relationships with our raw material supply chain to ensure quality assurance, botanical integrity, consistency, and high levels of oversight. We utilize farmer relationships, inter-cropping (resulting in additional income for farmers), crop rotation, drip irrigation, organic inputs, and wild-crafted sources for the ingredients in our portfolio. For example, by offering agronomic support, we can provide crop rotation suggestions and income-supporting efforts. These benefit soil nutrients, mitigate erosion, and alleviate seasonal challenges for our partners while they maintain autonomy, creating a mutually beneficial relationship. Compliance is seen through traceable milestones such as farmer training records, pesticide diminution, organic alternatives use, crop management plans, and chain of custody records. Overall, Verdure’s compliance program aims to ensure that suppliers act in an ethical, lawful, and fully sustainable manner.
SDG #13: Climate Action
- Goal: “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts”
- By educating, raising awareness, implementing, and strengthening resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters, as well as climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warnings in all countries.1
- What that means at Verdure Sciences
- Verdure strives to minimize carbon emissions through resource conservation, sustainable supply chain initiatives, and mindful packaging. Consequently, not only have we evaluated our greenhouse gas emissions from our logistics, headquarters, and operations, but we have also continuously emphasized the importance of such efforts within our operations. For example, at our headquarters, we have implemented resource efficiency by conserving energy, water, and waste through sustainable housekeeping. These include the use of recyclable materials, eco-friendly office appliances, green building standards, and composting. These energy, water, and waste conservation efforts all contribute to our overarching goals of sustainable, climate-friendly practices within our company.
- Logistical Sustainability
- We at Verdure Sciences® are dedicated to sustainable logistics practices in our freight and shipping operations. Our primary focuses are on consolidating and pre-planning shipments to ensure we utilize all available eco-friendly opportunities. Our botanical ingredient raw materials are procured in bulk during the appropriate harvest seasons, stored in GMP-certified facilities, and then used in a way that ensures sufficient supply, quick turnaround times, and consistent clean-label offerings. We make an effort to reduce our carbon footprint by forecasting our sourcing activities to avoid unnecessarily frequent shipments. This allows us to utilize ocean transport, which not only produces fewer carbon emissions compared to air shipments, but also decreases freight cost allowing us to share the savings directly with our customers.
SDG #15: Life On Land
- Goal: “Protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage, forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss”
- By taking urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity, and protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species, as well as through efforts to ensure the conservation, restoration, and sustainable use of land and water ecosystems.1
- What that means at Verdure Sciences
- Wherever possible, Verdure Sciences® seeks to protect natural habitats through land/habitat remediation, habitat preservation, and biodiversity protection. This includes maintaining a plot of land in Indiana that supports native flora and fauna, including red maple trees such as those in our Maplifa® extract. Additionally, we have begun to implement these practices through the Sustainable Turmeric Program (STP) and continue to explore initiatives for other botanicals. Beyond supporting the conservation of the habitats associated with our plant-based ingredients, we also maintain natural wetland at headquarters. This wetland is home to a growing population of native killdeer, red-winged blackbirds, gray tree frogs, honey bees, as well as non-invasive pollinators and plant-protecting insects.
At Verdure Sciences, we pride ourselves in our unadulterated sustainability initiatives. We continuously revise and adapt our efforts to ensure we are complying with the up-to-date science surrounding climate change and sustainability. Even though our efforts may seem small, as they are localized to only one company, we hope that we can set an example for others t