Introducing Badger’s Sustainability Committee

At the climate accord in Paris, representatives from 195 nations reached a landmark agreement that, for the first time, will commit nearly every country to lowering planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions to help stave off the most drastic effects of climate change. The climate accord doesn’t ask anything of us as individuals, or even as a business (yet). But it represents something important. It represents a global groundswell, a milestone on the steep path (admittedly human-made) that humanity is climbing. And once we crest that hill, efforts towards reducing our impact on the environment will no longer be debatable, questioned, or in the realm of public relations, but necessary, unavoidable, and gaining momentum.

At Badger, we have been busy creating a sustainability committee and looking for new ways to put our commitment to doing good for the planet into practice. We believe that acting consciously and responsibly, doing our part to push the sustainability envelope, and making that effort visible, is the best response we can make. But how do we do that?

Badger's awesome sustainability committee! Bottom row l-r: Jodi, Rebecca, Katie, Brenna. Back row l-r: Aurelie, Tal, Jess. Not pictured: Caity, Sarah B, Brenna St.P., Will, Helena, and Ian.
Badger’s awesome sustainability committee! Bottom row l-r: Jodi, Rebecca, Katie, Brenna. Back row l-r: Aurelie, Tal, Jess. Not pictured: Caity, Sarah B, Brenna St.P., Will, Helena, and Ian.

The working vision statement for the new sustainability committee states that “We believe that in all of our practices, both commercially and individually, it is important to make decisions that will have a lasting, positive impact for generations to come. Our goal in making healing products is to walk a healthy trail and, in so doing, we create a path in business that elevates conventional practices to new standards while honoring the responsibility we feel to sustaining our communities, the environment, and the promotion of peace.”

Simply put: Badger wants to lead by example and show that business can be both successful and responsible.

I asked the founder of our company, Badger Bill, for his thoughts about sustainability and he said, “To me, sustainability flows from a desire to simplify and apply circular methods of working that replicate the way nature operates in healthy, self-sustaining communities and ecosystems within the larger whole. The utopian vision would be for people over the next fifty years to evolve our cultures to result in every person on earth being properly fed, clothed, and housed in a healthy and vibrant natural environment. This entails eliminating pollution, creating an equitable distribution of wealth, and nature compatible ways of caring for and living on the earth in loving kindness.”

Badger headquarters in Gilsum New Hampshire - as pictured from the gardens, 2014.
Beautiful Badger HQ – as pictured from the gardens, 2014.

These are wonderful words, but at our sustainability committee meetings we often ask ourselves “what can we do right now?” The answer is to set achievable goals. First, we will increase the scope of our sustainable sourcing by examining how our purchasing power is being used. Then, we will make conscious choices to buy from sustainable sources wherever possible. Engaging employees in this process will be key to succeeding. In the near future, we hope to work towards achieving zero waste, becoming greenhouse gas neutral, and continuing our mission towards one hundred percent sustainable packaging. Now it’s time to get to work!

In this season of renewal, light, and growth, we think once again about tilling the soil and the promise of life. May Earth Month bring everyone peace and the beginnings of a bounteous harvest. And may our planet be healed with our cooperation and hard work so it can bloom again and again for our children and our children’s grandchildren.

What are your plans for earth day? Share your story in the comments below!

Taliesin Gregory works in the Badger kitchen, helping prepare an all organic lunch for the staff every day, as well as editing the Badger Newsletter, and serving on the Sustainability Committee. He is an avid fly fisherman, and blogs about fly fishing at Flogging the Waters and reviews books at The Book is Always Better than the Film. Tal’s favorite Badger products: Pre-Shave Oil, Sore Joint Rub, and Herbal Lip Care Classic Lip Balm.

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