Written By: Patience Lister, January 14, 2019 – UPDATED June 2021
As one of the largest manufacturers of nutritional products in all of North America, we should set a solid foundation for social and environmental sustainability in the nutritional sector. At Natural Factors we view people, the planet, and our profitability as interdependent. Every component of our business, from our seeds to our growing practices, production, transport, and community interaction, is based on the foundation of corporate social responsibility (CSA).
Factors Farms is certified organic, and we fertilize our crops with compost and nitrogen-rich sea plants to maintain them as chemical-and pesticide-free as possible. We also grow non-hybridized crops from non-GMO seeds and participate in heirloom seed-saving programs. In other words, we have access to the best-quality raw materials that nature has to offer, allowing us to supply high-quality products while supporting environmental sustainability.
By growing our ingredients locally in BC, we keep our carbon emissions down, support jobs in our own communities, and capture the nutritional value of fresh, whole plants by harvesting them at their peak and processing them immediately at our own facilities. After all, the more time ingredients spend in transport, the lower their nutrient value. At a time when the average meal covers 1,200 km to reach the dinner plate, creating local initiatives has never been more important.
Seeds are the lifeblood of our farms and herbal products, and we are committed to protecting as many endangered plant species as possible. After years of botanical research, we have built up a strategic collection of seeds that has become a world-class seed bank. This includes rare heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables, many of which are long gone from other commercial farms and private gardens. By successfully storing these seeds in a controlled environment, we are ensuring that they will remain available for future generations to grow.
As part of being an environmentally friendly company, our employees work collectively toward the goal of zero waste. We are mindful of the ecological footprint of products used within the business and have rolled out extensive recycling programs to reduce our impact. This initiative has led to our Burnaby and Coquitlam, BC facilities to improve their waste diversion rate from 64–68% in the last year.
We’ve also committed resources toward reducing overall carbon emissions. Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions are now monitored enterprise-wide according to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standards. By completing the inventory, we are a Climate Smart Certified Business. We are continuously researching innovative ways to tread lightly on the Earth by reducing our waste, improving energy and freight efficiency, and using ecologically friendly materials in our operations. As part of this, we build relationships with suppliers who are socially responsible, thus providing an environment for sustainable raw materials and technology to flourish.
At Natural Factors, a love for our Earth is at the heart of what we do. We recognize the importance of addressing our environmental impact and are committed to reducing emissions wherever possible. We are now a carbon-neutral business! Our partners, Bullfrog Power and Less Emissions, helped us achieve this goal through their green fuel and carbon offset products.
We don’t just care about the quality of the ingredients that go into all our products, but we’ve made a name on it. This is why we found perfect partners in Bullfrog Power, Canada’s leading green energy provider, and Less Emissions, which offers the highest quality offsets.
Bullfrog ensures green fuel is injected into the Canadian fuel system to match the amount of conventional fuel our fleet uses, displacing conventional fossil fuel litre for litre. Bullfrog’s green fuel is a low-carbon, renewable alternative to fossil fuel. Bullfrog sources from biodiesel producers that repurpose waste streams from food-and-feed manufacturing, as well as used cooking oils from restaurants and kitchen facilities.
We mitigate the remaining emissions from our business with CSA standard-certified Canadian offsets from Less Emissions. These projects are verified, fully measurable, and endorsed by several leading environmental advocacy groups, including WWF International, the Pembina Institute, and the David Suzuki Foundation.
Here at Natural Factors, quality and sustainability go hand in hand. From seed selection to finished products, our nutritional supplements and other formulas contribute to the health and well-being of our consumers, employees, suppliers, and Earth.