Throughout the year New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility collects "Just One Thing" stories of sustainability initiatives from across the state, in the areas of community, environment and workplace. These leading efforts are then showcased as part of NHBSR's Sustainability Slam in the fall. Last year W.S. Badger won NHBSR's 2018 Sustainability Slam for its innovative workplace initiatives.
W.S. Badger in Gilsum, NH is a socially-minded and mission-driven personal care manufacturer. As such, the company is committed to integrating sustainable practices across the board, from its supply chain, to its minimal processing of only the best natural ingredients, to how the company implements its own programs and initiatives.
Dee Fitzgerald, Marketing & PR Manager at Badger, asked the audience of NHBSR's Sustainably Slam last fall, "How do you create a company culture of sustainability that focuses on positive outcomes, inclusivity, accessibility, honesty, openness all while keeping it fresh and fun?" Badger's solution was to form a sustainability committee comprised of representative from all of the company's different departments.
Initially charged with looking into ways to reduce waste and improve impact and efficiency, the committee now spearheads several different initiatives throughout the year. Most notable are the committee-led trash audits (resulting in a 77% reduction of waste), roadside cleanups, use of cloth napkins and air dryers in place of their single-use counterparts, and purchases of renewable energy credits and carbon offsets.
Badger's Just One Thing sustainability story at the slam highlighted the company's efforts to educate employees about more sustainable food choices. As Badger is very intentional about the sourcing of ingredients that go into their products, encouraging employees to be as intentional about what goes into their lunches was a very natural progression.
In addition to sharing presentations, posters and newsletters on the environmental impact of different food choices, Badger’s sustainability committee’s educational campaign culminated in an interactive demonstration for employees during lunch. As part of this staged demonstration, employees walked distances representing how far their food traveled to get to them. For example, participants had to walk further for choices like tuna, which are sourced from 8,000 miles away, than choices like local, organic veggies, which Badger employees can grow themselves at the company’s onsite Climate Victory Garden.
“It’s a great way to get our employees to really think about their own choices when shopping for food and it’s a relatable way for them to conceptualize their carbon footprint. We choose a day when the weather is nice and you can get a good exercise in from it, too,” says Dee. “Badger is actively engaged in this kind of work. We practice what we preach and encourage our employees to follow suit. The Climate Victory Garden we have a Badger, gives us an education opportunity around regenerative soils and allows employees, who might not have the access to do so at home, to grow their own veggies during breaks or at the end of the day.”
You can learn more about Badger’s employee-led sustainability committee by attending the slam on November 7, 2019 in Amherst, NH. You can also submit your own sustainability story to NHBSR’s Just One Thing Campaign. “I look forward to submitting a story again this year,” says Dee, “and encouraging and challenging other folks to submit as well. It’s a great way to get some recognition and I would also encourage recommending friends to submit or event nominating them yourself!”
Connect with Dee at our Sustainability Slam on Nov 7 at Labelle Winery in Amherst, NH! Any company or nonprofit in New Hampshire is welcomed to attend the Sustainability Slam and submit a Just One Thing story at nhbsr.org/jot. Top submissions will be featured in the NH Business Review and presented at the Slam. This year's Sustainability Slam presenting sponsor is Velcro.
**Stories submitted by August 21 get entered into a drawing for free Sustainability Slam tickets and those submitted by August 14 get entered in twice!
Watch Badger's winning Just One Thing story video here.
Submit your Just One Thing story here.
Photo Credits: W.S. Badger