It’s hard to spend much time thinking about “sustainability” right now when the priority at Ursa Major HQ is developing products people love, selling them and covering our monthly expenses. That said we’re doing our best to create a good, responsible company that treats its stakeholders fairly and respects the environment.
On a product level this means we’re maximizing % natural (aiming for 100%), % organic, % fair trade, % PCR in our packaging, recyclability, etc, while making tough compromises to keep our products viable (for example, we would love to do 100% organic, but our products would be prohibitively expensive if we went that route).
(Note: We also source all our components (except our balm pump) in the USA, and also make all our products in the USA, although some of our ingredients are sourced from overseas.)
On a personal level we reuse and recycle, we pay more attention to what we buy (and generally consume far less stuff), we try not to waste energy at home, we minimize plane and car travel (unthinkable to us five years ago) and we eat local whenever possible.
Finally, as a business, we do the best we can to minimize our material/energy needs and waste while aligning ourselves with partners who share our evolving point of view about what it means to be a good, responsible business.
All this is just a start; we know we can keep improving and we’re committed to becoming a more sustainable company, especially as we get through the make-or-break start-up phase. (Thanks to pioneers like Patagonia and Stonyfield for showing the way…)
Key goals for 2012 in this area for U.M. include defining what sustainability means to us, identifying key sustainability metrics, measuring where we are today and setting goals for 2013. We’ll report our findings as we go.
In theory we have an advantage over big companies because we get to design sustainability into our business from the ground up; we have less legacy baggage to deal with. Let’s see how that plays out in practice! Tune into The Blog Cabin to learn more…