20 Ways We Protect The Planet And Bees - INFOGRAPHIC
Even back in 1974, we knew we had to put sustainability at the forefront of our process and products. We weren’t just trying to “do good,” we were trying to create healthy, durable systems for the planet, the bees and the delicate Manuka flower. Our co-founders Claude and Alan knew that if we started with smart, sustainable foundations for every part of what we do, we’d be ready for success to follow.
We haven’t talked much about our sustainability practices because after almost 45 years, they’re just part of the fabric of who we are. Not a sales gimmick or a PR story. But they deeply matter to us, and we know it matters to you that you buy from sustainable companies. So we put together a chart to give you a sense of how we think about green practices, create sustainable Manuka Honey, and what we save in the process.
Healthy bees and honey starts at the source. Our hives are located far from pollution and agricultural sprays in remote forests in New Zealand, a country free of Genetically Modified crops. We understand that every process creates a carbon footprint and it has always been a continual focus to reduce ours. Through various systematic and cost effective methods of sustainability, we are able to minimize our waste, water, and energy footprint while also giving back to our community.
Specifically, through 2017, we have planted approximately 1 million Manuka seedlings and making great progress towards achieving our five-year goal of planting 11,500 hectares of Manuka by 2021. Where Manuka planting takes place, marginal and soil eroded land is restored, and waterways become cleaner, which supports our aquatic biodiversity and local habitats. We also take extra care to offer the best natural products, and when it comes to the way they're packaged, we make the same conscious considerations. Most of our products are packed in BPA-free recyclable plastic. As we ship from New Zealand, plastic is lighter to ship overseas and therefore reduces our carbon footprint.
Comvita’s Commitment to Sustainability Practices:
- 2641 gallons of wastewater is treated onsite at Paengaroa daily.
- 5.5 tons of scallop shells, a fisheries waste product, are used to reduce the acidity of the wastewater.
- Storm water is managed by a low impact design system. Water from buildings is managed through swales and stormwater retention ponds.
- The wetland plants float on material made of 100% recycled soft drink bottles.
- This creates a Biofilm: layers of microbes formed around the plant root fibers and the surface.
- 10 square feet of plants contains 2.5 acres of biofilms. This biological powerhouse treats wastewater 24 hours a day.
- Wastewater is then used to irrigate some of the 40,000 native plants onsite in Paengaroa. These plants also provide additional filtration and absorb nutrients.
- Shredded tires have been used in the installation of a 13 ft deep trench around the visitors center to reduce road vibration to the building.
- We are educating over 400 school children on how to make beeswax wraps, as a Sustainable alternative to cling film.
- We use an integrated pest management program at our olive plantation in Australia. We let weeds and grasses flower to provide a habitat for Lacewing larvae which helps control pests.
- Our new 2018 warehouse will have its own 270KW solar powered system which will power up to 25% of our Paengaroa site and equates to approximately 53 average New Zealand households annual power consumption
- We bale up our grass mowings from our Olive Groves in Australia and donate them to Drought Angels to support the farming communities.
- We invest in research programs to continuously improve bee health and hive management practice.
- We have co-founded the development of practical beekeeping course (l3) with Pacific Coast Technical Institute.
- Our honey pots and lids are all PET plastics which are 100% recyclable (once the label is removed).
- All cardboard packaging stock used is PEFC certified. This standard recognizes environmentally sound and socially-just management of forests globally.
- Globally, our staff are entitled to a helping hands working day dedicated to helping their chosen charity.
- We give back and support to local communities and non-profit initiatives, throughout New Zealand.
- We pledge to plant more trees! We have planted 2,100,000 Manuka seedlings since 2016.
- 2,100 native trees have been planted in partnership with Tauranga City Council on the Kopurererua Valley Restoration Project.
- Native plants onsite help to enhance biodiversity and support local bees.
- As part of the Manuka PLanting program carbon is sequestered at the rate od 3.5 tons per acre. Our goal is to plant 33,112 acres by 2023.
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