Under Cover: Burt’s Bees’ Zero-landfill Initiative is Absorbed Through its Supply Chain

October 31st, 2010

Supplier’s recyclable packaging supports mission. It’s only natural that supplying products that support its mission is a prerequisite to being a supplier to Burt’s Bees.

Burt’s Bees brand has managed to conjure warm, sunny imagery and generate goodwill because its products are 100 percent natural and because of the company’s pledge to be a benevolent caretaker of the Earth.

This brand strategy has positioned the manufacturer, located in Durham, N.C., to produce the leading lip balm brand and a leader in the entire personal care product line, according to the company.

Burt’s Bees’ zero-waste-to-landfill achievement has played no small role in the company’s earth-stewardship mission: “Making people’s lives better every day—naturally.” It achieved zero-waste-to-landfill status in April 2010.

“Our belief in creating truly natural products that are good for you, the environment, and society hasn’t changed. We’re committed to business proc-esses across our sites that support our pledge to do the right thing when it comes to our products, our environment, and our fellow living creatures,” stated the company’s environmental sustainability manager Steve Walker.

It’s Only Natural for JL Clark Too It’s only natural that supplying products that support its mission is a prerequisite to being a supplier to Burt’s Bees. One such supplier, packaging manufacturer JL Clark, Rockford, Ill., produces 0.3- and 0.6-oz. metal tins; shimmer tube assembly and caps; and promotional tins, such as a 4-in. holiday swedge tin, for the personal care products company.

“All of the packaging we make for Burt’s Bees is recyclable,” said Lori Hernandez, JL Clark’s national accounts manager. The shimmer is made of all polypropylene and the tins are constructed of tin-plated steel.

Because steel is a highly recyclable packaging material—some say nearly 100 percent—the packaging manufacturer did not have to make any changes to its metal packaging to become recyclable. JL Clark was well-situated to continue to be a Burt’s Bees supplier as the personal care products manufacturer has solidified its sustainability position.

No doubt Burt’s Bees has influenced its supplier’s sustainability initiatives. JL Clark is pursuing zero-waste-to-landfill status as well. In addition, the packaging company recently moved the manufacture of its promotional tin from China to the U.S., thus reducing the overall carbon footprint of the package, Hernandez added.

Both company representatives said the green effort doesn’t sting a bit.

“We have found that we can do well by doing good,” Walker said.