The natural world is at the heart of all that we do at the School of Natural Skincare, and it has always been of the utmost importance to us that we set ourselves high standards of ethical and sustainable practice as a business.
The Ethical Company Organisation prides itself on setting the benchmark for corporate social responsibility, and awards Ethical Accreditation to successful candidate companies based on a number of key factors.
Commitment to animal welfare, progressing human rights, and building a greener future are values that we are proud to share with the organisation, and so we were delighted to see our own school achieve Ethical Accreditation in July of 2016 (and every year since).
As people and as a business, we are deeply conscious of the impact that humans can (and do) have on our environment. To that end, we’re constantly looking for ways to become more ethical, sustainable, natural, and organic, both in our personal and working lives.
It isn’t an easy task and there are definitely constraints, but we make conscious and concerted efforts to improve every day, and that is a great starting point!
The Ethical Company Organisation conducts in-depth research audits in order to assess eligibility for Ethical Accreditation, ensuring that companies meet the standards of a broad range of ethical criteria.
Here are some of the factors that contributed to our business successfully qualifying for the award:
1. We’re a green business
Ecotricity and the Good Energy Company power our business at both locations.
Both of these companies are dedicated investors in the development of renewable energy. This way, even when the energy we receive does not come from a renewable source, we are still helping to fund and grow the renewable energy sector. We are proud to support these companies that are seeking to move us all towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future.
2. We’re an online business and are almost completely paperless
Any paper we use is recycled paper. We also ensure that any paper coming into the office is recycled at the end of its life, and that confidential paper waste is shredded and recycled, too.
3. We teach people how to make how to make skincare and cosmetic products using only natural and organic ingredients
Where possible, or required, we also help our students to create vegan, halal, kosher, Fair Trade, sustainable, ethical, and Rainforest Alliance products.
4. We only recommend reputable and ethical suppliers
who are specialists in their domain and who seek to provide organic, natural, and ethical ingredients. These are suppliers who share our vision of a green and sustainable future that cares for and respects the natural world.
5. We actively promote using ingredients that are ethically sourced
One example is our promotion of sourcing sandalwood essential oil from Australia rather than India, as Indian sandalwood is an endangered species. We also encourage our students to seek sustainable sources of palm oil or, where possible, alternatives to palm oil for their cosmetics. We encourage students to identify and use locally sourced ingredients where they can, or to use ingredients from co-operatives, communities, and Fair Trade sources.
6. We’re Rainforest Guardians and a certified Fair Trade business
We are proud to support the Rainforest Foundation as Rainforest Guardians. We also use fair trade tea, coffee, sugar, chocolate, biscuits and other goods in our office. To our audience, we promote the importance of Fair Trade and of protecting our rainforests, and demonstrate that every one of us can impact our world for the better, no matter how small the steps we take!
We believe in constantly improving!
Since being awarded Ethical Accreditation in 2016 we have not stopped in our efforts to become more ethical!
Rather, we have continued to raise the bar for ourselves and our business by setting ourselves new sustainability goals, and seeking to improve the systems that we already have in place.
Here are some of our favourite examples of ways in which we’ve evolved our business in recent years:
1. We’re Corporate partners to the Soil association and the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil)
We help them to campaign for and raise awareness around organic farming, agriculture, land management, food, drinks and cosmetics, and sustainable palm oil.
2. We hold weekly yoga classes
in our office! We strongly believe in the importance of all of our health and wellness and are proud to give our staff the opportunity to join our weekly yoga classes. Our yoga teacher, Natalie, from Love Yoga Tree, comes in every Thursday to host an hour’s yoga class which is popular with the whole team.
3. We’ve twinned our Toilets
2 billion people don’t have somewhere safe or hygienic to go to the toilet (WHO/Unicef). Toilet Twinning enables families living in poverty to have lifesaving loos that improve sanitation, health, and wellness. We have two toilets in the office, and Gail and Gareth have two at their home. All four toilets are twinned with toilets from around the world through the Toilet Twinning organization.
4. We are an approved Brand of Inspiration
We’re delighted to have teamed up with Positive News as one of their Brands of Inspiration. Brands of Inspiration are purpose-led organisations with positive stories to tell and Positive News journalists report on the positive social and environmental change that we are passionate about contributing to.
5. We’re doing what we can to be a plastic-free business by
- Removing and not bringing single-use plastics into the office.
- Making better purchasing decisions so that we can choose alternatives to plastic.
- Highlighting alternatives to plastic to our audience.
- Ensuring that what little plastic does come into the office is either used for as long as possible or is recycled.
6. We’ve also teamed up with a number of organizations in 2020 to deliver some valuable training to our audience about sustainability!
The RSPO are delivering training to our audience this year on the subject of sustainable palm oil.
Baraka Shea Butter will also be delivering a number of different training sessions over the coming few months! They will be sharing the importance of sustainable community projects like theirs and explaining the process of creating sustainable palm oil production with smallholdings.
Wayne Dunn, President & Founder of the CSR Training Institute and former professor of practice in Corporate Social Responsibility at McGill University will be delivering training to our audience about how businesses can make a difference in the world and become a force for good.
7. In addition to that, we’re creating a new course this year
oriented around reducing plastic waste and packaging in cosmetics. It also answers the call amongst consumers for more waterless beauty products (click here to find out more about what waterless beauty is).
Our Certificate in Making Zero Waste Cosmetics is coming soon!
As our global audience continues to grow, and more and more students enroll in our courses, we are raising awareness of natural and organic skincare as an ethical option for consumers.
In addition to this, our students and graduates are contributing to the availability of beautiful, safe, and effective natural skincare products across the globe.
Achieving our Ethical Accreditation was a proud and important moment in the history of our company, and we are so excited to continue exploring the many ways in which we can keep expanding our commitment to running a green business and having a positive impact on our world!
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