7 ways we’re reducing our impact on the planet
From sustainable ingredients to recycled packaging, this is what we’re doing to reduce our environmental footprint.
They might be tiny, but every vitamin, mineral, and nutritional supplement you take has a big impact on the planet. That’s why we’ve added a full dose of sustainability, ethical manufacturing, and eco-conscious policies into every bottle of our Smart Supplement.
This is how we’re trying to make a difference.
1. We only use plant-based omega 3.
Most omega 3 supplements use fish oil. It’s cheap, and there seems to be a lot of it.
In fact, almost all fish oil supplements are processed from the Peruvian anchoveta, which is the most heavily fished fish in the world. Much of the catch is claimed to be sustainably fished, but those claims are disputed, and Peru’s anchoveta stock is now at risk of collapse.
On top of that, most of the processing takes place in China. The fish get shipped across the world twice, before they end up on the shelf, often rancid.
We don’t think that’s good enough. We only use plant-based omega 3, derived from algae oil. It’s grown in aquaculture tanks, so that it has zero effect on marine ecosystems. Plus, it doesn’t leave that fishy taste.
2. We only use vitamin D from vegan sources.
Much of the vitamin D3 on the market comes from a substance called lanolin. They call it that because ‘wax extracted from sheep’s wool’ is less enticing.
But beyond being a bit gross, using products from sheep is problematic for the environment. Along with cattle, goats, and several other animals, sheep are ruminants. And ruminant farming accounts for as much as 11.6% of total greenhouse gas emissions. The less we farm ruminants, the smaller the greenhouse gas emissions.
That’s why, at Heights, we use vitamin D3 that’s been extracted from lichen, a composite organism (part-algae, part fungus) that literally grows on trees and rocks.
3. We don’t use palm oil. Ever.
If you look on the label of any supplement, you’re unlikely to see it advertising the use of palm oil. But many will contain palm oil in one form or another. Lots of additives (including industrial soaps and surfactants) require fat, and palm oil is often the cheapest option available.
But palm oil plantations are responsible for deforestation, ecosystem destruction, and a staggering loss of biodiversity. So you won’t find us using it. Ever.
4. We only use recyclable packaging.
We often get asked about our packaging. After all, it’s plastic. That’s bad, right?
Having conducted lifecycle assessments, we’ve found that our recyclable plastic bottle has a 3x smaller carbon footprint than a glass bottle. And while compostable film or sachets sound great, current estimates suggest only 3% are actually composted. On top of that, the cardboard and paper in our packaging is 100% recycled, and 100% recyclable. That means the environmental impact of our packaging is roughly equivalent to watching one hour of Netflix.
5. But we aren’t finished yet.
That said, we can always do better. Reducing consumption is the most impactful thing we can do to help the environment.
We were recently awarded a grant from WRAP, in conjunction with the UK government, as part of their Circular Plastics Flagship Projects Competition. They decided that we were in a position ‘to challenge and change the status quo’, which was quite nice to hear.
We’re using the money to develop an innovative refill system, so that you can reuse our bottles, and reduce single-use plastics.
6. We use local manufacturing facilities.
We regularly analyse our supply chains, to find out where we can shorten them. Because simply put, a shorter chain equals fewer carbon emissions. This means that we work with local UK manufacturers to ensure the lowest number of transport miles possible.
For example, we used to deliver the Smart Supplement in a compostable container. But the manufacturing took place overseas, so by switching to UK-produced, recycled cardboard, we managed to reduce our environmental footprint further.
7. We’re a Certified B Corporation.
We’re a certified B corporation. The certification process is thorough, and can take over a year to complete, with assessments of everything from environmental impact, to transparency, to employee welfare.
It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. Being a B Corp positions us as leaders in the movement for environmental and ethical business, and it demonstrates an independently verified, legally enforceable commitment to sustainability and governance, aligned with the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals. And as we are required to undergo the verification process every three years in order to recertify, it shows that we’re committed to continuous improvement.
Our efforts to become even more sustainable won’t slow down. The initiatives above are just the beginning. If you’re interested in finding out more about our commitment to sustainability, read more here.