sustainability

ask saskia

posted July 30, 2014 by Maria |

Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 10.33.02 AM

Q. your website says that you evaluate every ingredient that goes into your products—what does that mean?  

— matthew w., san leandro, ca

A. i love to cook. right now i am up to my ears in the bounty of summer—rosy red tomatoes, crisp peppers and perfectly juicy peaches. yum. i love to experiment with new foods and new recipes, but i would never put any ingredient into any dish without knowing what it is, where it comes from and if it’s healthy.

method’s greenskeepers (sustainability guardians) and green chefs (in-house chemists) have the same approach to making soap.

the thing is, soap is simple. a cleaning agent—we call them solvents and surfactants—works to pull away oily and sticky stains, allowing them to mix with water and wash away.

but making soap is actually quite complicated—especially if you’re a company trying to do the right thing. the more we learn, the deeper we can go, and the more we ways we can improve. method’s greenskeepers look at the full life of a product including the environmental, community and health-related impacts. in our pursuit of ingredients that have the best social and environmental footprint, we ask our suppliers where our ingredients come from and how they are made.

and to finally answer your question, we work with a third-party to evaluate every ingredient, ensuring that we only use ingredients that work for people and the planet. the independent research institute McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) assesses every ingredient before it is considered for any formula. MBDC considers over a dozen environmental and health characteristics, for example:

health

short term: non-toxic; non-irritating for eyes, skin and the respiratory system

long term: not carcinogenic, not endocrine disrupting, not a reproductive toxin, not a developmental toxin

environmental

biodegradable, not bioaccumulative, low aquatic toxicity

greenskeepers work very closely with our green chefs, and if an ingredient has an environmental or health concern, we won’t use it. we also use the assessments from MBDC to work with our suppliers to help them develop safer ingredients. these assessments help us screen out dirty ingredients. you might say that it’s one way of keeping the rotten apples out of our pies.

saskia

saskia is our resident greenskeeping manager, though we like to call her “captain planet.” got a green question for saskia? email it to asksaskia@methodhome.com. questions will be chosen at random and answers will be posted on our blog. 

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new map sheds light on ocean plastic

posted May 9, 2014 by Maria |

Dive_Against_Debris_North_America

the ocean plastic problem is one that is very close to our hearts. the desire to shed light on this problem was the driving force behind method’s ocean plastic bottles, the world’s first bottles made with a blend of recovered ocean plastic and post-consumer recycled plastic. so when California-based Project AWARE approached us to help spread the word on their new Dive Against Debris map, we were happy to comply.

DAD_SunshineDivers_KohTao

Project AWARE was founded more than 20 years ago by a group of professional divers concerned about the declining state of the underwater world. today, the organization supports a global movement of more than 20,000 scuba diving volunteers who are working to clean up oceans in their own local communities. the Dive Against Debris map offers a view of their findings from more than 1,000 underwater surveys in 60 countries. some sad takeaways:

Aquarius Diving Club

to donate to or learn more about Project AWARE, visit projectaware.org. to learn more about method’s ocean plastic efforts, click here.

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best for the environment

posted May 29, 2013 by saskia |

Best for the World Envir LG

method is thrilled to announce that we’re the #1 B Corp for Environment! that means of the more than 650 B Corporations worldwide, we have the #1 score for our environmental performance.

as you know, we do things differently around here, and we take special care to stand out when it comes to our commitment to the environment.

here are a few unique ways we’re leading on sustainability:

-          providing incentives to our processors to reduce their energy and water use

-          certifying our products under the Cradle to Cradle standard

-          working in a LEED certified office space

-          sourcing recycled plastic packaging and biodegradable ingredients in our products

-          calculating and making strides to minimize our carbon footprint

-          buying wind power credits for our office and supplier energy

-          providing incentives to employees who ride their bikes to work

 

in case you’re not familiar, Benefit Corporations – or B Corps – define success as a commitment to environmental and social performance in addition to profit. method embraces the B Corp framework because it aligns our social, environmental, and stakeholder interests.

because it is audited annually by a third party, method uses our B Corp certification as a real time account of our environmental and social responsibility. instead of creating a fancy report showing everything we’re doing every year, we just link to our B Corp assessment. anyone can see our B Corp survey on-line anytime. method also uses our assessment as a benchmark for how we’re doing, and how we can continue to do better over time.

social and environmental principles have always been a part of method’s core values. who we are and what we do as a company are the secret ingredients in our special sauce.

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the smartest smarty dish yet

posted April 24, 2013 by meagan |

getting your dishes sparkling clean is no small feat. just ask anyone who has encountered that pesky, chalky film that happens in hard water areas. here’s the good news: we’ve recently developed some new, natural technologies that actually work.  take that, hard water.

for years, we’ve been making smarty dish®, a little tablet that packs a big punch against stuck-on food. but in areas with excessively-mineralized water, we needed something stronger. we needed to call in the big guns, so to speak.

smarty dish plus

we’re exceedingly proud of what we created in our lab. smarty dish® plus puts the smack down on hard water and tough stains. even better? it’s plant-based, which means it won’t hurt the environment.

“in developing smarty dish® plus, we used a new hard water control agent derived from yeast that isn’t widespread in the industry. it’s one of the most sustainable ingredients we’ve ever used,” explains fred, our green chef who developed the technology. after smarty dish® plus does its job cleaning dishes, it’s readily degradable. EDTA (an ingredient found in many traditional dishwasher detergents) carries metals into the environment in a cumulative fashion, making them available to the food chain – think mercury in fish.

so what’s in this remarkable little guy? we call it “triple action power”. allow me to explain:

triple_action_500x125

detergent: it dissolves sticky food like a dream. plus, it’s naturally-derived and EDTA-free, so it won’t harm the fishes.

rinse aid: smarty dish® plus has a rinse-aid built in. genius, right?

hard water resistance: polymers made from chicory starch disperse hard water deposits so they don’t end up on your dishes.  in fact, we’ve found the formula to be effective in resisting over 95% of hard water in the US.

you can find smarty dish® plus right here or at most Target stores.

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in the spirit of transparency

posted October 18, 2012 by rachel |

we want to clear the air about our ratings on the Environmental Working Group’s “Guide to Healthy Cleaning.” frankly, we were shocked to see grades of D and F assigned to many of our products, considering our commitment and innovation in developing effective, non-toxic products that are safe for the people, pets and the planet.

we immediately reached out to the EWG team to understand how our products and ingredients could have been dinged so badly by their ratings system.

what we found is that the EWG ratings system, although noble in its effort to provide meaningful product safety ratings to shoppers, is incomplete and too broad, which results in misleading conclusions. we firmly believe in what the EWG wants to do. where we don’t align is how they are going about it, from a scientific perspective.

we actively promote the transparent disclosure of ingredients, as you know from all the information we provide on our web site and on our product labels. in fact, we share considerably more than the government requires because we believe that we all have the right to know what is in the products that we bring into our homes. we’ve even taken a stand at state and national levels to bring greater transparency to cleaning product labeling.

we expect EWG’s results to be thoroughly researched, up-to-date and truly reflective of a company’s ingredients and products. unfortunately, we don’t feel the current ratings guide does this, but we hope the EWG will continue working to make its ratings model more scientifically accurate. in the meantime, we will continue to try to work with their team to provide information about method products so our scores truly represent the ingredients that we use.

we’re sorry if the EWG ratings guide left you feeling confused or concerned about any of our products. reach out to us directly if you have any questions regarding our products or ingredient scores on EWG’s site. we know you trust us to help keep your home clean and free of toxins. as people against dirty, we take that very seriously.

if you’re still curious, a better indicator of our commitment to product safety and sustainability is our Cradle to Cradle® certification, which we consider to be the highest standard available and includes extensive measures for safety, toxicity and environmental impact. learn more here: http://methodhome.com/greenskeeping/cradle-to-cradle-company/.

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