As a social enterprise, our core goal is to provide meaningful employment for people with disabilities. We see employment as the tip of the iceberg – not only does it build skills, it provides financial independence and encourages less reliance on others. Actually, we like to say we are disrupting and changing views about just what people with disabilities and long-term health conditions are able to achieve in the workplace and in life, because we fundamentally believe that everyone is capable of doing something great.
Our ethos around sustainability is no less proactive or hard-hitting. The Soap Co. is committed to sourcing sustainably in all aspects of its manufacturing process and influencing both consumers and businesses through our example.
The Soap Co. with its Eco & Bee Friendly collection is making real headway in the retail, corporate and hospitality space, affording us a unique opportunity to promote our eco and sustainability agenda to an ever-widening cohort of people concerned to make a difference to our planet's health. By way of example, The Soap Co. can be found in The Conran Shop, corporate washrooms and the hospitality sector, including Michelin starred restaurants like Cornerstone.
Our new brands proudly carry The Planet Mark™ logo on their packaging. Our organisation holds this influential sustainability certification, a powerful endorsement of our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint year on year using clear metrics. In 2017, we reduced this damaging footprint by 15% as we undertook a number of initiatives to do what we can, as effectively as we can. It's not always easy as we grow, but we do enjoy a challenge!
We now, for example, have established a Green Team – tasked with disseminating clear ideas of how we as a workforce and organisation are tackling a host of relevant issues. We have turned our boiler down, switched to green energy that uses only sustainable energy sources, set up recycling stations, purchased only Forest Stewardship Council paper – and so on.
The Soap Co. deliver efficacious hand and body care products that are pro planet and pro people too. They appeal to more savvy and concerned shoppers that are ready to consume ethically – resisting the type of consumerism that pays little regard to ethics of any description. As we enter the corporate supply chain, we are enabling people to be part of a wider movement, creating a ripple effect across society.
It's an unbeatable combination, sustainable products that are good and that do good. We are seeing that CSR is no longer a tick box exercise but one that, if ignored, leaves businesses open to the reasonable charge of just not caring enough. We are watching as individuals abandon hope solely in Government to act – and are acting themselves to make a difference and to play their part. That is social and environmental impact in action, and if we have learnt anything, it is that any and all action to change things for the better is never ever wasted. Sustainability is just the beginning. We are aiming for net positive.