First Oregon company earns Platinum Zero Waste Facility Certification

by Brianna Crandall — January 11, 2017 — The U.S. Zero Waste Business Council (USZWBC) recently announced that Mountain Rose Herbs, an e-commerce company that has offered organic, fair trade and sustainably sourced botanical products nationwide since 1987, is the first business in Oregon to earn a Zero Waste Facility Certification from Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI). Mountain Rose Herbs was awarded the highest available certification — Platinum.

In 2015, Mountain Rose Herbs achieved a landfill diversion rate of over 96 percent. Companies that are awarded the Zero Waste Facility Certification must not only meet all local, state, and federal waste regulations, but also divert at least 90 percent of all non-hazardous waste from landfills and incineration. The Platinum level is determined by achieving a required level of points verified through an on-site audit.

Mountain Rose Herbs Vice President and Co-owner Shawn Donnille commented:

As a mission-driven company, we are thrilled to finally achieve formal certification for our Zero Waste programs, which have been in place for nearly a decade. This emphasizes our commitment to absolute sustainability.

Mountain Rose Herbs adopted a Zero Waste policy in 2007. In 2012, the company added a new position that would focus on sustainability efforts to further commit to the goal. Alyssa Lawless has been director of sustainability since the position was created. Lawless added:

Our commitment goes so deep that our facilities team actually handsorts all of our trash. We also work with community partners to upcycle materials that would typically go to the landfill.

Mountain Rose Herbs is also 100% powered by renewable energy through its 25kWh solar array. Looking ahead, Lawless hopes to focus on further research around sustainable product packaging options for Mountain Rose Herbs products and becoming more involved with non-herb vendors in the supply chain to help reduce or eliminate unnecessary packaging being received.

Stephanie Barger, director of market development at GBCI, stated:

To achieve Zero Waste Platinum, companies must go beyond diversion and work upstream with vendors, closed-loop policies and total participation of employees to meet very stringent standards. Mountain Rose Herbs delivers a beautiful product through outstanding leadership. They have successfully implemented Zero Waste strategies with a positive impact on their entire supply chain and community.

The Platinum certification is now one of many of Mountain Rose Herbs’ other third-party certifications, including USDA Organic, Oregon Tilth Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Fair For Life and Salmon-Safe.

For more about Zero Waste Facility Certification, see the USZWBC Web site.