Q: You are the first beauty company manufacturing with 100% wind power. Why did you adopt this ambitious strategy and how did you achieve it?
Aveda is guided by our Mission, which states, “Our mission at Aveda is to care for the world we live in, from the products we make, to the ways in which we give back to society. At Aveda, we strive to set an example for environmental leadership and responsibility, not just in the world of beauty, but around the world.” This mission is key in our decision making, so it was very natural for us to seek to support wind energy.
We were able to purchase wind energy from wind farms directly from our electric utility, Xcel, through their Windsource program. Since 2006, we have used Windsource program electricity for our primary manufacturing facility, corporate headquarters and Midwest Distribution Center in Blaine, Minnesota, as well as the Aveda Institute Minneapolis. We also purchase Renewable Energy Credits from projects such as a wind turbine at an Indiana school that reduces greenhouse gas pollution while providing educational opportunities for students to balance the electricity used by other company operations, and we purchase carbon offsets from wind farms covering our onsite emissions from use of natural gas. In addition, we balance the lifecycle carbon emissions from the manufacture and use of our aerosol hairsprays, primarily with wind generated carbon offsets. Of course, we still have a ways to go – while we have balanced the GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions associated with our primary manufacturing facility in the United States, our makeup manufacturing in Canada and the manufacture, transportation and use of our aerosol products through the purchase of wind power through the electrical grid and GHG emissions offsets, approximately 6% of Aveda products are manufactured by a third party which does not purchase wind power or C02 offsets.
Also, most of the transportation, use, disposal and other impacts of most Aveda products are not covered by offsets.
Q: Why did you choose to use wind power?
We know that utility scale wind is the cheapest renewable, in many cases competitive with the price of fossil fuel generated power. We were anxious to support the development of this industry in order to help further drive costs down, and we found that buying wind power through our utility was the easiest and most cost effective way to use renewable energy.
Q: Is this strategy positively impacting on your brand and marketing?
We believe that our support of wind power has helped set our brand apart by demonstrating the environmental leadership we strive for as set out in our Mission. When they learn that we were the first beauty company to manufacture with 100% wind power at our primary manufacturing facility our guests see that we truly live the Aveda Mission, and it is one of the things that makes our employees and salon network professionals feel good about being part of Aveda.
Q: The environment is important to Aveda. What is your message to world leaders attending the COP21 climate change summit in Paris?
Aveda has long been committed to addressing climate change as a primary threat to the biological diversity we depend on for many of the ingredients in our products, and we see it as one of the most critical issues facing the world today. We urge leaders gathering in Paris to reach a meaningful global agreement to keep global warming below 2 degrees C, the level at which scientists believe we can avoid the most catastrophic impacts to our planet. We have recently launched an online petition inviting people around the world to join Aveda and our partners, the National Audubon Society, in calling on world leaders to take a stand on climate change. The petition is at: www.aveda.com/onevoiceoneworld.