Berner’s environmental responsibility is guided by our environmental program. The focus of our environmental responsibility is on increasing the energy efficiency and material efficiency of our operations, minimizing environmental impacts and developing new environmentally friendly products and services.
Our focus areas for 2018–2020 are responsible packaging and raw materials as well as minimizing the environmental impacts of production and transport.
Our operations are certified under the ISO 9001 quality management certificate, the ISO 14001 environmental management certificate and the ISO 22716 certificate regarding the manufacture and storage of cosmetics and hygiene products.
You can read more about our environmental responsibility in our annual report 2018.
DEVELOPING SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING SOLUTIONS
Our aim is to develop and implement new ecological packaging solutions for our products. We participate in Finnish innovation efforts aimed at replacing traditional plastic packaging with biodegradable packaging, and we are also increasing the use of recycled plastic. At the beginning of 2019, we began developing Berner’s plastic roadmap.
Achievements in 2018
We continued the collaboration we began in the previous year with Sulapac Ltd to develop innovative packaging solutions, with LV All Around Cream Our becoming our first product to be sold in Sulapac’s biodegradable packaging.
Manufactured in Heinävesi and launched near the end of the year, the HETI series of cleaning products and laundry detergents is packaged in bottles that are made from recycled plastic and can be recycled again. The economy package of the LV Color liquid laundry detergent manufactured in Heinävesi uses 75 percent less plastic than a plastic bottle of a corresponding size.
We took a step forward in sustainability in our GreenCare products after the use of recycled plastic began at the Saarijärvi production plant following extensive testing. The shift to use recycled plastic will save approximately 35,000 kg of plastic in 2019
85 percent of our plastic packaging is recyclable
The plastic packaging materials of all of our products manufactured in Heinävesi are suitable for plastic recycling (XZ, LV, Herbina, HETI, Rajamäen vinegar, Lasol, Korrek). 85 percent of our plastic packaging is recyclable.
The paperboard and cardboard used in the packaging of the products we manufacture ourselves is recyclable, as are our glass and metal packaging materials. We manage the producer responsibility associated with the recycling of our packaging via an agreement with Finnish Packaging Recycling RINKI Ltd.
Targets for 2025
We will continue the development of packaging innovation in the coming years as technology develops. Our goal is that, by 2025, all of our packaging is recyclable, recycled or reusable.
We also aim to have 5 percent of our products packaged in biobased and microplastic-free material by 2025. We want to develop packaging solutions whose life-cycle environmental impacts are minimized.
RESPONSIBLE RAW MATERIALS
We develop products for cosmetics, agriculture and gardening that contain local bio-based raw materials as well as raw materials that originate from the by-products of the bioindustries and the food industry.
Promoting the circular economy
Launched in 2017, Berner’s first circular economy product, GreenCare Ympäristön Ystävä garden fertilizer, has been well received by environmentally conscious consumers. The product family grew in 2018 to include more packaging sizes and its retail network was expanded.
We are committed to developing ecological product innovations through circular economy solutions and we are investigating new opportunities for recycling nutrients to support sustainable development in both home gardening and professional agriculture.
Microplastics eliminated from all of Berner’s own products
Over the past few years, we have engaged in extensive product development to eliminate microplastics from our cosmetics products due to their negative impact on the environment. The last of our products to contain microplastics, the LV Hoitava roll-on antiperspirant, was reformulated in 2018. All of the cosmetics products manufactured by Berner in 2019 are completely free of microplastics.
The use of microplastics in the other cosmetics and skincare products manufactured by us was already discontinued in 2015 when Cosmetics Europe issued a recommendation to the cosmetics industry to discontinue the use of microplastics in cosmetics products by 2020.
We source palm oil from RSPO members
All of the palm oil we use to manufacture our own brands of cosmetics and skincare products is sourced from members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). RSPO develops principles for sustainable palm oil production.
Our target is to increase the proportion of RSPO Mass Balance palm oil derivatives to at least 85 percent in 2019. We further aim to reach 100 percent certified RSPO quality by 2022 at the latest. This new target will require us to focus on recipe development.
MINIMIZING THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF PRODUCTION AND TRANSPORT
We began using green electricity at all of Berner’s Finnish operating locations in 2018. We also prepared a preliminary plan for a solar power investment at our production plants in Heinävesi and our logistics center in Viinikkala. We will assess the feasibility of the investment in 2019.
We increased direct deliveries from Heinävesi to our customers’ central warehouses and terminals across Finland, which enabled us to reduce the number of kilometers driven.
In 2018, we joined the S Group’s Big Deal climate campaign aimed at reducing emissions. Our commitments under the campaign are related to the use of renewable energy, improving energy efficiency and developing lower-emission products.
SUSTAINABLE AND ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY CHOICES FOR CONSUMERS
The Nordic Ecolabel, also known as the Swan label, is objective indication of the eco-friendliness, safety and high quality of a product or service. In total, 70 of our products carry the Nordic Ecolabel.
A total of 405 of our products now have the Key Flag symbol, which indicates that the product is manufactured in Finland and supports Finnish employment.
In total, 111 products are now approved by the Allergy, Skin and Asthma Federation. The Allergy Label is issued to products whose safety and reliability has been proved by independent studies. Products that carry the Allergy Label are free of fragrances and commonly allergenic or irritant agents. In home appliances, the Allergy Label reflects features that help reduce indoor air impurities. All products that carry the Allergy Label satisfy detailed category-specific criteria.
Of the products we manufacture in Heinävesi, three are certified organic.