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Back to Stewardship

Doing business sustainably involves measuring your success in terms of social and environmental responsibility as well as financial results — assessing the "triple bottom line" of people, planet and profit. Our co-op values are the basis for our belief in and support of sustainability. We care deeply about the effect Frontier has on the world we live in — the people and communities we do business with, the way the production of our botanical products affects the environment, the holistic health of us all.

We consider, track and report on the sustainability of every step of growing, buying, processing, packaging, and shipping our products, along with the well being of the people involved in each of those steps.

This page provides a brief description of some major areas of concentration in our overall sustainability effort here at Frontier. We'll also provide a number of links if you'd like more information on specific aspects of sustainability. (For a comprehensive and detailed review of all our sustainability initiatives, see our annual Sustainability Report.

Sustainable Sourcing

Our sustainability efforts begin at the source — with the environment and people around the world who produce the botanicals we purchase. We deal ethically with our growers and their communities and work with them to preserve and protect their resources. We are committed to sustainable sourcing. We track the percentage of our product that is certifiably sustainably sourced with the goal of raising that percentage to 100%.

We offer fair prices, dealing directly with growers whenever possible so they get maximum compensation for their products. Through programs like our own comprehensive sustainable sourcing program, Well Earth, and purchasing Fair Trade Certified products, we help growers develop certified organic, sustainable production methods and improve social conditions for workers and their families and communities.

Sustainable Operations

We also have a commitment to sustainability in the storage, processing, packaging and shipping of our sustainability sourced products. We are work continuously to use energy more efficiently and reduce waste of all kinds in every aspect of our operations. Our efforts in this area run the gamut from re-establishing a tallgrass prairie on 28 acres of our land in Norway to turning of light when we leave our offices. We have converted to 100% renewable energy through the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) Green Tag program. We were one of the first distribution centers to provide 100% carbon neutral shipping, offsetting carbon generated from shipping. Frontier is a member of the EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) Green Power Partnership Program. Sustainability is a consideration in every operational decision made — from building to commuting, from equipment purchases to scheduling.

Detailed information on our initiatives to make operations more sustainable are available in the Operations section our Sustainability Report.

Community Involvement

Each of us is a member of a variety of communities based on geography, interests and social interactions. This holds true for a business like Frontier as well. In addition to the social contributions made to grower communities through our Well Earth Program and the sale of Fair Trade Certified products, we are active in our support of our community of employees, our local community here in Iowa, the organic and natural products communities and others. We support socially and environmentally responsible causes and organizations in all of these communities, through a variety of funds, including the Frontier Foundation, the Simply Organic 1% fund, the Aura Cacia Organic Fund and our Community Giving Team. You can see details on our community giving in the Community section of our annual Sustainability Report. The report also has a section on our Employee initiatives.

We also maintain a list of the organizations we contribute to with a profile of each.

Sustainability Report

The keystone of Frontier sustainability is our annual Sustainability Report. The online report is completely transparent and accessible to all. It details our environmental and social objectives, our initiatives, our long- and short-term goals and our results -- both accomplishments and disappointments. The report is divided into six sections — sourcing, products and packaging, customers, operations, employees and community. Each of these sections analyzes the efforts to improve sustainability in the area and provides the quantifiable results of those efforts. The online format allowsfor regular updating and links to related information. We also encourage readers to share their questions, opinions and ideas with us via email links throughout the report.

Frontier is a member of the Food Trade Sustainability Leadership Association (FTSLA), a non-profit trade organization for the organic food trade. The organization is dedicated to helping members improve their sustainability performance and has developed a report format based 11 key sustainability areas. We submit these FTSLA metrics to the organization each year and have also made them a part of our online Sustainability Report.