A Sustainable Force of Nature

Dec 20, 2022 | Products, Sustainability

For half a century, Nature’s Sunshine has embraced its mission of sharing the healing power of nature with the world. We harness the power of pure, potent herbs to bring their healing properties to millions of people across the globe. One of the ways we do this is by making sure that nature’s beauty and power are preserved for future generations, so you and your children—and their children, too—can enjoy its benefits.  

At its heart, our natural world is a sustainable, self-supporting system. The “circle of life” as Elton John sang, is pretty incredible…as long as we don’t get in the way. That’s why our focus on environmental wellness is so important. We’re excited to share how Nature’s Sunshine is committed to being a responsible corporate citizen and becoming one of the most sustainable companies in the world. 

We’re working to minimize our impact on nature through sustainable sourcing of our pure and potent herbs, using renewable energy sources to reduce our carbon footprint, and converting to more sustainable, eco-friendly manufacturing processes and packaging options to reduce waste. Whether we’re sourcing, manufacturing, testing or distributing our products, our commitment to caring for our planet constantly guides our actions.  

Our Commitment to Sustainable Sourcing

Sustainable sourcing starts…you guessed it…at the source, and that’s why Nature’s Sunshine is one of the most sustainable sourcing companies. We’ve been the herbal experts for more than 50 years, and over that time, we’ve built tremendous relationships with our suppliers, farmers and harvesters to ensure that they care about nature’s power as much as we do.  

Nature’s Sunshine ethically sources hundreds of unique raw ingredients and botanicals from various ecosystems across the globe that are both cultivated and wild-crafted. We’re constantly looking to partner with farmers and collectors who share our passion for clean, pure, sustainable botanical materials.  

“When you care about plants and the power they offer, sustainability has to be a primary focus.”
—Tom Fourt
Vice President, Global Marketing 

As we’re committed to being one of the most sustainable companies, we don’t just buy raw herbs and botanicals from our vendors. We go out to their farms and facilities around the world to see the process, participate in harvests and ensure they measure up to our standards. 

Whether it’s going on the kelp harvest in the North Atlantic to personally witness and ensure sustainable harvesting, walking the forests of the Pacific northwest with our suppliers to hand-harvest cascara sagrada bark, or working with suppliers to teach Asian farmers about crop rotation to create larger, more nutrient-dense harvests, we are invested in working with those who share our values.   

Responsible farming, cultivation and harvesting is helping us reach our goal of using only non-GMO botanicals—we’re currently over 85% non-GMO—with a priority on regenerative agriculture and organic herbs and botanicals whenever possible.  

Our Commitment to Sustainable Manufacturing

Sustainable Manufacturing embodies a number of our environmental wellness endeavors, from energy consumption and carbon emissions to waste reduction and eco-friendly packaging. In all of these areas, we’ve been making strides toward becoming one of the world’s most sustainable companies.  

Powering Our Progress Renewably 

We’ve been harnessing nature’s power for over 50 years, and now we’re harnessing that power in a new and exciting way! 

This past year, we took a significant step towards becoming one of the most sustainable energy companies by converting our Spanish Fork, Utah manufacturing plan to 100% solar power. Now every supplement produced in our state-of-the-art facility will be crafted using only the pure, unfiltered power of the sun!  

To make this happen, we partnered with a local solar farm that began operations in December of 2021. Situated on more than 500 acres, the farm features over 250,000 solar panels that supply electricity to six communities across central Utah.   

With this transition, 91% of our US operations are powered renewably, while 82% of our global operations use sustainable energy. Going solar in our manufacturing has also dramatically reduced our environmental impact, cutting our own carbon emissions* by 42%!   

Reducing Our Waste Responsibly 

Much of our impact on the natural world is measured by what we leave behind. We’ve all seen beaches, parks, forests and more littered with the remnants of people’s presence. So we’re aiming to be part of the solution, and that starts in our manufacturing processes. 

Earlier this year, we implemented a large-scale recycling effort at our US distribution centers, where much of our waste comes from cardboard boxes and other shipping materials. Our goal for the first year of this program’s operation is to move from recycling 8% of our waste to over 45%. And by 2025, we hope to increase this to 90% of our waste. 

Additionally, we’re working with our manufacturing plant to significantly reduce waste through aggressive recycling and composting programs. With this new program, we estimate that we can reduce our waste by approximately 75%. That’s equivalent to almost 300 metric tons!   

Packaging Our Products Sustainably 

Remember all that litter on the beaches and such? Most of that comes from the packaging of consumer products. So, we’re tackling that one head on. In our efforts to be a more sustainable packaging company, we’re constantly assessing and adjusting our packaging to reduce waste on our end and for the consumer.  

Over 90% of our encapsulated supplements are packaged in bottles made with 100% post-consumer recycled PET plastic. We’re cleaning up the trash and doing something useful with it! Plus, we’re transitioning away from plastic bottles for many of our other supplements.  

For example, for our powdered products and some of our liquids, we’re moving away from plastic jars to foil pouches and bags. Not only does this significantly reduce consumer waste, it also reduces our overall carbon footprint as pouches dramatically reduce shipping size and weight. They also require 90% less energy to create, leading to fewer emissions and less waste.  

We moved our 2 oz. liquid chlorophyll product for Taiwan to a flexible foil pouch in 2021. Shipping one year’s supply of pouches to us took only 3% of the pallets previously used for a year’s supply of plastic bottles. The new packaging also resulted in 66% less packaging weight and 90% less post-consumer waste! (Maybe make this whole thing a pullout or sidebar) 

Sustainability Is Our Future 

As a force of nature, we are committed to protecting nature and creating a healthier planet by being environmentally responsible at every level of our supply chain and in every community we touch. Building sustainability into our business not only makes sense but it’s just the right thing to do.  

“Sustainability will be at the forefront of our company’s next 50 years.”
—Trent McCausland
Vice President, Sustainability & Transparency 

We realize it’s a process. For all we’ve done to incorporate sustainability into our business, we’re constantly on the lookout for new and better options to protect our planet and the plants and people that make our business possible.  

Through conscious choices to adapt more sustainable options—whether in sourcing, manufacturing, or distributing our products—we’re ensuring that more people can experience the healing power of nature for themselves. 

To learn more about our efforts—and to see our sustainability goals for the future—check our 2021 Environmental, Social and Governance Report that was published earlier this year.