Thrive Market, the American membership-based online retailer for natural and organic products, has set its sights on becoming the “world’s first climate positive grocery store” by 2025. In addition to going “beyond carbon neutral”, the company has pledged to become plastic-free and double down on their food access, regenerative agriculture and social impact initiatives.
Los Angeles-headquartered online retailer Thrive Market recently announced a new set of bold sustainability commitments, saying that it plans to go further than net-zero to become a “climate positive grocery store” by 2025. The marketplace, known for its selection of non-GMO products suited to almost all preferences, including paleo, gluten-free, vegan and allergen-free diets and lifestyles, has been “carbon neutral since launch” but will now be chartering a new course to reduce its emissions further to ensure that its is putting out fewer greenhouse gases than it emits.
“We’ve been a carbon-neutral company since our founding in 2015, but our planet deserves more. We’re pushing ourselves to take additional action for a better future,” said the firm in its annual impact report.
Currently, Thrive Market’s fulfillment centres are completely powered by wind energy and are LEED-certified buildings. Most of their operational emissions come from the use of paper, and the firm says they’ve offsetted their footprint by investing conservation projects to protect the Brazilian Amazon rainforest in partnership with Carbonfund.
One of the key ways the B-Corp certified company plans to bring its emissions down even further is through its newly launched regenerative organic program, which will involve working with small farmers to promote regenerative practices. This will boost biodiversity, soil health and carbon sequestration.
Another aspect of its climate plan is a clamp-down on plastic use and packaging waste. So far, the company manages to divert around 90% of all the waste it generates, ensuring that it’s recycled, composted or reused instead of ending up in landfills.
To increase the figure to 100%, the retailer says it’ll make its waste-free pledge official with the Zero Waste Certification in 2022 and begin piloting a plastic recycling program this year. By 2023, Thrive Market hopes to be a completely plastic-neutral company.
In line with their socially-conscious ethos, Thrive Market will continue to ramp up its support to various causes, which include projects to improve healthy food access to underserved communities to “make healthy living accessible to every American” as well as environmental relief campaigns.
In 2020, the company’s membership donations supported nonprofits such as the St. Vincent de Paul Society and WWF Australia to provide relief to communities and animals impacted by the devastating Australian wildfires, well-building projects for clean water in the Tigre region of Ethiopia, and sending healthy meals to Feeding America to distribute to people in the U.S. who are rebuilding from hurricanes and natural disasters.
Introducing the platform’s new “ambitious and imperative climate action” policies and social commitments, Thrive Market co-founder and CEO Nick Green said: “We’re building a better market and a brighter future.”
“2020 had its own impact. Its losses, its distance, and its challenges forever changed the life we knew. Yet as we continue to make our way in this new world, we find ourselves hopeful about the future.”
Already popular among conscious consumers, Thrive Market’s latest announcements are likely to be cheered on with eco-shoppers, especially the millennials and Gen Zs market who are willing to spend more on value-led brands and sustainable products more than ever before.
The move could also have a ripple effect across the retail industry, giving companies the much-needed nudge to step up their sustainability efforts. “We know that everyone can win and business can be a catalyst for positive change,” explained Jeremiah McElwee, Thrive Market’s chief merchandising officer, in a blog post about their pledge.
“All it takes is some thoughtfulness, collaboration, empathy, and commitment.”
All images courtesy of Thrive Market.