“Our vision is to have a lasting, positive impact on the wellbeing of people and the planet.
Sustainability is at the heart of what we do and who we are. We’ve been on this path for a long time now, and every day we’re learning how we can improve. Baby steps need to turn into strides, and we’re up for the challenge.
As a company and as an industry, we have some major sustainability challenges ahead of us. We don’t have all the answers, but we’re doing what we can right now for a more sustainable future in a way that is meaningful, creative and core to our business: learning how to do what we do, better.”
Lucy Butler, HealthPost Executive Director
Some of the ways we're trying to do things better.
Our Better Choices Promise:
Our strict Good Ingredients and Ethical Integrity standards means no environmental pollutants and no greenwashing. Just genuinely better products for you and the planet. Promise.
First up, we sell truly natural products, and have done for more than thirty years. So, in terms of sustainability, it makes sense to start here.
Our Better Choices Promise screens out many chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Why compromise the health of our planet when there are so many effective eco-friendly options?
We make sustainable choices easier by setting the highest standards for what we sell. We also empower consumers to make better choices for the planet by giving clear, solid and well-researched product information, even when there are no easy answers to questions like: what is a reef-safe sunscreen? We do the research, distil the findings, and present carefully vetted options.
We work behind the scenes to remove the greenwash and make sure we only sell products that are genuinely better for the environment. This involves asking hard questions of suppliers, which in turn drives supply chain transparency and more sustainable behaviour in the natural products industry. It also surfaces brands that are doing the right thing and allows them to shine.
We’ve had major natural health and skincare brands reformulate based on our Red List (Link), to remove ingredients that we’ve identified could be harmful for humans or the environment. Healthy, happy humans need a healthy, happy planet, and a holistic approach to wellness that encompasses environmental and community wellbeing is what we’re about.
HealthPost Nature Trust:
We’re restoring nature in our own backyard with our HealthPost Nature Trust. Creating an eco sanctuary at Farewell Spit to allow threatened species to flourish. Since 2009 we've also donated over $1million to other great causes. Shopping with us helps us give back in a meaningful way to better our planet.
We are based in Golden Bay and our location is a huge part of who we are. With Farewell Spit in our backyard, we feel a responsibility to protect this slice of paradise. That’s why we created the HealthPost Nature Trust, to enhance the biodiversity in the area and allow threatened species to flourish.
We were proud to be a finalist for the Sustainable Business Restoring Nature Award for our conservation efforts! While we know it’s a small step in restoring biodiversity in Aotearoa, we’re grateful for those who have rallied to support this project, providing time, money, energy and expertise.
Since 2009 we have also donated over $1 million dollars to a number of worthy causes including the Yellow-Eyed Penguin Trust and WWF China.
We only stock fish or krill products that are certified by suppliers who guarantee commitment to marine sustainability.
Over fishing is a global concern, and we’re committed to respecting our oceans to ensure sustainability for future generations. So committed in fact, that alongside our own research, we engaged an external marine sustainability expert to analyse the state of the industry, assess the various certifiers, and tell us which fisheries are the most sustainable.
Our marine sustainability policy means that any fish or krill products we stock are certified sustainable by Friends of the Sea, Marine Stewardship Council or The Global Standard for Responsible Supply. Supporting certified sustainable fisheries makes sense to combat over fishing and help protect our marine life for the future. We’ll continue to monitor the research as things evolve, and will continue to assess the impact and sustainability of fish and krill derived products to ensure it fits our criteria.
Read our full research report here.
Shop by your sustainability values:
We tell you more about the products you're shopping, so you can make an informed choice that's aligned to your personal values. You can shop by sustainable and ethical values like fair trade, carbon neutral and palm oil free.
We want to make it easy for you to shop by what matters the most. That’s why we created our Specialties - to make a better choice easier. Whether that’s Palm Oil Free, GMO Free, Sustainable Omega 3 or Recyclable Packing, you can trust you’re making a better choice for you and the planet.
We use 100% recyclable and sustainable cardboard boxes and jiffy bags when we ship your order. We steer clear of compostable courier bags that are largely made of PBAT (petroleum-based) – not for our garden, thanks. Compostable courier bags can’t be composted at commercial facilities here and contaminate soft-plastics recycling. By contrast, our paper jiffys are stuffed with post-consumer waste, closing the loop by creating much-needed demand for recycled paper.
We send out 25,000 packages around New Zealand (and the world) each month, so better packaging has long been on our radar. It was a long journey to get here, but we’re proud to say that our boxes and jiffy bags are 100% recyclable and partly made from post-consumer paper waste.
While we did look into compostable options initially, our digging lead us to the realisation that less than half of the bag was plant-based, the rest being made of petroleum!
We just weren’t comfortable suggesting our customers put these in their compost or worm bin. New research coming to the surface suggests that these compostable courier bags are in fact compromising NZ recycling systems and many commercial composting facilities aren’t accepting them.
The journey for the perfect packaging is a never ending one, and while there are always improvements to be made, we’re happy settling on our all-paper solution for now.
Read more about our journey here
As well as offsetting our carbon footprint through gold standard carbon credits, we’re developing our own carbon forest on 25 hectares of regenerating native bush bush at the start of the Bainham Valley in Golden Bay.
We’ve offset our carbon for years, and we’re now working on taking it to the next level by developing a carbon reduction plan with meaningful goals that the team can get behind. We’re also scoping local carbon projects to support in our offsetting. Like everything in the sustainability space, it seems, carbon offsetting is more complex than it first appears. Having robust carbon accounting is one thing, but there’s also the matter of deciding which offset projects sit best with our values.
Is planting new pine forests the answer, investing in renewable energy such as wind farms, supporting native regeneration, or protecting old growth forests here or offshore? These things all have value of course, but where can we have the greatest impact?
Enter the experts: Ekos ekos.co.nz specifically, who are assisting us with both carbon reporting, sourcing the credits we really care about, and putting a reduction plan in place.
We’re developing our own carbon forest on 25 hectares of regenerating native bush at the start of the Bainham Valley in Golden Bay. A feasibility study is currently being carried out by carbon expert Dr Murray McClintock as a step toward registering this land as a ‘permanent forest sink’ with the NZ Government.
A full environmental audit and sustainability strategy are in the works for 2020 – we’re experts in natural products, not the fast-changing world of sustainability best practice. That’s why we’re getting in the professionals. We know what we don’t know and we want our efforts to have maximum impact.
The great annual HealthPost tradition! Every year our committed team down tools for the day to do their own to give back to nature. Over the last 10 years we've collectively planted over 10,000 native trees around our local Golden Bay.
We’ve planted 10,000 native trees around Golden Bay in the past 10 years. We’ve never factored this into our carbon accounting. We do it for the love of getting outdoors as a team and enhancing the beauty and biodiversity of the place that we call home.
The Collingwood team expanded planting efforts in the Wharariki stream bed this year putting in more than 1000 native trees, including Nikau, Hebe, Caprosma and Kanuka. Habitat recreation is an important step toward our vision of seeing biodiversity thriving again at the tip of the South Island.
With over 70 photovoltaic panels on the roof of our warehouse in Collingwood, we’re generating a proportion of our own power.
All the little things...and the bigger picture:
We know we’re doing the best that we can right now, but we know we need to do better. And soon. It is through all of our daily habits and rituals, all the little things, that we transform our thinking, affirming that living more lightly and working collaboratively to solve the bigger challenges is a true priority for all of us.
We compost our food scraps. That’s a no brainer. The herbal teas in our lunchroom have compostable bags (or our gardener complains!) The compost feeds the garden at our Collingwood hub, which includes sage, rosemary, parsley, mint, kawakawa, lavender and oregano that we use for lunches and teas. Snacking on apples, citrus and feijoas from the HealthPost orchard helps keep packaged snacks to a minimum.
We grow flowering plants such as kowhai, harakeke, hebe and borage to feed the birds and the bees. Our premises are clearly marked spray-free (we maintain our own roadside to dodge the chemicals). We’ve recently added Clean Earth soaps to our bathrooms, and by arrangement with the local maker, these come to us simply wrapped in brown paper - no plastic, no ink, not even a box.
Thanks to another environmentally-conscious Golden Bay business, Village Milk, we’re lucky enough to get some of our milk the old-fashioned way, in crates of glass bottles that our team collect and return when they’re going past. You get the idea!
We can’t lose sight of the fact that as a business, and as an industry, we have major sustainability challenges ahead of us. Switching to a bamboo toothbrush or a reusable straw is a better choice, no doubt about it, but it doesn’t change the fact 83% of plastic waste in New Zealand is commercial. We know we must do something, and we can’t do it alone. We need manufacturers and suppliers to support cleaner products and processes.
We need consumers to be mindful of these differences and be prepared to choose better. Where we have the greatest power to have a lasting positive impact on the wellbeing of the planet is in bringing these two things together: empowering better choices by bringing people new products and brands that are doing things better, and providing a reality check around what better really means.
We’re doing the best that we can right now, yet there is much more to be done, and fast. It is through our daily habits and rituals, all the little acts of choosing better, that we transform our thinking, affirming that living more lightly and working collaboratively to solve the bigger challenges is a true priority for all of us.