Sustainability spotlight: W.S. Badger Company
Anyone spending time in, on, or around the water knows they need a good sunscreen. And if you are concerned with your own health or that of the planet, you’ve probably considered the chemicals in the sunscreen you use. As a new mom, I know this issue is even more important to those with young children.
Luckily there are a range of non-toxic sunscreens on the market now. And I’ll review my favorites soon. But today I want to profile a company that produces one of my favorite non-toxic sunscreens, and ALSO is an amazing example of a sustainable business.
I recently listened to an interview with one of the owners of W.S. Badger Company, Inc on the Bard MBA Sustainable Business podcast. The company, more commonly known as Badger, produces one of my longtime favorite sunscreens, but they do so much more.
Here is a quick rundown of 5 facts that make Badger Co. a sustainability hero:
1. Family owned and operated
The company was started in the mid-1990’s by a carpenter looking to create a good hand salve. It has since grown to over 60 employees, but is run by the same man, and his wife and daughters hold key executive positions.
2. Organic, fair trade ingredients
Badger prioritizes using certified organic, natural, fair trade, and sustainably harvested ingredients. They don’t use toxins (such as parabens, sodium laurel or laureth sulfate), synthetic fragrances or dyes — all of which can cause hormonal changes, allergies, or skin irritation. Many of Badger’s products are highly ranked by the EWG, including products in the Best Beach and Sport Sunscreen & Best Kids Sunscreen categories.
If you don’t know: EWG (the Environmental Working Group) evaluates and ranks the safety of ingredients in skincare, cleaning and other consumer products.
3. B-corp Status
Badger gained B Corp status in 2011. What is B Corp status you ask? It is a certification that a for-profit company can acquire to formally incorporate environmental, social and sustainability goals into the mission and performance metrics of the company, alongside the fiscal responsibilities to stakeholders. It is a way of formalizing a company’s mission to “do good”. To get B Corp status a company has to pass stringent assessments from a third party.
In fact, Rebecca Hamilton, co-owner and Vice president of Research and Development at Badger, cared enough about formally solidifying the mission and values of Badger that she worked with state officials to pass Benefit Corporation legislation in New Hampshire because it didn’t already exist. Now business owners can register as a benefit corporation in New Hampshire.
4. Employee perks
This company takes care of its employees!! Everyone gets organic lunches provided for them daily, flexible work schedules, profit sharing and great health benefits.
In addition, new parents get extended parental leave, after which they can take advantage of the “Bring your baby to work” program (to promote continued bonding with new infants) or the subsidized childcare center.
5. Environmental responsibility
Badger is housed in a LEED Silver Certified building, uses Renewable Energy and RE Credits, and takes measures to save water, electricity and more.
Badger Co. has received recognition as “Best for the World, Overall” and “Best for Environment” by the nonprofit B Lab for three years running (2015 – 2017) for their business practices.
Vote with your wallet! One of the easiest ways to be more environmentally friendly is to support companies that are doing the right thing for the planet.
So if you are looking for a good non-toxic, natural, organic sunscreen, moisturizer or bug repellent — AND you want to support a company who is doing right by the environment and their employees… check out Badger Co.
Their products are available from their website, at Whole Foods, Amazon, and many other sellers.
My daughter’s favorite sunscreen is the Badger Balm SPF 30 Kids Sunscreen Cream – Tangerine Vanilla flavor (because she likes the flavor and she eats it. Which I’m not too worried about since the ingredients are so clean.)
**Just take note that zinc oxide sunscreens are generally thicker and white, which can make slathering it on a toddler extra annoying.
My favorite sunscreen for myself is the Badger Balm SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen Cream because its zinc oxide but has a tint to it so you don’t look ghost white.