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sustain logoABSOLUTE ESSENTIAL IS COMMITTED TO SUSTAINABILITY


Absolute Essential, is a NZ company creating specialised natural healthcare products utilising pure, therapeutic plant oils. We have maintained an enduring commitment to upholding positive environmental and sustainable choices in our business operations
since our inception 26 years ago. Our products are 100% natural and have been developed through direct contact with our suppliers to ensure the best ecological growing, harvesting, extraction and production processes possible. We have always worked from the strength of a dedicated, professional natural healthcare practice based in the community, and thus have grown our business from the insight of genuine relationship with both suppliers and customers.

A sustainable business considers the whole journey

Not just the end product that the consumer enjoys but the entire process: from the fields in a small village in Somalia… to the plan, the research, the processes and the design... to our Muriwai organic factory in New Zealand… to the bathroom shelves in Ponsonby, Hong Kong, London and beyond. Our eyes are not only on profit, but also on effects and consequences - for local environment, people, and the wider global story.

Therein Lies Our Challenge

The main principles of sustainability that define our choices as a sustainable business are:

a)     Quality of life

b)     Economic vitality (health and diversity)

c)     Social equality and mutual benefit

d)     Consensus and participation

e)     Quality of the environment

Absolute Essential's policy for sustainable practice has evolved with a three-fold focus on: our product, our people and our environment, in the following ways…

  • A commitment to providing products that are 100% natural and pure, with organic and wild credentials to offer the highest therapeutic value to the end customer
  • Integral policies and exemplary practice to promote the 'green' ethic wherever possible
  • Commitment to product development, natural health education and broadening market potential
  • Quality of work environment, consensual management and commitment to employee care
  • Commitment to supporting local economies and local employment in New Zealand
  • A commitment to social sustainability and responsible, mutual alliance with our suppliers
  • Direct sourcing to support small-hold, eco-friendly businesses, and conscious decisions to benefit future generations, globally
  • Commitment to conscious consumption and renewable resources, including active environmental measures, especially to benefit local ecologies.
  • Commitment to innovation and investment in sustainable solutions.

Our ongoing endeavors in these areas can be illustrated by the following achievements and practices:

PRODUCT

Local:

  1. Our raw materials are manufactured in our certified organic, onsite factory (certification granted in 2009 through Asure Quality).
  2. In 2014 all product packaging was upgraded to 100% recycled (Cocoon post consumer paper stock).
  3. We have digitalized our order forms, catalogues and newsletters to encourage less printed materials.
  4. Our company premises, factory and clinic, demonstrate 'green' principles in action.
  5. We are proactive in establishing new markets and developing product lines for diversified economic vitality. We expanded our product offering into four distinct consumer catalogues: Health & Wellbeing, Home & Living, Mother & Child, Skin & Body.
  6. In 2014 our sustainable efforts were recognised by New Zealand Natural Products as 'exemplary among businesses'. We were awarded the NPNZ Sustainable Business prize.

Global:

  1. We source direct from small-hold farmers and distillers, to ensure quality organic and wild materials, and exceptional purity standards for extraction and processing.
  2. In 2004 we were awarded a small business' grant for investment to marketing and brand identity in Asian and North American Markets.
  3. We are actively growing our market and promoting pure Therapeutic Plant Oils through select distributors in Australia and Asia.
  4. In 2015 we contracted a small artisan co-operative in Nepal to supply handmade eco paper for our presentation storage boxes.

PEOPLE

Local:

  1. All full-time employees are local and live typically within a 10-15 minute (walk or drive) radius.
  2. We are a small and dedicated team. Opinions are valued and suggestions welcomed. We review and discuss all new products among staff without hierarchy in an informal and relaxed way. Marketing ideas are often reshaped based on staff input, or more recently
  3. The working environment was deliberately chosen to be pleasant and healthy for our employees. A converted, natural wood barn set in 16 acres of natural woodland and bush. Wooden, sprung floors, good air flow and natural light, natural insulation, ergonomic work stations and a no smoking policy.
  4. We enjoy a healthy work ethic of regular breaks in the surrounding natural environment, fresh fruit available from the local organic orchard, and an enhanced work environment using therapeutic plant oils.
  5. All employees receive free natural healthcare products and benefits.
  6. We make regular product donations to 'Woman's Refugee', as well as providing product and training to Hospice and Aids Foundation. We also offer support and product donations to local schools and child care services, as well as local groups like volunteer fire services, environmental groups and general fundraisers.
  7. We have now run two annual seminar series at various national and international venues to provide professional natural healthcare training to a wider audience. Webinars and You Tube educationals are coming soon.

Global:

  1. We support small-hold farmers and producers with organic certification, (eg Eco Cert, Bio Grow), or sustainable wild production, in 56 countries worldwide.
  2. Through regular visits and personal contact we assure hands on quality control of the medicinal grade oil we require. Equally important are the mutually rewarding, long-term relationships we have established. For example, our Frankincense and Myrrh are sourced in collaboration with a French cooperative from Somalia. The plants grow wild in the desert for more than 30 years.  An entire village is supported by our collective purchase. We pay them fairly; they produce unique quality oil to our specifications. Most of our producers have been supplying us directly for at least 20 years.
  3. Our company charitable donations support 12 children in 7 different countries through Child Fund and World Vision, since 1992.
  4. We have an on-going relief fund for our supplier villages in Nepal and have made direct emergency relief deliveries (Blog) as well as specific rebuild contributions (Blog) to ensure continued trade and employment for hard hit areas.
  5. In 2015 Absolute Essential was represented by company founder and natural health expert Bo Hendgen at a national volunteer health camp for pilgrims in the Hymalayas, Nepal (Blog).

ENVIRONMENT

Local:

  1. In 2002, we relocated from our central Auckland premises to a rural, 16 acre site. All full-time employees are local and live typically with a 10-15 minute (walk or drive) radius, cutting down our carbon footprint.
  2. Our bamboo retail display units significantly reduce our environmental impact in comparison to the plastic, disposable display standards of almost all retail displays. They are made on demand for cost effective ordering, flat-packed for economic shipping, supported by a free-return shipping or pick up as a re-usable resource.
  3. Our factory and main building have been restored and renovated from original cobbles factory and barn constructions.  We enjoy the shade of mature deciduous trees and are set into the property 50 meters away from the nearest road. We have chosen to install no air-conditioning but have instead insulated using efficient natural materials, with an open design to ensure natural air circulation and plenty of natural light.
  4. We use no chemicals, either for cleaning or insect or rodent control.
  5. We promote energy efficiency with a strict 'switch off when not in need' ethic, lots of natural light and energy efficient light bulbs. Rain water is collected and stored in concrete tanks and filtered for use. We recycle: paper, plastic, metal, glass, and make our own compost. We have a 'zero waste' policy with an onsite septic tank and wetlands planted, and no actual raw materials/products disposed of, everything is recycled or utilized, donated etc.
  6. We strive to attract and protect wildlife through our non-spray or poison policy for the entire property and have planted thousands of trees to enrich the natural environment (plenty of natives such as Flax and Kowhai).

Global:

  1. International sourcing is an unavoidable part of our business so we are always looking to improve efficiency and minimise environmental impact. In 1999, we moved to amalgamate freight in strategic central locations, eg. France, Australia, Northern Africa and India.
  2. Since 2002 we have been planting one tree for every 100 air-miles clocked up in business travel. (Directly onto our surrounding 16 acres, including 6 acres converted bush.)
  3. We refuse products which are animal tested, and are a member of SAFE .