If you follow us on Twitter or Facebook you may well already know about our big win at the Natural Products New Zealand Annual Awards ceremony.
Absolute Essential was given the inaugural Supreme Business Award based on the exceptional achievements of our company in 2015 and the standard of our winning entry to the Label & Litho Sustainability Award - a title we won for the second year running.
This is huge! It is the first time the event has even had a Supreme Business Award, having been introduced this year due to the increasing quality and number of entrants from across the natural products industry in New Zealand. And, as much as we like to crow about how great we are, Absolute Essential is still a little fish in a big, commercial pond. The collective annual income to the NZ economy is $1.4 billion and rising.
It is a wonderful feeling to have such tangible validation for our continued commitment to sustainable business practice, especially since so much of what we do is not immediately visible.
Come to our premises in Muriwai Beach and we can show you the thousands of trees and native shrubs that have been planted against business miles flown. Or spend a little time investigating the retail industry and you will see that our specially designed bamboo display units offer a revolutionary move away from the plastic and throwaway culture of in-store presentation that largely goes unchallenged – even for so called ‘green’ and ‘eco’ brands. But if you choose not to scratch the surface, you might never know the full story.
The reality is that when you have a vision of creating a more sustainable business, most achievements are found in the little day to day details and the constant fine-tuning of choices to reduce the accumulative impact of less sustainable practices.
It's not so much about waving flags and gaining kudos, its more about making it happen - learning to think outside the box, being innovative in problem solving, and being brave with budget too (which is where you’ll see many businesses waver in their commitment).
When we first thought of entering the Awards back in January 2016, we did ask ourselves if we could expect to win for the second year running. We wondered if we had enough ‘new stuff’ to create a valid entry since we had already shown most of our ‘aces’ for our first win. But what we realized, as we started to pull it all together, is that sustainability has its own forward momentum and with clarity of purpose and commitment in place, you can’t help but improve and evolve as you go.
In fact, I think that our first sustainability win is ultimately what clinched the second. When we first went through that process of clarifying our sustainability plan and outlining our principles and our commitment to those principles, our focus got sharper and our momentum increased.
Which is why, when the devastating earthquakes hit Nepal, in May 2015, we knew we had to act. We knew that we had vulnerable supplier communities out there, isolated from mainstream relief efforts, and that their artisan skills and ecological purity were invaluable to our business.
The whole trade-aid campaign fell into place like a steam train in motion.
The NPNZ judges also recognized that the far reaches of our supplier chain needed to be included in the nurture of our sustainable ethics.
They understood the risk of directing profit margins towards trade recovery efforts and they applauded the directness of our ‘no-admin’ approach to donations and personal delivery of aid to areas of most impact:
“Absolute Essential has done an outstanding job of supporting small ingredient producers in a fragile economy. This is a living and breathing ethically sustainable company that was our head and shoulders winner for NPNZ’s inaugural Supreme Award.”
I am incredibly proud of myself and my team. I love that our passion for the environment has extended to the business in such a way proving that we can change things for the better.
The Absolute Essential promise to make a positive and permanent difference in people’s lives stems directly from the sustainable organic-health ethic. And through our on-going sustainable practice we really do manage to do that, both locally and globally - from the farmers in developing countries where we source our ingredients, to the consumer using the finished product at home.
Which is why the final word of thanks must go to all the Absolute Essential savvy customers who stand behind the true value of our pure natural products – together we are making a difference, every day! Thank you for supporting us with your purchases.
Please visit our online store for shopping or our 24/7 chat for any queries you might have.
We are here to assist and always look forward to seeing you there..
Dr Bo Hendgen DO ND AM
Founder / Director - Absolute Essential Ltd, New Zealand
The Absolute Essential Sustainability Plan is available for public viewing at our Philosophy page.
Further information on Absolute Essential in Nepal is available in the following blog posts:
Blog Aid for artisan essential oil producers
Blog Insider report
Blog Trade not Aid
Blog The Watchman
Blog Health Camp