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Discover our Muir Flatware, designed—and only available—right here at Heath February is upon us! Check our Valentine’s Day shipping cut-offs.

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Discover our Muir Flatware, designed—and only available—right here at Heath February is upon us! Check our Valentine’s Day shipping cut-offs.
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Sustainability at Heath

Since our founding in 1948, Heath has always been committed to making our products and running our business in ways that support our people and the planet. Edith Heath’s earliest ceramics were designed to be fired at a lower temperature than the standard—an energy-saving practice we continue to this day. We also recycle clay and water from our manufacturing process right back into the factory. We source our clay and manufacture our products in California, which keeps our carbon footprint light. In more recent decades, we have developed living wage and employee stock ownership opportunities that support our entire staff. And all of these things are just the beginning of a long list of old and new practices, which we prioritize as part of being a California Green Business and, most recently, a certified B-Corp.


Certifications

B Corp

In 2023, Heath formalized our commitment to social and environmental responsibility by becoming a certified B Corp. Achieving this certification involved a holistic review of our operations and processes, including environmental management, equitable compensation, purchasing policies, and local economic development. It required a change in our legal structure to become a benefit corporation and a solidification of our internal policies to uphold our commitment to people and the planet. Heath continues to operate with Edith Heath’s vision of hand-crafted, well-designed, durable products made in California with regard for nature and the community. We see B Corp certification as a way to galvanize this vision for future generations.

California Green Business Certification

This certification is vital to ensuring that our practices align with resource conservation and pollution prevention in our factories and retail operations. Our San Francisco Factory, Showroom, and Warehouse; and our Sausalito Factory and Showroom are certified California Green Businesses. This verifies that spaces comply with applicable laws, develop internal policies, and continue the journey with each new employee, purchase, and material. All certified locations exceeded the standards to be considered innovators, serving as stewards for what is possible as a business.


Social Responsibility

Employees

Heath is a small company with a workforce that spans many roles and skill sets. We are proud to have many employees who’ve been with us for decades—some for nearly half a century. One of our central values is supporting our employees to be fulfilled at work and secure in their lives. All our full-time employees have retirement and healthcare benefits, and the employees on the factory floor are unionized. We worked with ICA Fund to develop our Living Wage Initiative, which expanded benefits and increased hourly wages. In addition to a minimum of eleven paid time-off days and nine paid holidays, we have a paid volunteer day for all employees to help their communities.

All Heath employees are eligible for the Employee Stock Ownership Plan, which gives employees ownership of the company. It also provides each employee with increased retirement benefits through stock ownership in Heath.

To support our employees daily, we have improved our safety training and developed ergonomic improvements to many workstations. Employees are reimbursed for boots, headphones, home office furniture, or other items needed to complete their jobs. We support a diverse workforce by providing translation and meetings in Spanish.

Community Engagement

With locations in Marin County, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, we are committed to being a positive presence in the communities where we manufacture and sell our products. We aim for our two factories—in Sausalito and the Mission District—to be anchor institutions that provide a place for the community to connect and grow, and open opportunities for other businesses and entrepreneurs to thrive alongside us.

We are committed to sourcing at least 50% of non-labor expenses to local independent vendors, especially in raw materials for manufacturing, products sold as part of Heath Home and Heath Newsstand, and maintenance of our facilities. Our brown manganese clay is made primarily of local raw minerals, saving us carbon in transportation and bringing California earth to everyone who uses Heath dinnerware and tile.

Heath wants to nurture the spirit of human-scale manufacturing and traditional craft. The San Francisco Tile Factory features the Heath Collective, a group of small businesses that rent space at below-market rates to continue doing their work within the city of San Francisco. Our annual Make Good Market is a community event showcasing a unique convergence of modern makers, many of them local, to the broader community. Heath supports SFMade and their mission to bring local manufacturing to San Francisco.

Heath regularly gives funding and product to causes that support social equity and environmental protection. Third-quality dinnerware is available to employees for a dollar a piece, and this money supports non-profits of the staff’s choosing. Each sale of Chez Panisse dinnerware supports the work of The Edible Schoolyard Project and its mission. We regularly collect donations at our holiday Make Good Market for a good cause. In 2021, that event yielded donation funds that provided over 10,000 meals through The Alameda County Community Food Bank.


Environmental Responsibility

Waste

Heath has found ways to significantly reduce our landfill waste, with innovative end uses for various waste streams. Our waste diversion from the landfill currently stands at 82%, and we hope to get it to 90% soon.

We have many business practices that we use to prevent waste. We go out of our way to sort our materials. This includes donating production overrun mixed tile boxes to arts non-profit organizations, recycling our nitrile plastic gloves into plastic furniture, recycling fired clay waste into raw material for concrete, and composting any unusable clay.

Our break rooms have comprehensive recycling and composting, with plenty of Heath dinnerware available as an alternative to disposable food service ware. We use reusable plastic bins and pallet covers to avoid packaging waste for moving products between locations. We also work with our vendors to return packaging materials.

Energy and Carbon Emissions

Heath uses 100% renewable electricity in our factories – from a mixture of solar, wind, and geothermal sources. We have installed LED light bulbs in both factories, with over 350 fixtures. Our most significant utility consumption is natural gas used to heat our kilns. Edith Heath developed the clay body to meet performance durability, fired at a lower temperature than typical ceramic tableware and tile products.

Heath is constantly pursuing ways to reduce our carbon footprint. As part of our carbon accounting for emissions, we keep track of our carbon emitted from utilities, owned-vehicle transportation, employee commuting, shipping, purchased goods, and more.

Water

Located in a water-stressed area, Heath has installed infrastructure to avoid using fresh water and protect our watershed. To achieve this, we built water recycling systems at each of our factories in Sausalito and San Francisco. These systems collect water from manufacturing for reuse, resulting in 55% of our annual water intake from internally recycled water.

At our San Francisco Tile Factory and Retail Showroom, we installed permeable pavers, planter beds, and planter benches made from recycled Heath Tile and Dinnerware, with bench seats made from salvaged wood from the renovation of the building. The porous surfaces allow us to divert up to 42,000 gallons of water into the watershed rather than the drainage system. The plants are native to the region and rarely need watering.

Shipping

Dinnerware and Heath Home purchases are shipped using ExpandOS\u2122, a paperboard pyramid that replaces foam packing peanuts to stabilize our products. They are biodegradable and recyclable, made of Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood or 100% recycled paper. Dinnerware and Heath Home shipments are sent to customers using UPS carbon-neutral shipping, offsetting 123 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents in the fiscal year 2022. We use cardboard shipping boxes and gift boxes with recycled content, as well as shredded recycled magazines for gift packaging done in-store.

Purchasing

In addition to our commitment to local and independent vendors, Heath works hard to incorporate sustainability throughout our supply chain. Our manganese clay body consists of a mixture of minerals, nearly half of which are mined locally near Sacramento, CA; and we have phased out white clay from our formula, which reduced our clay material footprint by 54%. We use internal purchasing policies to be better stewards of the environment, and create a safe and healthy environment for employees by using non-toxic products. Our Heath Home vendors fill out our sustainability surveys, and we work with them to improve their practices.


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