Sustainability at Heath
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Heath is certified as a B Corp to commit to social and environmental responsibility in 202X. The designation ensures that Heath would continue its mission to run its business in a way that is better for our society and our planet. Corporations certified as B Corps must consider the effect on the employees, community, and the environment rather than thinking only about profit.
California Green Business Certification
Our Tile Factory, San Francisco Showroom, Dinnerware Factory, Sausalito Showroom, and Warehouse are certified green businesses at the innovator level, according to the California Green Business Network. We feel it is vital to ensure that our business practices align with conserving resources and preventing pollution at our facilities and retail operations. Our spaces comply with environmental regulations concerning waste, energy, water, pollution prevention, and air quality. The innovator status means we are going above certification requirements to help be better stewards of the environment for our business and the community.
Heath is a small company with a workforce that spans many roles and skillsets. We are proud to have many employees who’ve been with us for decades—some nearly half a century. One of our central values is supporting our employees so that they at 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 11 paid time- off days and nine paid holidays, we have a paid volunteer day for all employees to help their community.
All Heath employees are part of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, which aims to give employees an ownership stake in the company. It also provides each employee with increased retirement benefits through stock ownership in Heath. In all, non-fFounder/CEO employees own 8% of Heath Ceramics.
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 job. We support a diverse workforce by providing translation and meetings in Spanish.
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 opens 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 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 three small businesses that rent space at below-market rates in order to be able to continue making their work within the city of San Francisco. Our annual Make Good Market is a community event that showcases local artisans and provides a venue for them to sell their work to buyers from the Bay Area and many who come in especially for this unique convergence of modern makers. Heath supports SFMade and their mission to bring local manufacturing to San Francisco.
Heath regularly gives funding and product to causes that support social equality 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, The Alameda County Community Food Bank received $3,186 from that event.
Heath has found ways to significantly reduce our landfill waste, with innovative end uses for various waste streams. We go out of our way to sort our materials. This includes:
_donating production overrun mixed tile boxes to organizations making mosaics and selling to the public,
_recycling our nitrile gloves into plastic furniture,
_recycling fired clay waste into raw material for concrete,
_repurposing glaze waste as alternative daily cover at a landfill,
_composting any unusable clay and expired plaster molds, and
_recycling our plastic film products into construction block materials.
We have several business practices that we use to prevent waste. Our break rooms have comprehensive recycling and composting, with plenty of Heath dinnerware available for use as an alternative to disposable serveware. We have reusable plastic bins to move products internally, and reusable pallet covers rather than stretch plastic. We also work with our vendors to return packaging materials. In all, our waste diversion from the landfill currently stands at 82%, and we hope to get it to 90% soon.
Energy and Carbon Emissions
Heath uses 100% renewable electricity in our factories – from a mixture of solar, wind, and geothermal sourcesprojects. We have installedchanged to LED lightbulbs in both factories, with over 350 fixtures. OurThe most significant utility consumption is natural gas used to heat our kilns, producing most of our scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions. We fireHeath fires our ceramics at a lower temperature and for our stoneware and pack our kilns efficiently to obtain the most from the energy we use in firingour kilns’ firing time.
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. Heath is pursuing ways to reduce our carbon footprint, such as local purchasing and infrastructure changes.
Located in a water-stressed area, Heath has installed infrastructure to avoid using fresh water and protect our watershed. To achieve this, Heath built water recycling systems at each of our factories that collect water from the factory floor in large cisterns, filter- press the residual clay and glaze water for proper disposal, and provide recycled water. We can use internally recycled water for half of our water intake annually.
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.
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 and gift boxes with recycled content and shredded recycled magazines for gift packaging done in-store.
Heath works hard to purchase the most environmentally-friendly products, from facilities maintenance to the goods we sell as part of Heath Home and Heath Newsstand. Vendor sustainability for products includes buying fair trade crafts or products with sustainability certifications, environmental business practices, and social responsibility commitments. Facility and office supplies are to be non-toxic, energy efficient, made of recycled content– from local, independent businesses, and preferably with sustainability certifications. Heath has comprehensive purchasing policies for various product categories and a master list of products for our facilities. We are surveying our vendors who make third-party products sold in our showrooms to understand their sustainability and help better wherever possible.
B Impact Report for Heath Ceramics
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