Someone asked me the other day what "radical sustainability" means to us, and why we use it. It was a good moment to reflect. We throw the term around a lot, but haven't really explained it anywhere, so here goes:
What makes it radical? It's a stark break from how most businesses look at things. Everything we do has to meet standards in three buckets; environmental, economic, and personal.
First it has to meet our environmental approach. For something to be radically sustainable, it has to be repurposing an agricultural waste product. There is a staggering amount of agricultural waste. Coffee fruit. Cacao nib husk. Cashew apple. The list goes on. The more we can turn a waste product into a value added good, the better off the Earth is. Less methane from rotting fruit. Less soil and water acidification. Decreased deforestation due to cash crop demands per acre. All good things.
Sustainability encompasses much more than the environment though. We look deeply at agricultural systems and how to make them more economically sustainable. The financial side of agriculture is a struggle all around the world. An apple farmer Upstate faces the same challenges that a coffee farmer in Nicaragua does. What if the price goes down this year, and I can't afford to pay off the loan I had to take out in order to afford to plant? What if I can't find enough people to help me harvest? What if there's unpredictable weather, or a disease that wipes out my crop? These fears go to the core of what they do. For us to consider something radically sustainable, it has to help make farming more economically sustainable for those that work the land.
Personal sustainability is a little different. Our beverages have to support longevity. They have to be healthy, and encourage healthy lifestyles. We will never make something full of sugar, or with lots of scary sounding chemicals. We want everything that we make to help our consumers live their lives to the fullest.
We take this view for everything that we do. Our goal isn't to sell more bottles of a drink. Our goal is to spread radical sustainability. We happen to do that by making beverages.