Beyond Business as Usual

Beyond Business as Usual — Meliora Blog

Meliora means better — for people and planet

We chose our company name as a symbol of our commitment to doing better business. Meliora, the Latin word for “better,” represents both the products we make and our values as a business. We recognize that as a company we have a responsibility to people and the planet, not just profit, which is why we joined the B Corp community and became a Certified B Corporation.

March is B Corp Month, a celebration of what is possible when businesses think beyond profit. In honor of this year’s theme, “We Go Beyond”, we’re sharing some of the ways we go beyond business as usual.

We reinforce our commitments with third-party certifications

B Corp Certification designates that a business meets “high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency on factors from employee benefits and charitable giving to supply chain practices and input materials”. In other words, it is a comprehensive assessment of a company’s commitment to social and environmental responsibility. 

The rigorous certification requires companies to:

  • Pass a B Impact Assessment
  • Make information about their performance assessments publicly available
  • Make a legal commitment to make their governance structure accountable to all stakeholders

Because B Corp Certification is so closely aligned with our values, we became certified in 2015 and have maintained our B Corp status since.

WBENC Certification is the most recognized and respected national certification for women-owned businesses. The certification process involves a rigorous vetting process, a site visit, and interviews with the female owner or owners. We have been certified since 2020.

MADE SAFE® Certification is the only human health and ecosystem-focused screening for non-toxic products. It is the strictest ingredient screening standard in the industry, screening for over 6,500 banned and restricted substances throughout the entire supply chain and manufacturing process — not just in the finished product. Our products have all been certified since 2016.

Leaping Bunny Cruelty-Free Certification is the highest standard for companies that are committed to using no animal testing across all stages of product development. We became certified in 2017.

We make safe cleaning products and disclose every ingredient

Since day one, we have listed every ingredient used in our products both on the packaging and online. It’s the right thing to do, and we’re proud of what’s in our products. They’re made from safe, effective ingredients like baking soda, washing soda, organic coconut oil, and organic essential oils. Plus, our ingredients and products are screened by reputable third parties like MADE SAFE®, Leaping Bunny, and EWG.

We believe everyone has a right to know what is in their home cleaning products, despite the fact that there’s still no federal requirement to disclose ingredients on cleaning products. But we’re excited to see some progress, including California’s Cleaning Products Right-to-Know Act requiring ingredient disclosure and New York’s Environmental Conservation Law limiting 1,4-dioxane levels. We’ve worked in support of all transparency legislation we’ve learned about, and will continue to do so until every product across the country os required to tell you what they’re putting in your home.

We reduce waste and plastic use with responsible packaging

Our products are concentrated and packaged to minimize waste and environmental impact. Removing water as a primary ingredient makes a huge impact. Instead of liquid formulas that come packaged in bulky, single-use plastic jugs, we make dry powders and solid soaps. Concentrated products are super efficient: you can tackle a load of laundry with just a half tablespoon of Laundry Powder, or mix up a whole bottle of cleaning spray with a tiny All-Purpose Cleaner Tablet. They’re lighter and smaller than their liquid counterparts, making them easier to package, ship, and store. Most importantly, they can be packaged in recyclable paperboard and cardboard instead of plastic.

Since we started in 2013, we have prevented the production and use of over 2 million plastic bottles through our plastic-free cleaning products and closed-loop bucket return program.

We’re always looking for innovative ways to reduce waste even further, like offering refill bags for our Laundry Powder and Oxygen Brightener so you only have to buy the canister once. We also offer our Dish Soap and Bath & Body Bar Soaps completely package-free. Most exciting of all is our closed-loop, zero-waste bulk bucket returns program, which allows you to buy in bulk and send the empty bucket back to us to clean and reuse for the next person.

Beyond Business as Usual — Meliora Blog

We work with partners who share our values

One of the first things our Founder Kate did when founding the company in 2013 was to partner with 1% for the Planet, an organization that connects businesses with nonprofits working on environmental causes. Each company commits to donating at least 1% of its annual revenue to organizations that align with its values. We’ve chosen to go beyond and donate 2% of our annual revenue.

Our primary partner is Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE), an organization that works to amplify women’s voices to eliminate toxic chemicals that harm the health of people and communities. Their 2011 report, Dirty Secrets: What’s Hiding in Your Cleaning Products? was the catalyst for Kate to start investigating the ingredients used in household products like laundry detergent. WVE has been a leader in campaigns to help pass the 2018 Cleaning Products Right to Know Act (SB 258) and 2020 Fragrance and Flavors Right to Know Act (SB 312) in California, two landmark acts toward ingredient transparency.

We’ve also been working on the myriad issues associated with plastic production and disposal in partnership with Beyond Plastics, an organization whose mission is to “end plastic pollution everywhere” is deeply aligned with our goals as a business.

We have also donated to organizations local to our factory in Chicago, IL, including: 

We also strive to work collaboratively with suppliers and business partners who share our values. One of our favorite examples is our partnership with Century Sun Oil, which supplies the organic sunflower oil we use to make our Dish Soap, Foaming Hand Soap, and Bath & Body Soap. Based in our neighboring state of Wisconsin, Century Sun Oil has many sustainable practices, including sourcing only locally-grown organic seeds and ensuring that every component of their process is used by humans or animals. Knowing about their interest in zero-waste operations, we started an initiative to ship empty oil drums back to them to be refilled for the next order. This closed-loop program on the manufacturing side mirrors our bucket returns program.

Beyond Business as Usual — Meliora Blog

We strive to continually innovate and improve our business

We’re proud of our products and the progress we’ve made as a business over the last decade, and we strive to keep getting better! From sourcing and product development to customer service and education, there are limitless opportunities for companies to make a positive impact on people and the planet. 

We deeply value input from our community. If you have any questions about our products or business practices, please feel free to contact us!

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