Every choice matters. Big and small. That is why we make sure that we can justify every choice ethically. And yes, sustainability is in our blood. From the very beginning (unofficially in 1979) we consciously opted for organic. At the time it was certainly not a mainstream choice, but it definitely was one close to our hearts. Our mission? Making organic the most normal thing in the world. Oh, and of course spreading positive eating!
Positive eating is a multi-layered slogan. For us, it means enjoying pure food together, making conscious choices, and ensuring a sustainable future. Together!
In our early days, renewable energy was already top of mind. When we started producing our own nut butters in 2009, we wanted to do it the green way. That’s why we installed 20 solar panels immediately upon start-up. This way, we sustainably used solar energy for production.
The solar panels generate 3 kW per hour. Nut butter production also costs about 3 kWh. So you can say we produced the nut butters in a CO2 neutral way. As we started to produce more over the years and invested in new, more efficient machines, we had to scale up. We went from 20 to 40 solar panels. This number absorbs about 20% of the total energy requirement of TerraSana. That is great, of course, but we want more. In 2021, we will continue to work towards a climate-neutral policy and will invest again in sustainable (solar) energy.
Cooling and heating can also be done sustainably. For example, we use a heat pump (cold water cooling) to keep the production machines perfectly at the right temperature. The pump collects water from the canals around the building and cools the heated machine parts with the cold water. A much better option than an energy-guzzling air conditioner!
The heat pump cools and heats. Because we combine the heat pump with underfloor heating, we do not have to heat much. These two are a super efficient combination. We happy, world happy!
We also use water for cooling the building. The condenser with a water tank of 750 liters cools the water to 10 degrees. This cold water cools the warehouse and production area.
But there are more creative ways to efficiently regulate temperature. For example, our building has a flat roof, which normally results in more heat in the summer (more cooling) and more cold in the winter (more heating). We insulated the roof by no less than 6 centimeters and painted the roof white. Apparently this saves no less than 3 degrees!
Of course we only use green energy. Although our gas consumption is very limited, we compensate this with CO2 certificates.
We no longer purchase gas or diesel cars for new employees. Electric cars are a better choice, so that’s what we’re going for.
Plastic? Of course we want to throw this around as little as possible. Plastic never decays, it only breaks into smaller pieces: micro- and nanoplastics. All this plastic ends up in the air, soil and (drinking) water. What we do about the plastic soup? We package as many products as possible in durable, reusable glass jars. In any case, we have also switched to compostable packaging for more than 100 of our products. This packaging has almost all the advantages of plastic, but it is made from compostable and plant material (wood chips). Better for everyone!
Currently, for a number of products there is no other option than plastic, because otherwise the shelf life of the product decreases too drastically and it can no longer be sold. But for many other products this is possible, and that saves at least about 20% on plastic on the entire range. We will continue with the major transformation in May.We’re excited!
The labels on jars and bags have also become more environmentally friendly over the years. The labels on all pots that we produce ourselves (including nut butters) are now easy to wash off and are kind to the environment. The contradictory thing is that these 2 things often don’t go together. But of course you want to reuse our glass jars as much as possible, without hassle!
Of course, plastic also includes bpa (bisphenol A). The plasticizer that nobody wants in their food. Bpa is used to make plastic or tinplate elastic. At TerraSana we have been conscious of this for years. That is why all our lids are free from BPA and PVC. What about the cans of coconut milk and pickle press? Also BPA free.
When transporting the products, we use wrapping foil to keep the boxes on the pallets together. This used to be made of black plastic. Now it is compostable and transparent. That’s great, because we get rid of double trouble: plastic and ink!
The choice that is always number 1 for us? We only go for organic. Organic farming has a major positive effect on soil, air and water. Greater biodiversity, more attention to animal welfare, and a healthier agricultural soil are the greatest benefits of buying organic. If we want to keep the world liveable in the future, organic farming is one of the most important ways to make an impact. Of course we prefer to work with farmers who also have a heart for organic. This way we know for sure that you buy organic products of the highest order!
Are we introducing a new product? Then we always opt for plant-based. There is a lot to criticize about the meat and dairy industry, and we aren’t just talking about animal suffering. Did you know that eating meat is more polluting for the environment than driving? Might be quite a shock, but actually is also positive news. Because by making a (small) change in lifestyle or policy, and by going for plant-based as much as possible, we as a company (but also you as an individual) can make a major positive impact!
Almost 98% of our range is already vegan. The other 2% is a bit trickier to veganize, but we have a plan! Within 2 years we expect to have found alternatives for the last few products.
Another major problem that we are working on (though on a smaller scale) is food waste. For example, we have deliberately opted for a relatively small warehouse, which means that we run less risk of excess stock. Throwing it away is a shame, right? If products suddenly do not meet our high quality requirements (anymore), or we cannot sell them for some reason, we will always ensure that they end up in other useful places. And yes, even animal feed can be an option.
We like to work with companies that think just as sustainably as we do. That is why we have our transports done by Rotra. This is a frontrunner in the transport world when it comes to sustainability. They transport CO2-neutral, and that is quite an achievement!
When we have booklets or brochures printed outside our office, we use 100% recycled paper. To make the production of this CO2 neutral, we have at least 1 tree planted with every order. We use Paperwise paper indoors. They make this environmentally friendly paper from agricultural waste. “Wise with waste “, as they say!
In 2020, we reduced the weight per carton box. Do you know how many kilos of cardboard we save with this every year? 2164 kg! So you see that every little bit helps.
Regular palm oil is one for many people no-go. For the production of palm oil, forests and peatlands are often deforested, and that is harmful to our planet. Palm oil production also often involves harsh working conditions. This is a completely different story with sustainable palm oil. But how do you know whether the palm oil in a product is sustainable? Well, then it is certified with the RSPO certificate (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil). Then you know for sure that no tree has been felled for it and that the palm oil has been produced in a sustainable way.
We have 3 more products with palm oil in our range: hazelnut waffles, honey waffles and confetti liquorice. Coincidentally, we already have plans to change the recipe for these products, so this will change.
Separating waste is not difficult. That is why we do that as much as possible. For now we separate 5 waste streams: plastic (PMD), cardboard & paper, glass, residual waste and metal. We have the metal collected by a local company in Leimuiden, which specializes in the environmentally responsible sorting of iron and metals. We separate organic waste ourselves. Compost heaps of colleagues are full of it!
There are a number of charities that we donate to with our whole heart. Products that we no longer sell, but that have nothing wrong with them, go directly to the Voedselbank (Dutch Food Bank). In addition, we are business angel of the Plastic Soup Foundation. Click here to see what the PSF does exactly.
We sponsor a number of sports clubs and (lifestyle) associations locally. For example, we used TerraSana pallets for a project at a sheltered workshop nearby to build bird houses.
Do you have questions or ideas about our sustainable choices? We would love to hear that!
What can you do to better the world a little? Click here.