Sustainability

One of the big reasons those of us who work here every day keep turning up, is the goal of proving that making a good, functioning business can go hand in hand with safeguarding the future of our planet. We believe that most people are way ahead of businesses when it comes to sustainability, we want to make the kind of company that we, as individual shoppers would be pleased to support.

Making Human Food as sustainable as possible means different things at different levels of our operation;

human food bars being packed in the human food warehouse

Ingredients

Human Food bars are certified organic

This means that all the plants from which the ingredients are sourced are grown without pesticides and without chemical fertilisers, organic accreditation bodies work to extremely high standards, ensuring that certified farms and agricultural facilities work in harmony with and support the wider eco-systems within which they exist.

Whereas intensive agriculture depletes the fertility of the soil and destroys the delicate balance of flora and fauna within eco-systems, considerate organic farming can actually enhance habitats and environments.

While chemical-based farming agriculture relies on the ever-increasing input of chemical fertilisers and through its use of pesticides destroys the very pollinating insects the vast majority of plant-based agriculture relies upon to fertilise crop plants so that they will produce fruit and vegetables, organic farming at its best continually improves soil depth, quality and fertility and provides food and habitats for increasing insect populations which in turn support growing populations of wild birds and animals.


Outer Packaging

The outer packaging you receive Human Food bars in is made of 100% recycled card and cardboard, it is, in turn, 100% recyclable and 100% biodegradable

a box of green human food bars

The inner cartons are made of a mix of sugar cane and other plant fibre pulp – byproducts of other industries – they help protect the bars while in transit, reducing damage and associated waste. These inner cartons are embossed rather than printed, to reduce energy requirements and the use of ink.

Our outer packaging is 100% plant-sourced, and importantly, uses no plastics.

Plastics – recycled or otherwise – are ultimately derived from crude oil or natural gas reserves, this means that the plastics industry is inextricably linked to the petroleum industry, in turn, this means that using plastics helps to keep the cost of oil high. High oil prices not only de-incentivise the development of more environmentally friendly alternatives to the use of gas and oil but also play a key role in justifying the exploration of marginal oil reserves such as the Athabasca tar sands, by incredibly destructive means. The mutually supporting integration of these industries was not considered by a recent, high-profile study by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency which concluded that plastic bags (LDPE) were more environmentally friendly than bags made of cotton or other ‘natural’ materials.

By contrast to plastics, paper, card and other plant-derived materials support increased forestry and decreased extraction. Where forestry is undertaken considerately it provides habitats for wildlife and acts as a significant carbon sink, removing greenhouse gasses from the environment and countering man-made climate change. While these do not apply to Human Food outer packaging material which are either recycled or use byproducts of other industries, many certification programs exist which monitor forestry projects, the most well-known of these are FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and PEFC (Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification).


Manufacture

Human Food bars are manufactured in a facility with the highest level of accreditation, certified by the Soil Association, the Global Food Safety Initiative and by BRC global food standards.


Wrappers

Human Food bars come in biodegradable, compostable, PEFC certified paper wrappers with a celulose foil backing

a view of the packaging from various angles

PEFC certified forestry projects work towards developing sustainable methods and approaches and minimising negative environmental impacts. These wrappers keep Human Food bars fresh for at least 12 months – keeping waste to an absolute minimum – and when you’re done, the wrapper can be composted either industrially, or in your home compost bin.


Shipping

All Human Food orders are shipped by DPD, who have a well-developed sustainability policy under which all deliveries are CO 2 neutral

This is achieved by a combination of alternative fuel use, carbon offset and by developing efficient delivery systems which dramatically increase the rate of first time delivery success, therefore reducing the road miles required per package.


T-Shirts

Our T-shirts are made of 100% organic cotton

the t shirt tag showing the maker as stanley stella
a man wearing the human food t shirt

The factories where they are produced are monitored and certified by the FairWear Foundation – a certification body which works to ensure decent working conditions, reasonable hours and fair pay in the garment industry. The T-shirts are then hand screen printed in Brighton, UK, using a water-based ink which contains none of the PVC or other plastic/oil derived chemicals commonly used, and reduces the need for solvent-based cleaners. Finally, for packing and shipping, T-shirts are wrapped in 100% recycled tissue paper.


Printed Material

When you make a purchase from Human Food you will very likely receive some printed material in the box alongside your bars.

This might be a booklet containing information about Human Food, guidelines for use, recipes etc. if you are a subscriber you will receive a copy of our monthly Human Food newsletter which will include readers’ letters, articles of general interest, global news on issues relating to diet, environment and sustainability, along with regular games and competitions.

These materials will always be printed on 100% recycled paper.


Energy

At our West Wales HQ and distribution centre, 100% of the energy we use comes from renewable sources.


Future Development

As Human Food develops we will continue working to reduce our environmental impact, some of the ways we will do this have already been identified, these include shifting to natural inks for printing booklets, newsletters etc. monitoring delivery patterns so that if appropriate intermediate distribution hubs can be established to reduce delivery miles and by exploring sourcing options for ingredients and packaging materials to reduce transport related emissions.