Sustainability has been a part of Charlotte’s Web since the beginning. Our founders, the Stanley brothers, formed the company with a giving-back mentality—whether that meant giving back to people like Charlotte Figi, or giving back to the planet.
With today being Earth Day and Charlotte’s Web becoming a Certified B Corporation, we wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the ways in which Charlotte Web embraces sustainable business practices.
Switching To Organic Hemp Farming
As part of our efforts to protect the environment, our cultivation follows organic practices on our hemp farms. One of our goals is to adjust our practices to help promote regenerative agriculture—a type of farming that works to restore soil biodiversity, reduce carbon emissions and improve the water cycle.
Jacob Sitorius is a Compliance Analyst for Charlotte’s Web who led the process of moving our farm in Wray, Colorado over to organic hemp farming. “For us to switch over to organic farming, it took some ingenuity on all of our parts. We had to modify and adapt a lot of our practices,” he says. As of February 2022, 100% of our farm in Wray is organic.
The process of becoming certified through the National Organic Program is complicated. Farms must be managed in organic fashion for three years before becoming officially certified and cannot label any products as organic until the certification process is complete. For our farm in Colorado, one of the challenges was figuring out how to move away from conventional fertilizers and pesticides and change our equipment to better suit the needs of an organic hemp farm. Even after the farm fully converted to organic, our team continued to look for opportunities to incorporate sustainable practices.
“Hemp is still relatively new to the eyes of agriculture. Every year, we learn something about the plant and adjust our processes to match,” says Jake. “Right now, we’re working on finding a permanent cover crop solution that will keep our soil a lot healthier and will hold more water. This will ultimately make our carbon footprint smaller, because it will result in less trips through the field with a tractor and less disruption to the soil.”
Starting in 2021 Charlotte’s Web will label each product as certified organic when our certifications come through.
Working With Sustainable Vendors and Business Partners
Fulfilling our commitment to sustainability is about more than just what happens on our hemp farms—it’s about making sure that many aspects of our supply chain are aligned with our mission. We make sure whenever possible – to source our oils, botanicals, and other ingredients that go into Charlotte’s Web CBD products from companies that are local, organic and fair trade.
Penny Tompkins, former Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Charlotte’s Web, was heavily involved with the company’s philanthropic efforts as well as our sustainability initiatives. “The hemp plant is just amazing for sustainability because it removes toxins from the ground,” says Tompkins. “So having that be our core product, it goes hand-to-hand with making sure we’re being sustainable throughout our whole supply chain.”
The supply chain team at Charlotte’s Web uses a scorecard approach when bringing on new suppliers. Before forming a deal with a supplier or vendor, we ask them about their sustainability practices and their core values. In addition, we ask about their Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiatives because, at the end of the day, these efforts are interconnected. We want to work with business partners that allow us to become more sustainable as a company, while also ensuring that we’re doing good for our communities.
Becoming a Certified B Corporation
Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet strict standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability. Currently, there are nearly 4,000 Certified B Corporations across the world, located in 74 countries.
In order to become a Certified B Corporation, companies must pass an assessment that looks at the company’s impact on the environment, their workers, their community and more. The assessment is extensive, with over 300 questions that evaluate not only the company itself, but the company’s suppliers as well. In August of 2020, Charlotte’s Web completed their assessment and became an official Certified B Corp.
Penny Tompkins helped lead the charge on our B Corp certification process. “Part of the reason why we wanted to get that certification was to commit to the mentality of being very purposeful about what we do,” she explains. “The third-party certification process holds us accountable for any claims we make about sustainability as we continue to grow and make decisions.”
How Will We Keep Innovating?
“Part of being a B Corp is that we have to continue to improve,” says Penny. She explains that with the B Corp certification process, companies need to get recertified every three years. “The goal is to improve our score each time we get recertified. If we want to do that, we have to define targets that we want to improve upon and work towards those targets.”
Specifically, Penny cites energy usage, waste reduction and carbon offset as focus areas moving forward. Much of this comes down to switching to more sustainable packaging that produces less waste and requires less energy to produce. For example, Penny and her team are currently looking at replacing some of the plastic found in Charlotte’s Web’s packaging with hemp paper.
Looking ahead, the company’s emphasis on sustainability will become more and more pronounced as climate change becomes a bigger issue in our world. We’ll continue to look for areas in which we can improve, and identify solutions for how we can implement more sustainable practices without sacrificing the quality of our CBD products.
Read More About Our Commitment to the Earth
We are proud of the sustainable business practices we have put into effect over the years, and we’re excited to keep innovating to find new ways to support our planet and our communities. We are especially proud of our status as a Certified B Corporation and hope that this certification will guide our sustainability efforts moving forward. We invite you to learn more about our commitment to sustainability and to explore our line of Charlotte’s Web CBD products to see the results of our organic hemp farming and sustainable supply chain. If you have any questions about our products or our mission, please contact us directly.