Bees aren't just in our name. They're part of our history, our culture, and our future, too. Burt Shavitz, the bearded co-founder of Burt's Bees, was a beekeeper. It was his bees that made the wax in our first Beeswax Lip Balm. But honeybees make a lot more than wax and are connected with several critical issues for human and environmental health, including biodiversity, food security, nutrition, and sustainable land use.
A world without bees is unimaginable and we won't let it happen. We support our buzzing friends with many wonderful projects that promote honeybee health and sustainable agriculture. We are also continually improving our sourcing process, so that eventually each and every one of our ingredients, pollinated or not, will be vetted and accounted for.
Our efforts to support pollinator health have spanned research, education and conservation; over the years, we've supported a number of community organizations working for change at the intersection of human and honeybee health, awarded over 30 pollinator health research grants, and worked to drive awareness of the plight of honeybees and how individuals can help.
Of these efforts, our recent focus has been on establishing habitat, providing bees with a much-needed feast. By 2020, Burt's Bees goal was to impact 10,000 acres of healthy honeybee forage. With the success of our Bring Back the Bees campaign in 2016, we were able to exceed this goal early! But, there's more to do.
This year, we’re anniversarying our Bring Back The Bees program to continue establishing critical honeybee habitat. You can get involved by purchasing a limited edition lip balm and also by planting pollinator-friendly wildflowers.
THE BURT'S BEES GREATER GOOD FOUNDATION
A big focus of our foundation is supporting the health of both bees and humans through sustainable agriculture and pollinator forage projects in our home state of North Carolina.
We've made it a priority to establish more diverse bee forage alongside farmland; our goal is to impact 10,000 acres of registered honeybee forage by 2020. By the same token, we're conducting field research to better understand the relationship between agricultural yields and bee health.
The Burt's Bees Foundation is the founding partner and funder of the Bring Back The Bees forage program, which will partner with other non-profits and public agencies to install wildflower habitat alongside farmland, providing the bees with nutritious forage.
Because we like to match dollars with doers, our employees get paid time off to work firsthand on the community projects we support financially. We call it Live the Greater Good.
Finally, through our Sustainabile Living Credit, we reimburse our employees for expenses to become beekeepers (just like Burt) or install and maintain pollinator-friendly gardens at their homes.
RURAL ADVANCEMENT FOUNDATION INTERNATIONAL
Based in Pittsboro, North Carolina, RAFI cultivates markets, policies and communities nationally that support thriving, socially just, and environmentally sound family farms. Our partner for Bring Back The Bees, RAFI helps run the program by sourcing seeds, offering best practices to farmers, and ensuring successful planting of pollinator forage.
The Burt's Bees Foundation and RAFI also engage public agencies, including the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NCRS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA), to help extend their existing programs that support farmers and pollinators. NCRS and FSA help maximize the impact of the program by helping get the word out to existing enrollees to their programs, in addition to providing technical support to the farmers.