Honoring Our Values: Our 2020 Responsibility Report
At the heart of Ayurveda is a foundational reverence and respect for nature. It's an understanding that our own individual health is completely interwoven and dependent upon the health and harmony of the planet which gives us life.
In a world that has been hit with so many changes and challenges over the past year, this understanding feels more important than ever.
As an Ayurvedic company and a Certified B Corp, we recognize that we have the power to create positive change in the world through the choices we make each day, and the challenges of the past year have only strengthened our commitment to meeting the highest standards of environmental and social responsibility.
With this commitment guiding us through these unprecedented times, we have arrived in the springtime of a new year with much to celebrate, much to be proud of, and of course, plenty of room to grow.
In honor of Earth Day, and in honor of our interdependent connection to each other and this sacred planet we all call home, we are excited to share with you our annual Social and Environmental Responsibility Report. This report is our annual accounting to you—a thorough look at what we’ve accomplished over the last year, where we’ve fallen short, and where we plan to make improvements in the future.
Rising to the Challenges of 2020
For us at Banyan, like so many of you, 2020 did not go exactly as planned! In a year that presented one challenge after another, our team of dedicated, hard-working, and compassionate employees rose to the occasion and rallied together to support and uplift each other as well as our customers.
As an essential business providing wellness products throughout the pandemic, the safety and health of our team were of the utmost importance. We put tremendous time, energy, and effort went into keeping our team as safe and healthy as possible, while continuing to work harder than ever to fulfill customer orders, keep products in inventory, and provide our customers with quality Ayurvedic products.
Many of our employees transferred to remote work from home, while those who couldn’t work remotely were held to stringent and rigorous safety protocols. But even as we adjusted to this new work routine, the spirit of connection and mutual support has proved to be a source of strength, positivity, and upliftment for all of us through these times.
Reflecting on Social Responsibility
In alignment with Banyan’s mission to help people achieve and maintain health and well-being through the wisdom of Ayurveda, we continued to support our community both near and far throughout the unexpected challenges of 2020.
In an effort to support those in need during COVID, we offered hundreds of free packages of Immune Health Now to frontline essential workers, people who were unemployed, and senior citizens. In addition, we awarded our second annual Community Grant Fund to support two incredible women working to make Ayurveda accessible to marginalized people within their communities.
We watched the ongoing stream of social injustices that rocked our nation. We found ourselves reflecting on how we can help—and how much we have to learn. For starters, we committed to educating our team on unconscious racial bias and to creating a workplace that is truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive. We know this will take sustained, consistent effort of the whole team.
Here in Oregon, we deepened our relationship with local community by supporting our partners at Banyan Farm and Siskiyou Ayurveda, a small local retail shop providing Banyan products to the community of Southern Oregon. And with the devastating fires in September that affected so many of our employees and local community, we offered both product and financial donations to several fire relief funds.
Reflecting on Environmental Responsibility
In alignment with Ayurveda’s guiding principle of respect for the earth and our commitment to acting in ways that are good for the planet, we continued to provide quality herbs and products to our customers that are certified organic, sustainably sourced, and fairly traded.
With the intention of reducing our carbon footprint, we stepped into 2020 seeking to build more new domestic partnerships and to work more closely with our local farm communities.
To this end, our partners at the Banyan Farm in Southern Oregon successfully grew a variety of organic Ayurvedic herbs to be used in our products. We also formed a partnership with Oshala, a well-respected organic herb farm right down the road. While we continue to work with small organic farms in India and support organic land management, these partnerships will bring us closer to our goal of sourcing a larger percentage of herbs more locally.
One of our greatest challenges has been in the realm of packaging. While we have taken some big steps towards more sustainable packaging, we ultimately still have a long way to go. After consulting with numerous packaging industry experts throughout the year, we learned that there is not a simple solution. We are continuing to work towards selecting the most responsible options available for our customers and the planet.
The accomplishments we’ve highlighted here are just a few of many. 2020 was a huge year for us as a company and there is so much more we’d love to share. We recognize that we wouldn’t be here without you and we’re humbled by the support you have shown throughout the years—this one especially!
We hope that our 2020 Social and Environmental Responsibility Report will give you even more insight into our mission and values as a company, while also inspiring you to ask questions, share feedback, and hold us accountable along the way.