While our mission is focused on social impact – empowering women entrepreneurs in regions affected by conflict and natural disaster – we also recognize that sustainability issues are critical to our ability to run an efficient and environmentally sound business. With ever increasing greenhouse gases being emitted into the world, we want to be a responsible business that minimizes its environmental impact in every way possible.
Soy vs. Paraffin
This was one of the earliest questions we asked. At first glance, soy wax or beeswax seem like the obvious raw materials to use when thinking about environmental sustainability. Surprisingly, this is not always the case!
After much research, we have concluded that our custom paraffin-soy blend is the most sustainable choice we can make today. Paraffin is a material that is available regionally in large quantity, so using it means a much lower carbon footprint than with other waxes that must be shipped in.
Paraffin is also a by-product, which if not used would go into the waste stream. Further, we have found that most soy wax is sourced from agribusiness where large amounts of petrochemicals are used in carbon-intensive cultivation methods. Thus, as others have argued, paraffin can sometimes be a more sustainable option than soy when you compare total environment impacts.
Healthwise, food-quality paraffin burns as cleanly as other high quality waxes. At Prosperity Candle, we use only the highest grade candle waxes with natural cotton wicks (no lead or zinc) for a long-lasting, clean burning candle.
Our team consists of locavores in both spirit and practice. We eat produce from New England farms shares, buy local dairy products, and support artisans in our neighborhoods. But we also recognize that not everything we use can be made locally – and that there are people living in distant places who can greatly benefit from trade.
We’d also like to mention that Prosperity Candle is now a Bronze Member of Green America. Green America’s mission is to “harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.” We have gone through their certification process to demonstrate our commitment to operating our business in a way that promotes fair trade, social justice, and environmentally sound business practices.
While working to improve the lives of women in places of conflict and disaster, we strive to minimize our carbon footprint wherever possible. We consolidate shipments, select routes with the smallest carbon footprint (we are a strong advocate of ships using wind power to reduce fuel use), minimize packaging and waste, recycle & reuse everything we can, and regularly purchase carbon offsets.
Most importantly, we are committed to tracking and continually reducing Prosperity Candle’s carbon footprint over time.