High Road: On Doing Business Differently
4 minute read
Sustainability has been part of our DNA for over 50 years. To us, sustainability is holistic; you can’t make environmentally friendly products in an unsustainable way and be successful.
That means not just using locally sourced ingredients, but also making products in zero waste facilities powered by renewable energy, by employees who are paid fair wages and get family-friendly benefits.
At ECOS, we pay our employees well above the minimum wage at our facilities in California, Washington, Illinois and New Jersey, and we have for many years. For example, in 2014 we raised our minimum wage to $17 an hour, one of the highest in the industry.
Paying a living wage is part of our commitment to “high-road employer” practices. Fair wages, health insurance, paid family leave, wellness programs, incentives for buying low-emissions vehicles and solar panels; they’re all part of how we create a more sustainable workforce to support our sustainable business.
High-road employer practices like a fair minimum wage don’t just help employees and their families; they help strengthen local communities and our economy. Employees who earn a living wage shop in the stores in their community, creating a strong cycle of economic growth.
Sure, there are upfront costs associated with being a high-road employer, so why do we do it? Because our mission is to protect the health and wellness of people and the planet. But we also do it because it just makes good business sense.
It’s a little like the old saying “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” Some companies can’t see the bigger benefits of investing in employees because they’re too focused on short-term profits. But if they took a wider view of the advantages, they’d see significant long-term savings, like lower turnover costs, higher productivity, and retained corporate memory—real savings that boost their bottom line.
We’ve been a high-road employer for many years, so we know the incredible value it brings to our business and to our ECOS team members. It’s a win-win-win scenario: Employees and families thrive, economies grow, and our company prospers.
It’s proof that you really can do good and do well at the same time.