Our 2023 Annual Update on Sustainability, Social Responsibility and Environmental Consciousness
As a company with a key mission focused on sustainability, social responsibility and environmental consciousness, we are excited to share with our partners, customers and friends all the progress we’ve made in these areas in 2023.
We continued to lead by example and improve our operations to be more sustainable and efficient by engaging only in organic agriculture and respecting Earth's natural cycles. Almost all of our agricultural land and output, including our rose and lavender fields, are now either organic certified or in the final stages of organic certification through either the European and/or US organic standards.
Our key agricultural process, the harvesting of our Bulgarian Rosa Damascena plants continued to be an entirely manual process that minimized the impact to the environment. We did not use any heavy machinery for the rose collection, the rose picking was completed entirely by hand reducing carbon footprint while providing employment.
We continued to look for opportunities to sponsor, volunteer and participate in campaigns with non-profit organizations that focus on various initiatives that help our planet. Most recently, we completed a successful campaign with Bulgaria's oldest nature conservation NGO, Green Balkans. Through this campaign in April 2023 and Earth's Day, we donated a portion of our monthly sales to an initiative aimed at supporting biodiversity and specifically rare bird species in the Balkan Mountains: greenbalkans.org
Social Responsibility, Anti-Discrimination, Human Rights and Inclusivity
In 2023, we continued to work with leaders at local communities and villages to provide financial sponsorship and offer volunteering efforts by our staff. This included educational and cultural events aimed at creating advancement opportunities and celebrating local cultures and customs in the Rose Valley.
In the spring, we employed around thousand minorities, gypsies and local villagers during rose harvesting, providing an important source of income to thousands of households. We always treat them as an integral part of our extended Alteya family.
We continued to celebrate and strongly encourage diversity and inclusion and to lead efforts in this area. Our team members come from many ethnic, minority, LGBTQ community and immigration backgrounds and our leaders and management team are comprised of majority women.
We continued to encourage other businesses and to educate and implement our internal company policies, and execute initiatives on anti-discrimination, accessibility, and awareness.
For business partners and retail customers, we continued to increase the usability of our websites to allow access and interactions by everyone, including non-English speaking Customers, Customers with Disabilities, Customers with No Access to Computers or the Internet through technical implementations and process improvements.
-We continued to improve our telephone-based customer support that allows order placement, obtaining information and other help over the phone for everyone from anywhere and at anytime.
-It is a continuous process but we made a number of technical improvements to our website, analyzed to select professional software tools, and other processes to make it more accessible to customers with disabilities and those who can’t access it through standard means.
-We conducted staff training sessions on anti-discrimination, anti-sexual harassment and accessibility.
-We made our product catalog available to everyone through some of the most inclusive and user friendly global marketplaces such as Amazon, Walmart and Google Shopping where we run our own dedicated Alteya storefronts that benefit from all the accessibility and outreach features of these platforms. Thus ensuring our product portfolio and information are available to everyone and at anytime and at the most competitive and direct prices for those looking to place an order.
Environmental Consciousness and Organic Standards
In 2023, we continued to grow our rose, lavender, and other botanicals with great respect for the environment and following some of the world’s strictest industry Non-GMO and Organic standards. We are close to having almost all of our products being Certified Organic.
What is more, we continued to make big steps towards carbon neutrality. We continued installations of our own solar panels that currently are supplying around 60%+ of our electricity needs. We are continuing with the installation of renewable sources and are on target to reach 100% carbon neutrality by the end of 2025.
To further minimize impact to agricultural land, we put these installations on the roof of our building
In conclusion, through participation in industry events such as Cosmoprof Asia in Hong Kong in November 2023, and other expos, social media and other channels, we continued to encourage our industry colleagues, business partners, and customers to continue to be aware of and support all of the above topics.
Looking ahead to 2024 and beyond, we continue working on a number of projects and initiatives aimed at further improvement and progress in these areas and will continue to share updates on our progress with the community.
At the same time, we recognize there is always a lot to be done and encourage everyone to share their ideas and suggestions on how to do even better.
Happy New Year 2024 and All the Best!
The Alteya Family