PLT, based in Morristown, NJ, said the new certification comes from the Carbonfund.org Foundation, which is also based in New Jersey. The certification is based on PLT’s investments in carbon offset projects. Carbonfund has also certified dietary supplement firm Garden of Life in a similar way.
Carbonfund works with three projects in the Amazonian rainforest, one of which, the Envira Amazonia Project, is connected to the PLT certification. The aim is to reduce deforestation, maintain biodiversity and capture carbon to offset emissions elsewhere. The organization estimates that over the 10-year lifespan of the project to date more than 38 billion pounds of CO2 emissions have been mitigated.
Carbon certification part of ongoing company focus
Devin Stagg, PLT’s chief operating officer, said going carbon neutral was in step with the company’s mission and with the times. But he said an additional benefit is to strengthen the protection of the kinds of areas where many dietary supplement ingredients originate and to bolster the indigenous communities in those regions.
“As a company in the business of promoting health and wellness via plant-based ingredients, PLT Health Solutions understands that environmental protection, sustainable sourcing, protection of natural resources and ethical conduct are not only the right thing to do — they are also good business. Without a vibrant global ecosystem, we won’t have access to the natural, botanical materials that form the foundation of our products,” Stagg said.
“And without a partnership-type relationship with the communities that grow, harvest, and process these raw materials, PLT Health Solutions loses access to the indigenous knowledge and innovation that makes our ingredients relevant and special,” he added.
PLT says it has taken several steps to reduce direct emissions as well as arranging for the offsets. These efforts include consolidating international shipments to reduce their carbon footprint as well as cutting corporate air travel and relying more on virtual meetings.
The new carbon emissions effort is in line with PLT’s earlier sustainability efforts relating to the growing and harvesting of its raw materials in areas around the globe. The company brands the effort as its PLT360 initiative.
"We applaud PLT Health Solutions for their commitment to mitigating climate change via neutralizing their corporate emissions,” said Eric Carlson, Carbonfund president.
Tipping point for the Amazon?
”We are at a crucial moment for protecting the Amazonian Basin and reducing climate change, and we greatly appreciate PLT’s support toward tropical forest conservation,” Carlson added.
Deforestation is a continuing concern in the Amazon and appears to be getting worse. According to a recent report in British newspaper The Guardian, an area 13 times greater than New York City was denuded just from August 2020 to July 2021. That’s 57% more than the year before and the greatest amount of rainforest cut in one year since 2012.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who took office in January 2019, has been accused of actively undermining efforts to protect the rainforest.
“Deforestation is still out of control,” said researcher Carlos Souza, who was quoted by The Guardian.
“Brazil is going against the global climate agenda that is seeking to urgently reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” he added. Souza is with Imazon, a Brazilian research institute that has been tracking rainforest deforestation since 2008.