LOS ANGELES — Fera Pet Organics has presented its Sustainability Impact Report 2022, highlighting its process toward the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and key environmental focus areas for the brand now and in the future.
The pet supplement company is a Guardian member of the Pet Sustainability Coalition, a nonprofit supporting pet industry sustainability, through which it has made a commitment to minimizing its environmental impact through its business strategies and practices. It underwent a third-party assessment in December 2022 with the goal of achieving accreditation from PSC.
Fera has also been a member with the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) since 2017, when the brand was founded, and displays the NASC Quality Seal on its entire range of products.
“Sustainability is at the core of our business strategy,” wrote Michelle Dulake, DVM, chief executive officer of Fera Pet Organics, in the report. “We integrate sustainable practices in ingredient sourcing, packaging and partnerships, aligning with customer values and our dedication to being a responsible corporate citizen.”
The brand also partnered with several charitable organizations in 2022, donating more than $18,000. The funds largely supported seniors and pets with health issues. Partnerships with Wags & Walks, Underdog Community Project and Equality Now, among many others, aimed to reduce pet homelessness, make veterinary care more accessible to minorities in the greater Los Angeles area, and support equality for women.
In 2022, the company focused on four of the UN SDGs — Gender Equality, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Responsible Consumption and Production, and Life Below Water.
For Gender Equality, Fera shared it is both founded and led by women. The company’s management team and board of directors is comprised entirely of women, and 89% of its team are women. The company also makes annual contributions to Equality Now, a nonprofit supporting equality and justice for women around the world.
Fera pays a living wage and offers employees 100% employer-paid healthcare programs as part of its efforts toward Decent Work and Economic Growth. It also maintains a policy that motivates internal promotions.
Under Responsible Consumption and Production, the company is working toward more sustainable packaging and responsible ingredient sourcing. For example, more than half of its ingredient inputs are sustainably sourced through suppliers that meet certification guidelines set by Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), and Friend of the Sea.
All marine ingredients used by Fera are certified through ASC or Friend of the Sea, which also contributes to the brand’s progress toward the Life Below Water SDG. Also along this vein, its Omega Oil is derived from marine microalgae, a sustainable source of Omega 3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA.
On the packaging side, the company stayed busy in the back half of 2022 to explore and transition to more sustainable solutions. In September, the brand took the PSC Packaging Pledge, which was first introduced during SuperZoo 2022. The pledge asks pet industry companies to develop measurable progress towards the use of refillable, compostable and recyclable packaging by the end of 2025.
Fera also conducted a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) to evaluate the environmental impact of its packaging, which helped inform the company’s strategy around packaging materials. In November, the brand joined How2Recycle to support consumer education and transparency around recycling, and in December, the brand was preparing to introduce its first 100% recyclable flexible packaging, which can now be seen in its Goat Milk Toppers line.
Transparency and traceability
Fera has also taken steps toward ingredient traceability and product transparency. On its website, the brand offers detailed information about each ingredient used in its products, including source and origin information, as well as research resources to support science-backed ingredients.
The company also has a Certificate of Analysis (COA) search function on its website, in which consumers can plug in the lot number of their product to receive third-party lab results for safety, purity and potency.
The company also established a Supplier Code of Conduct (CoC) in 2022, through which all suppliers and co-manufacturers must meet environmental and social expectations set by the company. So far, half of its manufacturing partners have signed the CoC, and Fera will begin distributing the CoC to its ingredient suppliers in the second half of 2023, with the goal of having all suppliers on board by the end of 2024.
As a member of NASC, the brand has also subjected itself to comprehensive third-party audits every two years to uphold the council’s quality standards. Fera must also pass random product testing for label claim integrity and participates in annual continuing education through NASC.
2023 and beyond
Moving forward, Fera will work toward packaging sustainability, reducing environmental impacts from ingredient sourcing, lowering its carbon and greenhouse gas emissions, and achieving carbon-neutral shipping.
The company aims to reduce its use of virgin plastics by evaluating non-plastic packaging options and the use of post-consumer recycled content, including launching a skin balm product in cardboard tubes and introducing at least two new products that utilize recyclable flexible packaging.
Fera has set a goal to become CarbonNeutral® Certified through Climate Impact Partners by 2030. The company plans to calculate its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2025 and its Scope 3 impacts by 2028 to achieve this certification.
Lastly, the company shared plans to partner with EcoCart in 2023 to offset its production and transportation emissions through carbon-neutral shipping. Fera will invest in third-party verified environmental projects to achieve these offsets, including Verified Carbon Standard, Gold Standard for the Global Goals, Global Sustainable Infrastruction Projects, Amazon Rainforest Protection, Afognak Forest Protection, and Global Improved Livelihoods Projects.
Find Fera’s full 2022 Sustainability Impact Report online here.
Read more about sustainability efforts in the pet food and treat industry.