From production to delivery, Melaleuca looks after environment

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Post Register | Eryn Shay Johnson | 

Truly green products produced by an environmentally conscious corporation may seem hard to come by, but in Southeastern Idaho you don’t have to look farther than your backyard.

Conceived 28 years ago by Frank VanderSloot, Melaleuca has always found deep roots in the environment, from the drawing board, to manufacturing and development, to delivery Melaleuca is a company with “green” on the brain.

“We are a direct-to-consumer corporation,” said Scott Hollander, the Chief Marketing Executive for Melaleuca. “We market, manufacture and develop products that are better for you and home.”

Melaleuca has an extensive list of products that focus on personal health, such as its popular Oligo vitamin supplements, to hair care, pet care and cleaning supplies.

“We’ve been unique for years and years,” said Hollander. “No one was looking to do what we do, but we do the right thing.”

That right thing is producing a product that leaves little to no impact on the environment. All of Melaleuca’s line avoids using harsh chemicals and instead use materials that are largely plant based. Where most competitors use bleach in products, Melaleuca steers clear of phosphates, instead using the acidic power of lemons to generate a better effect when cleaning.

SoluguardProducts are put through hurtles to make sure they stand up and overpower competition while continuing to make a difference in the environment. Sol-U-Guard Botanical is a product that Hollander is especially proud of.

“You have a lot of food contact with the surfaces in your kitchen,” explained Hollander on why Sol-U-Guard was one of his favorite products. “All of our competitors have to use chlorine and bleach to clean those surfaces. Our product is the only all natural, EPA approved cleaner in the world. It is proven to have a kill rate of 99.9 percent of germs while being totally safe, really.”

Safe being the key word. Most are familiar with purchasing products from large supermarkets that promise to clean and are capped with a childproof lid. Sol-U-Guard is a product that doesn’t need or require a childproof lid, because everything in it is natural. If a child decides to drink Sol-U-Guard, it won’t taste very good but it won’t hurt him, and Melaleuca knows that their natural products are why their customers are so loyal.

“Instead of belching black smoke and dumping thousands of gallons of bleach into the ecosystem, like some of our competitors fronting a ‘green’ product, we are truly an environmentally friendly company,” Hollander said. “At the end of the day we want green products that work. To have a clean home with no compromises.”

The end product starts its long journey with scientists spending long hours creating a recipe that works effectively.

Once perfected, the design is developed in an environmentally conscious production plant that uses skylights for daylight hours and highly effective lighting on darker days and nights.

Whilst being moved around in the warehouse reusable plastic totes replace cardboard, it may cost more upfront but it lasts longer. When the totes reach the end of their life they are ground up and used again. When there is a finished product it is shipped directly to the customer’s door, saving in two ways.

“Because we ship it directly to you, you don’t have to drive to the store,” explained Hollander. “UPS will deliver thousands of packages, making even the delivery environmentally effective.”

The true secret in Melaleuca’s product line can be summed up in one word: concentrated.

From Sol-U-Guard to Melapower, Melaleuca’s laundry detergent, one small bottle can multiply into several, the concentrated solution cuts back on plastic bottle waste.

“They’re highly concentrated. If it says 6x concentration that small bottle will ultimately make six. We don’t believe in shipping more water so we sell concentrated products,” Hollander said.

“It’s one thing to be green,” he added. “It is another to be green and efficient.”

Part of that approach cuts out selling in retail stores as well as advertising, but even without it Melaleuca grows every year. In 2012 Melaleuca grew a clientele base of 9 percent, an impossible feat for most companies. The business grows almost entirely from word of mouth.

“We like to say if you’ve heard of Melaleuca, you didn’t hear it from us,” laughed Hollander. “We grow almost entirely from referrals.”

While Melaleuca is available to the public, there is a membership available for those who want one. Members pay a small fee but are then granted a whole list of benefits including a preferred price on products and the ability to shop through portals to save money at other stores, like Target. Melaleuca is starting to offer more in their line up as well, including insurance and health care savings.

“It’s not magic,” said Hollander. “It’s hard work. We’re working and performing the way no one else wants to.”

More information about Melaleuca’s product line and philosophy can be found online at www.melaleuca.com.