BRAVO SIERRA Gets on the C2C Certified Pathway
Emerging brand BRAVO SIERRA uses a product innovation model that leans heavily on its military roots to deliver sustainable, high-performance personal care products to civilians and military personnel alike. The company is using the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard to guide its development of safe, circular and responsible products and has identified certification as the ultimate goal for all its products, building on the Bronze certification of its aluminum tube packaging and Silver certification for its aluminum can packaging. Here, BRAVO SIERRA co-founder Benjamin Bernet shares the company’s sustainability, strategy and next steps for Cradle to Cradle certification:
“Sustainability is something we’ve been pioneering for the military community, and the amazing feedback and excitement we have received shows that there is more demand for it now than ever. These are the men and women who need sustainable products the most: they are out in the fields and at times don’t have the ability to think twice about their personal care products. We give them access to portable, travel-friendly products they can use without needing to alter their routines. They can take a tactical shower or clean off knowing our products are 100% biodegradable.
The majority of our civilian consumers come from Gen Z and Millennial markets. They are the next wave of leaders who are vocal about showing up for the environment, and they are leading the pack in shifting the norm to lessen their carbon footprint. This commitment remains true and is a big focal point when they purchase products. (An Environmental Leader survey cited 62% of Generation Z participants preferred to buy from brands that are sustainable, which is on par with Millennials). “Going green" is something they believe in wholeheartedly, and their purchasing habits reflect this from clothing to personal care products.
Sustainability is at the heart of the BRAVO SIERRA business model. We believe in uniquely developing products and packaging in the USA using first-to-market technologies to help keep our planet safe and minimize our carbon footprint. We believe living a sustainable lifestyle should not be the privilege of the few but readily accessible for every consumer, so we also prioritize an affordable price point for all our goods. This model presents a challenge: how do we pursue sustainable, environmentally friendly practices while simultaneously delivering efficient innovation and high-performance products for active duty service members out in the field?
The Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard is pushing us to vet our supply chain manufacturers closely to ensure they operate in a sustainable way, knowing that creating sustainable products alone is not enough. From vetting the ingredients and components we are selecting for our products, to energy and water stewardship, Cradle to Cradle Certified gives us a framework for gladly questioning all our choices in order to ensure we develop the safest and most eco-friendly formulations and packaging.
BRAVO SIERRA also uses aluminum for our packaging, which is one of the most recyclable materials, and we are in the process of sourcing more post-consumer resin (PCR) for packaging where plastic is needed for formula compatibility. In order to keep waste to an absolute minimum, we do not use secondary packaging for our products and we make sure our ecommerce shipper boxes are made of FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified cardboard materials.
Now that our packaging is Cradle to Cradle Certified to the Bronze and Silver levels, we are in discussions with our vendors to see how we can improve our certification levels, either by improving the manufacturing processes or optimizing the packaging itself. For instance, we are currently in discussions to increase the amount of recycled plastic content in our packaging. We are also reaching out to vendors to explore opportunities to use more recyclable materials.
Ultimately, Cradle to Cradle Certified will be the standard for all Bravo Sierra products and packaging moving forward. We have chosen Cradle to Cradle Certified because its five core requirements: material health, material reutilization, renewable energy and climate, water stewardship and social fairness are principles that everyone can relate to, whether you’re in the military or a civilian. No matter your lifestyle, we believe everyone deserves products that are not harmful to ourselves or to the world we live in.
As a next step, we are already in the process of certifying more of our products. This process is already pushing us to further optimize both our product formulations and our supply chain stewardship. For example, Cradle to Cradle certification requires the supplier to provide an RSPO certificate for all palm-derived ingredients -- this in turn pushes us to continue to encourage our vendors to be as transparent as possible.”
Pictured above: BRAVO SIERRA co-founder Benjamin Bernet