Grove Collaborative Reusable Cleaning Bottle

overall rating:

2.3

planets

Mia Thomas
3/1/2022
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Grove Collaborative delivers cleaning, home, and personal care products  to your door through a subscription service. Grove is known to be a “sustainable” company relative to its competitors in the industry so I became curious to find out what they are doing differently to lessen their environmental impact. After learning more about product life cycles and design thinking in our class, I wanted to specially look at the product design of Grove’s reusable cleaning bottle. Today Grove Collaborative is plastic neutral. This means that for every product they sell they also collect and recycle plastic pollution through their partner rePurpose Global.  Beyond Plastic is Grove’s initiative to be 100% plastic free by 2025. I have given Grove a score of 1.8 planets due to their sustainable packaging and continuous commitment to improving their product life cycles. Additionally, Grove’s customers have reported that they feel it is affordable compared to its competitors. Grove Collaborative will also price match for VIP members, meaning that if you find their products for a cheaper price elsewhere, they will match that price for you on their website.

What it's made of:

2.7

Grove Collaborative’s reusable cleaning bottle is “Sustainably Crafted for the Long Run.” The bottle itself is made of durable, lead-free, partially recycled glass. This is a much more sustainable design choice compared to most spray bottles that utilize plastic in every purchase of a new spray bottle. Because glass runs a higher risk of breaking compared to plastic bottles, Grove implemented a protective, non-slip silicone sleeve to lessen the likelihood of the bottle breaking. Silicone is more environmentally friendly than plastic, which is great since Grove is straying away from harmful plastics while trying to create a high quality product that won’t break. Grove also manages to use less chemicals compared to regular conventional spray cleaners through their concentrates. By mixing the 1 ounce concentrate with water, you get the same amount of cleaner as a regular 16 ounce spray cleaner. These concentrates also come in glass bottles just of a much smaller size. By utilizing this model of refillable concentrates, Grove eliminates the need for multiple plastic bottles and allows users to have one universal glass bottle for all of their cleaning needs. These small glass bottles are entirely recyclable. The only plastic part on the reusable bottle is the sprayer itself, which Grove is working on transitioning into a new material. Additionally, the packaging that the bottles are delivered in is recyclable in most areas. Grove gives the option for alternatives if the packaging offered is not recyclable in your area. Their packaging and manufacturing of the glass bottle earns a comparatively high score of 2.7 planets.

How it's made:

2.5

As I mentioned above, the glass in the spray bottles comes from recycled materials. The first step in this process is glass being placed in recycling bins so they can be collected and delivered to a material recovery facility. In these recycling facilities the materials are separated and then sent to glass manufacturers who can make these materials into bottles, jars, and more. Although it is positive that Grove recycles almost all of their materials, there is a high amount of carbon emissions associated with these processes. The carbon emissions from the Grove facility to the consumer is relatively high at 10,000 mtCO2 annually. There is also a high amount of emissions coming from the Purchased Goods and Services accounting for the production and sale of products at 67,196 mtCO2 annually. Although these emissions are somewhat high, all of Grove’s products are made in the United States to reduce emissions from factories overseas. Grove’s sustainability report was extremely transparent and upfront about their emissions, transportation and operation decisions. Grove does speak on a lot of the carbon offsets they are implementing as some of the emissions from their products are inevitable. Some of the programs Grove is involved in include: UPS Carbon Offset Program, Arbor Day Foundation: Rimba Raya Biodiversity, and Native Energy. Although Grove has high emissions from transportation, their offsetting gives them a relatively high score of 2.5 planets.

Who makes it:

1.7

Grove has claimed to put diversity, equity, and inclusion at the forefront of their business operations and continues to set goals and milestones for improvement in these areas. Grove has shied away from quotas and rather focused on programs to open up the diversity of thought to ensure employees are implementing diversity into their business model at every step along the way. With that said, 55% of Grove’s workforce identifies as female. Furthermore, Grove has put an emphasis on ensuring their worker rights are fair and beneficial to their workforce which operates in the United States. They do not use any pesticides or harmful chemicals that are dangerous to farmers. Outside of their own workforce, Grove has made sure to support Black-owned businesses by giving 15% of their shelf space to BIPOC-owned brands. Grove’s downfall lies, in my opinion, in their lack of diversity within their vendors. 98% of Grove’s suppliers are male and 74% are white. Additionally, 65% of Grove’s brand partners are male and 88% are white. These metrics seem to have a lot of room for improvement. Although Grove has a  commitment to improving their diversity, their current metrics and quotas are not very equitable, earning them a score of 1.7 planet.