World Centric

overall rating:

3

planets

Michaela Cooney
3/6/2022
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World Centric works to make activities like getting take-out and hosting a massive party sustainable by creating dishware and silverware that can be composted. I first came across these products while living in a dormitory as a freshman at the University of Michigan. The university makes composting available in all the dining halls and uses World Centric as their dishware of choice. I wondered how sustainable this company could really be. From my research, I found World Centric to be setting the trend in sustainable production and distribution. 

What it's made of:

3

The products themselves are all made from renewable plants like wheat, sugarcane bagasse, bamboo and corn, and require less energy to manufacture than traditional plastic disposables. When they do use paper products, they are sourced from sustainably managed sources certified by Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and many of their agricultural products are leftover waste that farmers would otherwise burn or throw away. All products are compostable in a commercial composting facility. They are more transparent than any other company I have dug into in my reviews, making every effort on their website to be as clear as possible about the material used in the products they create.

How it's made:

2.5

They proudly state that they have no carbon footprint due to their offsets. They make clear where the majority of carbon emissions come from, which is factory production. To offset this, they fund grassroots environmental projects that not only allow them to offset their carbon emissions, but also enable organizations to help those most affected by climate change with long-lasting solutions. They also utilize solar and renewable energy at their company headquarters and support their staff in leasing or purchasing electric vehicles and using public transportation to commute to work. 

 

It takes less energy to produce their products as opposed to typically petroleum products. On their website they have an eco-profile analysis that quantifies all the resources and energy used and the externalities (atmospheric emissions, water usage, and solid waste) associated with manufacturing a product from cradle to factory gate. They also acknowledge that this doesn’t take into account the complete life cycle of the product, as it doesn’t discuss the emissions or energy associated with using or disposing of the product. 

Who makes it:

3

The company was created and designed with sustainability in mind. Their motto is “For a better world”, but it doesn’t appear to merely be a slogan. In addition to being a 1% for the Planet Member, meaning they pledge to give 1% of annual sales to environmental non-profits, World Centric takes it a step further. Since 2009, they’ve donated 25% of their profits to grassroots organizations fighting for social and environmental causes, especially those fighting for the rights of indegious communities as they are “the first defenders of the environment and are facing exploitation on their land for commodified natural resources”.

 

World Centric is also big on certifications. Most of their items tote the USDA BioPreferred Program label, which means their items have been third-party certified to contain biobased content. Other certifications by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI), Compost Manufacturing Alliance (CMA), and ÜV AUSTRIA OK Compost HOME Certification back up the different levels of home and industrial compostability. World Centric is also a B Corp–and has been named a “Best for the World” honoree. Ranking in the top 10% of all certified B Corps, they meet strict third-party standards for their company ethics, transparency, and accountability for social and environmental sustainability. They’re also a Green America Certified Business, meaning they’re committed to using business as a platform for social change.

 

In terms of their working conditions, they allow third party audits for fair working conditions based on the Fair Labor Association Code of Conduct for factories in China. They have done fair labor audits for each type of product that they produce, from renewable fibers, to cutlery, to PLA and paper. They do outsource their labor instead of manufacturing in the US, likely to incur lower overall operating cost. They’re also a part of the National Minority Supplier Development Council, a global leader in advancing business opportunities for Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American suppliers in the corporate supply chain.