B Corp certified
As a socially and environmentally responsible company since inception in 2004, La Fourmi Bionique Inc. is now able to fully expose the extent of its impact under the B Corp certification.
For almost two decades, La Fourmi Bionique Inc. has been steadily increasing its social and environmental impact. We now formalize this effort to inspire as many people as possible to adopt this essential approach.
Beyond simply addressing environmental impact, the B Corp certification encompasses 5 major pillars in which the company is heavily invested.
How the company is managed and how management exercises power.
Employee involvement, work appreciation, promoting employee well-being and shared values.
The company’s impact on society and the local, national and even international economic levels.
The company’s carbon footprint on the environment at every step.
Customer involvement, transparent communication, high-quality products, fair pricing and shared values.
Focus on the environment
The environment has been part of the brand’s DNA since the company was founded in 2004. Here is everything we have put in place to improve our ecological impact.
90% Quebec partners
80% Quebec-sourced ingredients in our Grand Granola and Müska lines
11 ingredients from Quebec
Free-standing plastic bags are the most environmentally friendly!
Fourmi Bionique has always sought to reduce its carbon footprint as much as possible. Furthermore, we regularly receive requests to offer ever more eco-friendly packaging.
In an attempt to meet these goals, we conducted a study with the help of the environmental life cycle assessment firm CT Consultant.
We made three important observations, some of which may be surprising and far from “Green Washing”:
- Greenhouse gases (GHG) are the biggest threat to our environment, according to scientific consensus.
- Although packaging is a major concern for the general public, it actually represents less than 5% of a food company’s GHG emissions, compared to about 80% for agriculture. So, by choosing local, mostly organic, ingredients, we are guaranteed to reduce our impact considerably.
- Lastly, given the state of recycling in Quebec, the free-standing multi-layered plastic bags we use remain the best option available. Even more so than compostable bags!
It takes into account different elements of the life cycle analysis:
- Food preservation (taste and integrity)
- Life cycle (production, transportation, recycling or disposal…)
- Cost (doubling the selling price of our products is not an option)
Read on for more information.
Metal boxes are not especially suited to granola. Their production takes a lot more energy and materials that are harder and more toxic to extract. They are also heavier, which makes transportation more harmful.
Ultimately, this solution would result in 600% more GHG emissions than our current bags*.
Similarly, an HDPE bin would result in 376% more GHG emissions*.
People often think of a cardboard box as being more environmentally friendly, when in fact, this solution inevitably requires secondary packaging to properly preserve the food.
That means a lot more material to produce and recycle. Especially when we know that only 25% of plastic in Quebec is recycled and that almost all the rest is sent to landfills (source in french). According to scientists, this option is 300% more harmful in terms of GHGs than our current bags*.
Who would have thought that compostable bags are one of the most hazardous options for the planet at this time?
Éco Entreprises Québec conducted a study with environmental and organic management consultants from SOLINOV and found that, given the current state of recycling in Quebec, plastic bags, whether recyclable or not, pose less of a risk than compostable packaging in terms of GHG emissions*.
The same is true for biodegradable packaging. Biodegradable packaging not only generates more GHGs when it decomposes, but it also fails to adequately preserve the product. The environmental impact of food waste is much greater than that of our plastic packaging.
And finally, this packaging is much more expensive and wouldn’t allow us to maintain our current selling prices.
Bulk can be a great alternative. But producing reusable packaging (glass, metal or plastic) generates more GHGs than a bag like ours. To achieve a positive trade-off and for bulk to become an effective solution, we need to reuse the container a significant number of times and avoid food waste caused by poor preservation or transportation losses.
That’s why our solution is to choose packaging that offers the optimal balance between strength, shelf life and the amount of plastic used. These bags only weigh between 11 and 15 grams and are recyclable.
Even if they are not recycled, which happens in most cases, they still do not generate as many GHG emissions as compostable, biodegradable or the other types of packaging mentioned above.
By providing the thinnest possible large-format bags, our strong airtight jars, and bulk in many specialty stores, we are taking the most effective approach possible to minimizing our environmental impact!
Naturally, Fourmi Bionique is committed to keeping an eye on future developments and finding ever better eco-friendly solutions.
- PTIS (2018). A Holistic View of the Role of Flexible Packaging in a Sustainable World. April 2018. https://www.flexpack.org/resources/sustainability-resources
- Éco Entreprises Québec (2021). Emballages biodégradables et compostables au Québec – Rapport sur l’état de la situation. https://ecoconception.eeq.ca/en-ca/reportpackaging
- Schmidt, G., Mendoza, F. & A., Manuel, J., A. Azapagic. (2018). Environmental impacts of takeaway food containers. Journal of Cleaner Production. 211. 417-427.
Focus on social responsibility
Our social impact has also been a priority since 2004!