Our Mission focuses on three guiding principles: Stewardship, Sustainability, and Community. We strive to be responsible for the natural resources which we have been entrusted with; develop and encourage truly sustainable practices and systems; and be diligent in strengthening our local and global communities.
We are ever-mindful of our impact on the earth (both to its environment and people) and strive to make the lightest footprint possible.
Our company was founded on the concept that all resources, both natural and human, must be treated with respect and fairness. We demonstrate our commitment to these principals through our ultra efficient and eco-friendly manufacturing processes. We work to strengthen the environment and communities in which we live and conduct business (see Community). These beliefs have led us to expand (with our Nepalese partner) our sustainable farming project for Sapindus Mukorossi trees. Our goal is to annually plant thousands of these amazing trees, and help reforest the Himalayan Mountain Range. This important project ensures the continuity of one of Nepal’s greatest natural resources: provide hundreds of new jobs with fair wages; help reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and increase economic prosperity in one of the world’s poorest countries. In addition to our sustainable farming project, we will help facilitate educational outreach to community members about these precious trees, why they need to be protected, and how the fruits can benefit their lives and economy.
We are committed to developing and ensuring sustainable, environmentally-sound processes and products.
Environmental: In the world today, synthetic surfactants and most of the “natural” surfactants, are typically made from monoculture plants like corn, coconut, and palm. These monoculture plants are often grown using unsustainable farming methods such as: genetic modification; toxic pesticides; petroleum-based fertilizers; deforestation of tropical lands; and competition within the global food supply. As a society we are facing severe environmental issues, from dwindling natural resources and climate changes, to pollution of our planet and peoples. Natural surfactants derived from the soap berry provide a truly “green” alternative to hazardous chemical surfactants used today. By utilizing wild-harvested soap berries, ELS helps to support thousands of Nepalese families. Together we can help make our environment cleaner and improve lives by replacing chemicals with natural surfactants.
Process: The founders of ELS have invested millions of dollars in the development of their proprietary, certified organic, water extraction and fractionation process to manufacture botanical surfactants. This process is completely safe and natural and is eco-friendly.
Product: The Sapindus Mukorossi tree grows at the foothills of the Himalayas, in areas where few other plants survive; due to harsh conditions and poor soil quality. The berries are wild harvested, by local farmers. These berries contain high levels of saponins – the active ingredients that provide soap-like cleansing properties. Half of the fruits’ weight is comprised of the seed which is typically discarded or used for jewelry. Although ELS will be utilizing a small portion of the seeds for our reforestation project (see Stewardship), we (along with our Nepalese partner) have begun researching value-added products manufactured from the seed. Ultimately, the results of this cooperative effort will provide: virtually zero waste of the soap berry; achieve a carbon-negative process; create opportunities that continue to support Nepal’s people, businesses, and communities – furthering our mission.
We continually strive to improve the communities in which we live and do business in.
At home, ELS employs over 30 people in clean, safe and environmentally responsible facilities. We strive to treat our greatest resource, people – with respect and fairness. As ELS continues to grow, we will create even more jobs for those in our community.
In Nepal, ELS directly supports over 40 workers, as well as countless family farmers and harvesters. Through our enhanced reforestation efforts and educational outreach we hope to expand partnerships in Nepal and create additional opportunities for its people.
Currently, many individuals and businesses involved in the Nepalese soap berry market are forced to sell their berries at low margins. Although, soap berries are a natural commodity, a lot of work goes into hand harvesting, cleaning, deseeding, drying, packaging, and transporting the fruit. In addition to creating jobs and paying fair wages, we are committed to sharing profits with those involved in supplying soap berries to ELS. A portion of our profits goes back directly to Nepal: for reforestation efforts; to family farmers, harvesters, and businesses that contribute to our success. We are guided by the proverb, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”