What’s Next for Socially Responsible Companies?
Happy New Year, and by the way…what’s next for socially responsible companies?
Sometimes it seems like the world is on fire. The politics of the USA, the politics of the world, Ebola, elections, wars, hunger, pain, suffering, sadness, gun violence in the US, the Monsanto monster, drought, floods, homelessness, mental illness, cruelty to animals, fraud, deceit, and I could go on for a long time but you get my drift here. Hopeless? I don’t think so. All of these and more imbalances exist and yet, there is an opposing force(s) working to neutralize them. It is made up of dedicated people, organizations, institutions, professionals and the like. Most powerfully, it is made up of you and I.
OK the “I” part. I guess that’s me. The man in the mirror, the hombre. What answers do I have? Good question! I try to do my part, my politics are balanced (at least I think so), I get a flu vaccine each year, I vote, I meditate for world peace, I once started a group in Central Florida to fight world hunger, I try to inspire others, make people laugh, give them hope, hug them, let them know they are not alone. I grow an organic garden in big giant pots on our back patio, I love animals, got a dog from Humane Society last year (best decision I ever made, I think). I promote gun safety and gun education, try to be honest in all my endeavors, and conduct my business with the highest principals I can attain, knowing that there is always room for improvement.
Business? What does that have to do with it? I am in the manufacturing business. It is part of who I am. Our small, family owned company, Soothing Touch, located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, creates various skin care products for the natural industry, massage and spa industries, massage schools, consumers, and anyone else who wants, what we think, are very good, effective skin care products at good prices. My point is, our company gets a chance to participate in all of the above ways to change as well. We do our best to take care of our employees, provide them with a nice, safe workplace, with lots of support and some fun to go with it. Manufacturing can be tough work and it usually is but if you are singing with a little dancing in your day, well, it’s just more fun, trust me on that.
We work hard to be among the ranks of the growing number of socially responsible companies, but it seems every time we look at things, we find more we can do. We cut down on waste every chance we get. It is amazing how much gets thrown away if we are not careful. What can we reuse that for, is a common question.
In the past year or so we have introduced ten retail products that carry the USDA Organic seal. We are proud of that. We have introduced four Ayurvedic body lotions that aren’t organic but are completely free of petroleum by-products whatsoever. All the ingredients are plant-based with a paraben free/ petroleum free preservative system. We are committed to organics and know that is a good start to our contributions to the planet, the organic industry, the small family farmers, ourselves, and to our customers. After all, what goes onto the skin goes into the body. Have you thought about that lately? What are the ingredients in your favorite product you put on your skin every day?
Our latest massage lotion, Ayurveda Massage Lotion, is also completely free of any petroleum by-products, parabens, phthalates, PEG, TEA, formaldehyde releasing agents, and propylene glycol. It is one of the first of its kind in the massage industry.
As a company we are cruelty free, work hard to keep GMOs out of our products and we are also vegan except in a handful of topical pain relief balms and gels that contain beeswax.
There is so much opportunity in business to make changes, improvements, and contributions.
With all we have done, we know there is so much more we can do to get better, to improve people’s lives, to make a difference, to affect change, to create the change we want to be as individuals.
I also know that what we do in business, how we make a living, is an extension of what we do and who we are in our individual lives. At least it should be in my opinion.
The cool thing about the concepts here is that it does not matter what business you are in. You can make a difference every day. If you sell cars, do it honestly with passion; if you work as a school teacher, educate yourself and teach well; if you answer phones, do it with integrity and good service in mind. Each and everyone one of these service touch people’s lives and that is exactly the point where the difference is made. That difference can literally change our lives.
So I guess my point is, even with all the challenges around us every day, we can make a difference. We can commit to higher ideals. We can be positive in our outlook. We can be better people and better companies. We can affect global change by focusing in our small, little lives and remember to allow the great multipliers of the universe do their thing ( 1 x unknown = unknown and unlimited). One thing leads to another, to another, to another…
I am grateful for all that I have received on this planet and commit to making a difference one breath at a time, one person at a time, one customer at a time. If we join together, we can truly move mountains or anything else we want to accomplish. I look forward to meeting you along the way!
Gurukirn Khalsa is co-owner and sales manager of Soothing Touch, a family-owned massage lubricant and body care manufacturer located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Organics is a big passion of his, he has been growing various organic vegetables since college, and now he is bringing that passion into Soothing Touch as they transition to more and more organic ingredients. He believes that small organic farming is the answer to many of today’s health and environmental challenges. His family is most important to him, and he has a beautiful wife, 4 grown children and 7 incredible grandkids.
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