METHOD's love for Chicago runs deep as the watershed

Posted by Chandler Slavin on Apr 22, 2016 9:05:03 AM

Hey guys!

Last week's SUSTPACK16 conference in Chicago was great. Produced by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and Smithers Pira the event brought together 450+ packaging delegates to discuss developments in sustainable packaging.

I kicked off the conference with a tour of green cleaning products company Method on the south side of Chicago in the historic Pullman District. I liked Method; now I love Method. And here is why.

They are a Benefit Corporation, along with a few other trail blazers like Patagonia-- which means that they are required per the tax law to invest in non-financially rewarding projects that benefit the community and environment. Take that Adam Smith!

Method is based in San Fran but they needed a manufacturing plant in the Midwest to facilitate National distribution. The company was considering Detroit and two locations in Chicago-- one being the Pullman District. Method wanted to build its new factory on reclaimed land; that is, land that is "unusable" due to previous industrial use and persistent heavy metals in the soil. It also wanted to build its factory in a community that needed it. Apparently during the scouting process, the community of Pullman came out in full force, and Method was inspired. Method subsequently purchased a plot of unusable land on Chicago's south side and spent 3 million bucks renovating the land to allow for the construction of its "soapbox."

Method uses water from Lake Michigan to make its green cleaning products; another reason that Chicago was selected for the new plant. Because of this huge demand, the company has partnered with The Nature Conservancy for a groundwater replenishment project. Method's goal with this project is to protect water in the Great Lakes' watershed and improve water quality throughout the area by offering incentives to farmers to increase groundwater recharge. Method hopes to replenish groundwater in equal amounts to the water used in its factory, targeting 30 million gallons of groundwater recharge over 5 years. So that's pretty cool.

Method's products are packaged largely in post-consumer recycled PET bottles and containers. It manufacturers its packaging ON-SITE via it's partnership with Amcor, giving a whole new meaning to vertical integration.

AND if you live in Chicago and purchase a Method product at retail, know that said product was delivered on bio-diesel trucks! #mindblown.

Here are some photos from the tour.

Method tourIt's ME! Check out my cool tour swag. Behind me is a wall of beautiful Method soap.

Method tourHere is our tour guide, who per his shirt, cleans like a mother.

AmcorThe good people of Amcor!

We are people against dirty

We are people against dirty!

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