Making Products Safely and Sustainably
"When Tom and Kate Chappell, our cofounders, mixed up their first batches of products, they used a Kitchen Aid mixer. We've come a long way since then! Today, our products are made in our enviromentally sensitive manufacturing facility, right here in Sanford, Maine, and we constantly strive to improve our sustainability practices at every level of our operations." Brian Peabody, Fulfillment Team Leader
Made in Maine
We've made products in Maine since 1970.
Since 2006, 100% of the electricity consumption at our factory has been offset by investing in wind energy credits supplied by Green-e, a certified, nationally recognized symbol of independently verified renewable energy. This eliminates production of 1.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually — the equivalent of planting 214 acres of trees! We also purchase renewable energy (hydro and biomass) for our offices.
Our factory and warehouse use sensor-controlled fluorescent energy-saving fixtures, which saves 250,000 kilowatt-hours per year compared to conventional fluorescent lighting.
Re-using cardboard boxes
We re-use the boxes in which our packaging arrives. Once we've unloaded the packaging, we break down the boxes and send them back to our partners to be rebuilt and used again. When our vendors realized that they were actually saving money on this, they started to explore using the idea with their other clients. Tom's employee Bill Hetzel tells the story.
We recycle toothpaste tubes, cardboard, folding cartons, mixed paper, and even challenging items such as shrink wrap. We even have special compacting equipment that allows us to recycle 15,000 pounds of paper sacks from our ingredients. Overall, our program recycles close to 300,000 pounds per year. This has resulted in the elimination of half of our dumpsters and weekly trash pick-ups.
Our QC team works hard to ensure the quality and safety of our product formulations. They test the recipes to make sure effectiveness and quality is maintained as we scale up from the lab to mass production and check each batch for safety and quality.
Preserving green space in our own community
In 2006, Tom's donated 38 acres of land to the Kennebunk Land Trust to create the Mousam River Wildlife Sanctuary. The donation protects community access to the land for recreational uses.
Sustainable office facility policies
Even the little things count! We pay attention to the details of how our offices operate and make changes there too. Our use of earth-friendly office items is at 69% and we hope to get that number even higher! Just a few examples: we use non-toxic cleaning products as a safer alternative for our cleaning partners and employees; we also use recycled and recyclable materials as much as possible in our offices, such as, toilet paper, and paper towels made from recycled paper (not from trees) without chlorine bleach, 100% recycled office paper, compact fluorescent light bulbs, and pens made from 81.6% recycled content; we eliminated usage of disposable paper products such as coffee cups and plates; and we moved from bottled to filtered water.
Made in MaineWe’re really proud of our facility! Tag along on this virtual tour and watch how we make our products.
A team effortIn 2004, the Tom’s factory caught on fire and we were out of commission for three months. Employee Shawn Ingham explains how he still got paid.
More than just a paycheckGeorge Day shares his experience working at Tom’s of Maine for 25 years.