Regarding Our Carbon-Neutral Candlery Claim:
The electric power for our candlery (our word for our chandlery, which we may also refer to as a workshop or studio) is powered by Xcel Energy, and we are 100% Windsource® renewable energy program powered in our residential workshop. Our workshop utilizes electric power for the majority of operations within our workshop, including but not limited to: melting of wax, utilizing electric stirring tools, lighting, ventilation & cooling, air purification, temperature measurement devices, and a host of other electrically powered gadgets we use in the workshop.
According to the Xcel Energy Program Information, the renewable energy produced by wind power and used is measured with Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) that are retired on our behalf, allowing us to legitimately say that we are using renewable energy. The energy used to heat our space during colder months is a combination of renewable electric energy from the Xcel Windsource® program, and the combustion of natural gas in a forced air furnace, resulting in temporarily increased greenhouse gas emissions during heating months.
How We Offset Our Greenhouse Gas Emissions
We refer to the EPA's Method for Calculating Carbon Sequestration by Trees in Urban and Suburban Settings as an available valid resource for us to calculate the trees necessary to offset as much or more than the carbon we calculate we produce from natural gas heating during the production and storage of our candles prior to sale. Our other energy is from renewable wind energy and does not emit greenhouse gasses. We had planted 124 2 year old Thuja occidentals trees on the property of the workshop in 2016 in effort to offset greenhouse gas emissions we estimate would arise from activity in the workshop. According to Table 2: Survival Factors and Annual Carbon Sequestration Rates for Common Urban Trees, the Moderate growth rate Conifer would sequester 6.6 lbs of carbon per tree/per year at 9 years of age as of 2023, and increase in their annual sequestration rate each year they grow - resulting in an estimated 818.4 lbs of carbon sequestration in those trees as of 2023. According to the EPA Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) data Table CE4.3 Annual household-site end-use-by-fuel in the Midwest-totals, a reference to the EPA's Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator, and our energy records between 2019 and as of 2023, our approx 1,000 SF workshop consumed an average of 20.56 therms per month over that period, equating to the generation of approx. 246.72 lbs of greenhouse gases per month and therefore by our understanding is below the estimated sequestration rate of the conifers we have planted to offset the greenhouse gas emissions we generate within our candlery. Since the conifer sequestion we allocate from those trees is for the specific operation of the candlery, and the candlery reside on the same property, we understand our candlery to be carbon-neutral.
We do not account for greenhouse gases generated related to the manufacture or delivery of our raw materials to our candlery, and our claim of being Carbon-Neutral is related only to the operation related to the production and storage of our candles within our candlery and not the use, transport, disposal, replacement, repair, resulting damage, misuse, nor any other non-candle products made by us or any other item or product, nor any product manufactured by others that we may we purchase and resale.
Regarding Our Low-Waste, Renewable, Biodegradable & Compostable Claims:
The wax we use in our candles is plant-based only.
We source three types of soy manufactured by AAK, which we understand to be sourced from low-risk US based crops only.
We source a coconut wax manufactured by Cargill.
We source a Rice Bran Wax manufactured by 株式会社伊那貿易商会
The % of use of each of these waxes in our formulations is carefully held by Begonia & Bench LLC as a trade secret.
The packaging we use for our candle products is Kraft paper based, with the significant majority of product packaging and our shipping cushioning material being of a natural unbleached Kraft based paper and shipping in corrugated boxes.
We use FSC Certified shipping labels for our shipments.
We intentionally package our Artisan candle in a corrugated box, as we refer to the EPA Containers and Packaging: Product-Specific Data as a reliable guide in determining which packaging type would have the lowest-waste, with corrugated boxes having a recycling rate of 96.5 percent there appears to be a significantly higher likelihood it will be recycled compared to a paperboard box, and therefore our understanding is low-waste.
We use only paper-based, non-plastic labeling on our all of our candle products and candle product retail packaging. We prioritize selecting NSC certified paper product when the option is available from our suppliers.
The packing tape we use on shipment corrugated boxes is Cradle to Cradle Bronze Certified curbside recyclable water activated Kraft paper tape.
Our glass candle vessels are made from soda lime glass, an infinitely recyclable material. Glassware is an under-recycled material, and we encourage those who purchase or burn our candles to avoid discarding glass vessels unless necessary.
Please recycle, repurpose or upcycle your glassware instead of sending it to the landfill.
Soda lime glass like that in our candle vessels is an infinitely recyclable material.
Our metal candles vessels & tins are made from aluminum, an infinitely recyclable material.
Our candle wick is made with cotton, paper, or a crackling wood wick and contains no zinc.
Crackling wood wick patented by Lumetique (Pat. www.lumetique.com/patents).
Our wick sustainers are made with a tin-coated steel and is infinitely recyclable.
Our Artisan vessels use 50% recycled glass in their manufacture.
Our candle lids are either tin, steel, aluminum, or natural bamboo lid that is sealed with a food-grade seed base mineral oil to prevent stain.
Our natural bamboo lid contains a removable silicone ring which can be recycled, but may require unique handling or be limited or unavailable in your area depending on the recycling requirements of your processor since silicone is typically not handled with the same process as plastic recycling.
Our commitment to renewability is beyond the use of materials in our product, but to do what we reasonably can to source from suppliers who have a commitment and ambition in their sustainability targets. There is much work for global suppliers of our supplies to update their myriad supply chains themselves to be in a position to attain full sustainability, so we monitor annual Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reports from our largest suppliers to evaluate their published progress towards their goals, and to compare them against other suitable alternative suppliers who may show better progress in attaining their ESG targets as we seek to make ESG improvements in our supply chain selections.The terms biodegradable and compostable may seem similar, but have very different definitions and important differences. We encourage you to review those differences on the BPI website here:
We refer to the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point Institute for Sustainable Technology for compostability testing services as an available valid resource for testing for decomposition and compostability of paper products. Kraft paper is made almost entirely of wood cellulose fibers and according to UW testing protocols the testing for biodegradability and compostability is measured against cellulose decomposition. Since Kraft paper is made almost entirely of wood cellulose and wood cellulose serves as a baseline for the testing comparison, we therefore conclude there is no need to test a cellulose material that already serves as the baseline by which all other biodegradable & compostable materials are tested against.
Regarding Claims of Partnership with the National Forest Foundation (NFF):
The National Forest Foundation (NFF) is a 501(c)3 charitable, nonprofit organization. with federal tax ID is 52-1786332 and contributions are tax deductible. The NFF was chartered by the US Congress in 1992 as the official non-profit partner of the US Forest Service. The U.S. Forest Service is prohibited by law from soliciting outside funding, so the NFF was established to provide the ability for private sector to fund our U.S. Forest Service via the National Forest Foundation.
Our partnership with the NFF can be independently validated on the NFF website here:
We are an active member of the NFF Sapling Program, a program that is accessible to companies interested in supporting the NFF on an ongoing basis who may have limited budget to do so.
Our use of NFF logos and text require alignment with their approved messaging, and the use of NFF logos and text is not authorized for non-members.
Details regarding specifics regarding the total number trees that were planted by the U.S. Forest Service and where is available for review on the NFF tree planting map:
We refer to the National Forest Foundation's claims as a valid resource, with their claim that the funding we provide to the NFF results in a sapling being planted on a US National Forest that is intended for reforestation and not intended for future lumber harvest, and we match the funding we contribute based on the individual number of candles we produce in our candlery at a rate of $1 per candle we make, which the NFF claims results in the planting of 1 sapling per dollar contributed. As the equivalent per tree contribution cost to plant trees via the NFF changes, the amount of our contribution may need to be changed and may no longer be "A tree is planted for every candle we make." We reserve the right to adjust our claim, and will adjust the phrase on product, content, and provide public notice of change. Our candle product labeling will reflect the correct claim in effect at the time of its manufacture. We use an automated tracking system to monitor the number of candles we produce. We then contribute an equivalent amount to the NFF on a quarterly or semi-annual basis to align our count with the actual contributions for tree planting. The number presented on our website or elsewhere does not represent the actual number of planted saplings in real-time, but includes both existing and future plantings.
We do our best to tie the number of trees factually planted in the ground to the number of candles we have made, but we aim to transparently communicate that there may be a delay in syncing some of the data you see from our tracking and the contributions between NFF, Begonia & Bench LLC, and the U.S. Forest Service. However, rest assured that the total amount to be contributed to the NFF and therefore number of trees that will be planted remains accurate.You can find Begonia & Bench listed as a donor in the NFF Annual Reports since our first year of partnership with the NFF in 2019, and independently compare our giving levels compared to other companies. The trees planted via our partnership with the NFF DO NOT result in a translation of a carbon credit to our claim of being Carbon-Neutral, as those trees are planted on US public lands and therefore are currently not available for carbon credit allocation.
VCMI Claims Code of Practice Claim:
The VCMI is an international initiative to bring credibility to voluntary carbon markets, and was established to help markets make measurable contribution to the Paris Agreement goals. We make no claims regarding compliance with VCMI, but do intend to comply with all criteria and eventually pursue a VCMI claim once we can complete necessary qualifications.
Certificate of Conformity to IFRA Standards:
You can download our Certificate of Conformity to IFRA standards here
Candle Safety & ASTM Compliance Claims:
Why we never use embeds in our candles.
We design & test our candles to ensure they meet ASTM F-2417 Standard Specification for Fire Safety for Candles
We design & test our candles to ensure they meet ASTM F-2326 Standard Test Method for Collection and Analysis of Visible Emissions from Candles as They Burn
Our candle product labeling complies with the US Fair Packaging and Labeling Act, as well as ASTM F-2058 Standard Specification for Candle Fire Safety Labeling
Learn more about candle safety on the National Candle Association website here:
A lit candle is an open flame, and is a fire hazard.
Never leave a burning candle unattended.
Never burn a candle on or near anything that might catch fire.
Keep candles out of reach of children and pets.
Regarding Use of Artificial Intelligence
Portions of content on our website have been augmented by artificial intelligence.
Regarding Employee Justice, Equity, Fairness & Inclusion
We do not currently have employees, but we value justice, equity, fairness, and inclusion. We strive to create a respectful and supportive workplace where all employees will have equal opportunities and can thrive. We are committed to fostering a culture of inclusion for everyone.
Regarding the Use of Automation
As an aspiring Industry 4.0 small business, we are preparing for the advanced use of robotics, cobots and fully-automated end-to-end integrated systems for the manufacture of some of our candles. We aspire to treat all robots & cobots with care and respect.