You may have seen recent news of a major retail laundry detergent brand announcing a commitment to move to a phosphate-free formula. We say, ‘Welcome to the club!’

If you use an Amway laundry detergent, you can be assured you’re using a formula that doesn’t contain phosphates – no matter where in the world you purchased it.

Amway has manufactured phosphate-free laundry detergent for all its markets, even countries that don’t regulate phosphates, since the early 2000s, and even longer in the U.S.

Why is that important?

Because phosphates can get into lakes and streams where they promote excessive plant growth and decay. That causes water quality to deteriorate and suffocates aquatic life.

Many countries have banned phosphates in detergents as a result. Some countries still allow phosphate detergents – and some major retail detergent brands sold in those countries still contain phosphate. But not Amway.

Want to know more about our phosphate-free formulas and how we got there? Visit the Amway Global Newsroom for the full story.


Hard working, earth-friendly

What do coconuts and citrus have to do with cleaning your home, washing dishes and doing laundry?

Well, for our cleaning and laundry care products that are made with BIOQUEST FORUMLA™ technology, these natural materials are the building blocks to powerful performance while also caring for the environment.

Key ingredients derived from coconuts, citrus fruits and minerals clean away dirt, grime, grease and dust without adversely affecting the health of people or the planet (when used as directed).

Want some more reasons to like our products made with the BIOQUEST FORMULA?

  • They are biodegradable, so the they break down and decompose into elements found in nature.
  • They are gentle for use on a wide range of fabrics or surfaces.
  • And they are dermatologist tested, where appropriate.

They’re also concentrated, which brings another list of earth-friendly benefits:

  • They are made with less water.
  • Customers use smaller amounts for effective cleaning.
  • Less packaging is required, meaning waste is reduced.
  • And the smaller packages weigh less, reducing the amount of fuel needed to transport them.

That’s quite a list. Do you have anything to add? Leave a comment and let us know!


The acerola trail

You’ve heard us talk about “seed to supplement.” Well, here is the seed-to-supplement trail of our acerola cherries, the vitamin C-rich fruit used in our products.

  1. An acerola seedling is carefully selected because agricultural research has shown that it will produce the most vitamin C per cherry.
  2. The seedling is cared for in a greenhouse nursery until it has a strong enough stem and root system to be planted in the ground. It is kept moist and cool and protected from the hot sun.
  3. The ground is prepared with fresh compost, weeded and the irrigation is set up to create the perfect home for the seedling in an orchard of its sisters and brothers.
  4. The seedling is lined up exactly with its neighbors so that irrigation can supply just the right amount of water directly to the base of the tree every morning. (Sprinkler irrigation also helps conserve water while giving our plants the most nourishment.)
  5. Every day the young tree grows, until blossoms appear. The bees on our organic farms come buzzing and, along with the local winds, help pollination.
  6. The first small green cherries appear, and the workers start measuring them.
  7. When the cherries are at their largest green state, about the size of a nickel and just before they start to turn color, they are harvested and transported to the on-site processing plant.
  8. At the plant, the cherries are loaded onto a conveyor belt where they are rinsed and milled into small pieces.
  9. The cherry pieces are ground in to a pulp and put into a water extraction process to get our acerola juice concentrate.
  10. The concentrate liquid goes through a spray dryer, and we are left with a beautiful fine powder of 100% acerola concentrate.
  11. The powder is packaged in sealed drums and shipped out to be used in Nutrilite products.

So, next time you take your daily vitamin C tablet, you can picture the path it took before it reached you — seed to supplement! (You also can see photos of the cherries at different stages of growth at our Nutrilite Facebook page.)


Composting – Then and Now

At our Nutrilite farms we take our soil health very seriously. It’s a crucial component of organic farming. One way we do this is through composting. We test our compost for nutrient analysis and apply it at specific times during the season to get maximum benefit. At our Trout Lake Farm, that happens twice a year.

When we drop compost on the fields, it must be worked into the soil within a couple hours, otherwise the nutrients will evaporate and the compost will lose its strength.  We use a synchronized process with two GPS-controlled tractors – one dropping the compost, the other following behind tilling it in.

Organic has been a way of life for us long before the term existed, including using compost in our soil.

We were composting in the fifties, as you can see in the top photo taken from our archives. We are composting today: The second photo was taken recently at Trout Lake.

And, we will continue our organic farming and composting practices long into the future – it’s part of our legacy.

Feeding the soil natural materials to yield the healthiest plants is just one way that Nutrilite maintains control of the process — from seed to supplement.


Purpose, passion, potential

“Amway was founded on the belief that, by helping people improve their lives, they could make the world a better place.”

So begins the message from our Chairman Steve Van Andel and our President Doug DeVos in the Amway 2012 Global Corporate Social Responsibility Report released today.

The annual report highlights the many ways our company, its more than 21,000 employees and more than 3 million distributors make a difference in the lives of others.

That includes building homes in Latin America, providing water filters in Haiti, building libraries in China and adopting schools right here in the hometown of our World Headquarters.

Corporate Social Responsibility is built into everything we do: our people, our products and our performance.

 Steve and Doug credit their fathers for recognizing the potential in this business for making a difference.

“They made it their mission to be more, do more, give more. And more than a half-century later, we’re still emulating their powerful example. … We’re awed by how far we’ve come and inspired to keep becoming more, together.”

Read the full report here.


The complete protein package

Nutrilite’s new All Plant Protein Powder is unique because it uses a tri-blend of soy, wheat and pea protein to help keep you healthy and energetic without animal products or dairy. But it’s not just what’s inside the package that makes this product special. The canister itself has unique characteristics.

Packaging engineers and designers created multiple prototypes using wide variety of feedback to produce an All Plant Protein canister that really stands out. You’ll notice the uniqueness when you pick it up and hold it in your hand.

It has a visual connection with the NUTRILITE™ supplement bottle shape. The handle grip makes the container easier to hold. And the translucent green cap matches the color and transparency of a DOUBLE  X™ supplement tray. It’s also made of plastic, which has a smaller carbon footprint than our previous package and is more easily recycled into common recycling streams available around the globe.

So, when you open your All Plant Protein Powder, enjoy what’s inside, but take some time to appreciate the package it came in, too!


Icelandic Ingredients

While many of the ingredients for our supplements are grown on our own organic farms, some are not so easily attainable. For our new Cal Mag D Plus supplement, we traveled all the way to the glacial fjords off the coast of Iceland to harvest the naturally calcified seaweed found in our product.

The seaweed starts out as a purple plant called coralline red algae. As it grows in the Icelandic fjords, it forms reefs and naturally calcifies. The motion of the sea breaks off bits of the calcified portions. They are carried by ocean currents and deposited in Maerl beds deep under the sea where our crew harvests them. This calcified seaweed is one of nature’s most concentrated botanical sources of calcium and magnesium.

Even in the waters off Iceland we certify our supplier to meet Nutrilite’s high NutriCert standards, which ensure that sustainable environmental and agricultural practices are followed in the production of ingredients used in our supplements. The harvesting crews use advanced GPS technology to gather the seaweed while protecting other delicate sea life.

Check out the photo album at our Nutrilite Facebook page that track’s Nutrilite scientist Kevin Gellenbeck’s trip to Bildudalur, Iceland to certify the harvesting operation.


Getting our goat

Every year our Lakeview farm in California welcomes some nibbling visitors.

Usually it’s a flock of sheep brought in to spend a few weeks in the fields feeding on the dormant alfalfa and weeds that pop up this time of the year.

This year we were treated to a herd of goats. Farm Supervisor Pete Debus said about a thousand goats are spending three weeks in the fields, keeping the vegetation under control until the growing season starts. (An added benefit, they leave behind some natural fertilizer!)

We use the same process in Brazil, where the sheep are moved around through the acerola trees.

“It’s not a dormant period, because that doesn’t happen there, but they are good at keeping the grass down around the trees,” Debus said.

We’ll have to check back to see which animal does a better job. Sheep or goats?


Nature by the month

Steve Van Dyke was stalking a deer at Amway World Headquarters last year with his Canon 60D, tracking it through the woods until he was about 30 feet away.

“I turned around, and he looked right at me and gave me a look,” said Steve, who works in the Amway IT department. “It was the deer-in-the-headlights look.”

Turn to May in the Amway 2013 company calendar and you can see that deer-in-the-headlights look yourself. The calendar features four other photos by Steve and several by other Amway employees.

Amway Sustainability Program Manager Rick VanDellen has produced wildlife calendars for the company before, but only in small batches.

This is the first year it was published as the main company calendar and included employee photos of nature scenes captured on the property. It also highlights several activities Amway has focused on the wildlife habitat, including bird boxes, bird banding, nature nights for families and wildlife photography workshops. They all help us maintain our certification with the Wildlife Habitat Council.

Rick said many of the photos chosen from the 40 or so submitted were taken by people who had attended the photo workshops. But Danny Favreau captured his Snowy Owl photos for January while on the job at the Amway corporate hangar at Gerald R. Ford International Airport.

“Normally you see one; on occasion we see two. But on one occasion, there’s a great big pine tree next to our hangar, and there were three of them there at one time in close proximity,” he said. “I couldn’t get to my camera fast enough.”

Sri Soekarman also took her photo of a blue dasher dragonfly while on the job. She was photographing the first annual Lake Amway Charity Fishing Tournament for the public relations department.

Other photos were taken by Jim Parker in IT, John Harrison, a senior software developer, and Bob Garner, a system engineer. David Aupperlee, a contractor and former Amway employee who regularly photographs the wildlife habitat, also has several photos featured.

Rick said he’s getting very good feedback and he may have to print more than the 5,000 in the first run.

“I’m running out quickly,” he said.

See a photo album of all the calendar pictures at our Amway Facebook page.


Seeking Healthy Agriculture, Healthy Nutrition, Healthy People

The numbers don’t lie: The prevalence of high-calorie, low-nutritient food coupled with sedentary lifestyles is leading the world down a dangerous path. Worldwide obesity nearly doubled between 1980 and 2008, according to the World Health Organization. As a result, more than half a billion adults worldwide are obese.

To help address this issue, Nutrilite Health Institute President Dr. Sam Rehnborg recently participated in a special conference at the Rockefeller Foundation in Bellagio, Italy. The Healthy Agriculture, Healthy Nutrition, Healthy People conference was a select gathering of thought leaders from across the globe. Experts in public policy, economics, nutrition, medicine and law, along with food and agricultural industry representatives, spent three days wrestling with the issue of global obesity and nutrition. They were striving to understand the obstacles governments face when attempting to implement policies that could lead to optimal diets for their populations.

The conference was organized by Nutrilite Scientific Advisory Board member and pre-eminent Omega-3s expert Artemis Simopoulos and her Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health in partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation. Also in attendance was Scientific Advisory Board member Richard Johnson, an expert on the role of fructose in the obesity epidemic, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and hypertension.

Conference members recognized that one way to address global obesity and improve nutriltion worldwide is through sustainable agriculture, an area of expertise for Nutrilite. They also discussed shaping diets based on scientific evidence, economic considerations, regional factors influencing policy change and local initiatives to educate industry.

Perhaps the conference could be more easily characterized as a “think tank,” a gathering of leaders seeking pragmatic solutions that can translate into actual results. The participants will soon publish a white paper presenting their outcomes and policy suggestions. The goal is to help governments address global obesity and the chronic diseases that result from it.

With at least 2.8 million people dying each year as a result of being overweight or obese, it is a goal worth pursuing.