Achieving our verified status as a B Corporation in August 2022 was an incredible milestone in our sustainability journey; a journey that has spanned over 29 years, since St. Eval was first founded.
Born from humble beginnings, St. Eval began crafting classic church candles by hand in the family farmhouse kitchen. Fast forward over 29 years, and we are still maintaining the same traditional methods of candle making and find inspiration in the stunning Cornish coast and countryside around us.
With this beautiful source of inspiration right on our doorstep, we are constantly inspired and see it as our great duty and privilege to be able to go beyond, giving back to nature and protecting the world around us.
Our Farm, A Haven for Nature
Our farm is a wonderful haven for wildlife and our constant source of inspiration for new products and fragrances. We strive to tread softly on the earth and feel keenly the responsibility that falls on us to protect this natural environment which is so important to us. On our farm, we’ve gained High Level Stewardship and cultivate mixed arable fields and nurture livestock as well as protecting the wildlife in our surrounding fields and hedgerows.
We work closely with the RSPB to create a welcoming environment on our farm for many native species of bird, and some fields are managed with a late hay cut to give safe nesting areas for the farm birds. There are unharvested spring barley areas to provide food and safe habitats and a network of wild flowers and rough grass margins around the fields also attract the insects that corn buntings feed their chicks on. Management that is targeted at corn buntings is really good for lots of other species too particularly arable plants and butterflies!
Last year we unveiled our stunning new wildlife space, created in partnership with amazing local companies to ensure that only native or non-invasive species of flora were planted to encourage biodiversity in the area whilst also maintaining and protecting it. The trees and flowers that we've planted were chosen not only for their wonderful natural beauty, but for their hardy nature so that they would thrive whilst living on the coast surrounded by the sea air.
Amongst these newly cultivated areas we've also made sure to leave designated spaces untouched for rewilding, and have included bee bricks, swift nesting boxes and bat roosts made in Cornwall from 75% waste china clay, and we've created a swallow nesting space in an area of the site where they've been known to nest before.
All of these inclusions will encourage Cornish fauna to make their homes here; already we've been joined by dazzling blue dragonflies, pretty butterflies and majestic swallows, and we're so excited to see our wildlife haven continue to flourish.
Renewable Energy, Powering our Factory Sustainably
We love that we can produce our own sustainable energy via wind, solar and biomass to reduce our carbon footprint and impact on the environment. In 2011, we erected the UK's quietest Wind Turbine, which alongside our solar PV and fantastic biomass boilers ensure we can produce enough energy to power our workshop, including keeping our wax tanks at the perfect temperature for making our candles.
Our new factory and office space we finished in summer 2022 further gave us an opportunity to expand our renewable energy portfolio with the space to add 200 extra solar PV panels to contribute to the renewable energy that we already power our production with. With renewable energy powering this building and an incredible wildlife conversation area, this expansion enables us to cultivate a place for nature to flourish and grow our renewable energy sources to further support our sustainability pledge and we couldn't feel more proud.
We aim to be Net Zero by 2030, and we are well on track to achieve this ambitious target, with many initiatives to support this goal, including expanding our solar power portfolio and eliminating plastic from all diffuser and candle products.
Supporting our Community
As a business, we are honoured to be able to give back to the community by giving our support to the charities and projects who need it most. We have a dedicated charity committee made up of employees from across the business, and we support local charities and those further afield. Each month we donate our nature-inspired products to bring moments of happiness to those who need it most.
Our community impact is further supported by volunteering throughout the year with a local charity close to our hearts, People & Gardens C.I.C. Each summer a member of the St. Eval team gets the opportunity to spend a day supporting the team with various tasks, from weeding and planting to harvesting vegetables.
We also support our local foodbanks, where we match employee giving with cash donations.
What's next for St. Eval?
While becoming a certified B Corp is the latest incredible milestone in our sustainability journey, it’s certainly not the end. We have learned so much throughout this journey to becoming a B Corp, and we will continue to strive towards carrying out our sustainable ethos as we create beautiful products in the years to come.
We are delighted to have achieved an overall B Impact score of 85.3, but for us this is just the beginning. We have set ambitious targets for recertification in 2025 with the aim of increasing our score by 10 points and then pushing on to achieve Net Zero by 2030.