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Now & Zen Environmental and Sustainability Policy


Now & Zen, Inc. Environmental and Sustainability Policy
Summary and Overview
Now & Zen, Inc, headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, USA, conceives, designs, and finances the production and distribution of all our patented and trademarked products. All Now & Zen products are made exclusively to our specifications at two different third-party factories in Shenzhen city, Guangdong province, China, with the exception of our brass bowl-gongs, which are made in a third-party factory in the city of Moradabad, Utter Pradesh, India. Our products are shipped by ocean freight from China and India to the port of Long Beach, California, and then trucked to a third-party warehouse in Denver. Our products are then shipped directly to our customers from our Denver warehouse via UPS (and occasionally by USPS), or sold at our Boulder retail store.

This international business model generates an estimated carbon footprint of approximately 70 tons of carbon annually. Some of this carbon footprint is offset by the environmental efforts of our shipper, UPS (see www.sustainability.ups.com), and most of the rest is offset through Now & Zen’s carbon credit program described below.

In addition to the offset of our overall greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint, Now & Zen also assures that our business operations are as sustainable as possible by using only renewable and sustainable wood products, by conserving and recycling whenever possible, and assuring that all by-products of our business are disposed of safely and responsibly. Moreover, we also seek to run a sustainable business by assuring that our employees, as well as the employees of our third-party partners, are treated ethically and paid a living wage. Each of these initiatives is described in detail below.

In our efforts to be a good corporate citizen, a sustainable producer, and an ethical employer, Now & Zen is striving for continuous improvement. We are perhaps not yet as virtuous as we could be, but we are working to do better and better every year. In addition to this statement of Now & Zen’s environmental and sustainability policy, we also invite you to read our political policy, which explains our position regarding globalization and economic justice.

Carbon Footprint and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Program
Now & Zen works with Washington D.C. based Carbonfund.org to purchase carbon credits through the Chicago Carbon Exchange that sponsor carbon-reducing projects such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, and reforestation projects. Now & Zen has been certified as a “Carbon-Free Business” by Carbonfund.org - please see their website for further details on this program.

Carbon Fund


In addition to buying offsetting carbon credits, Now & Zen has also signed up with our power provider, Xcel Energy, to pay extra to provide our business’s energy needs with wind-generated electricity rather than the normally-supplied electricity produced by a coal-fired power plant. Please see Xcel Energy’s website for further information on their “windsource” renewable energy program.

Xcel Windsource


Sustainability of Materials Used
The natural wood bodies for our products are made from a variety of woods, all of which are grown on North American tree farms in a sustainable and non-polluting manner. These woods include, maple, walnut, and cherry. We also use bamboo grown in Asia (which is an obviously renewable grass processed into a wood-like material). Some of our products are also made using wood veneers of maple, cherry, and oak laminated to medium density fiberboard. Now & Zen will never make products using wood from rainforests, wood cut from old-growth forests, or wood that is otherwise unsustainable or environmentally unfriendly.

The primary material of all Now & Zen products is wood or wood veneer finished with water-soluble finishes. However, our products also contain aluminum (for the chime bars), brass (for the bowl-gongs), ABS plastic (for the injection molded parts), and electronic components (for the circuit boards). For the environmental considerations of these materials, please see the section below on “Safe Disposal of By-products.”

All Now & Zen products use batteries. However, our overall best-selling product line, the Digital Zen Alarm Clock, comes with an AC adapter plug that allows it to be used without batteries. Our original triangle Zen Clock is battery-powered only, but as a decorative art-piece, the vast majority of our users do not want to have to plug it in for aesthetic reasons. Battery life for our Zen Alarm Clock is approximately 2 years with everyday use, so given an estimated 10 year product life, it will require that approximately 20 used batteries be sent to the landfill (with and estimate of 10 batteries for our Zen Timepiece). Nevertheless, we are working on a next-generation triangle clock that will come with an AC adapter plug like the Digital Clock. Overall, the use of batteries is feature of our products which we cannot avoid given market expectations.

Conservation and Recycling
Now & Zen strives to reduce, reuse, and recycle whenever practically possible. Our Boulder offices and headquarters maintain a robust recycling program. However, because of Now & Zen’s business model, described above, the factory and warehouse operations used by our business are run by third parties. We encourage these third party operations to maximize their conservation and recycling efforts and continue to let them know that this is a very important concern to us and to our customers. The manufacturing and warehousing of clocks is not a heavily polluting industry, but we nevertheless continue to focus on this area for continuous improvement in the environmental impact of our products, our packaging, and our operating procedures. As discussed above, the main environmental impact of our business is the global transportation of our products, and this is an impact we are attempting to mitigate through our Carbon Footprint and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Program

Safe Disposal of By-products
All products returned to Now & Zen as defective or obsolete are disposed of in a way designed to minimize impact on the environment. As with all consumer electronic products, our main concern is the circuit boards contained in our clocks. While the volume of such electronics is significantly less than that found in a home computer, we nevertheless employ reputable specialized electronics recyclers to ensure that the circuit boards from our scrap products are not disposed of in way that harms the environment.

Ethical Treatment of Employees
In addition to Now & Zen’s strong concern for our natural environment, we also strive to be ethical toward our cultural environment. This means that all Now & Zen employees are paid a living wage that includes health care, vacation benefits, and a 401(K) retirement program. Now & Zen’s highest paid employee is paid a total annual amount that is not more than 5 times the total annual wage of our lowest paid employee. Moreover, Now & Zen has an explicit policy of mutual respect and fairness that is an important part of our corporate culture. In addition to the care of our own employees, Now & Zen seeks to ensure that the employees of our third-party partners are treated ethically and paid a living wage. For more on these efforts, please see our political policy, which explains our position regarding globalization and economic justice.

2007, Now & Zen, Inc.

Now & Zen, Inc. 743 Pine St., Boulder, CO 80302 • (800) 779-6383 • www.now-zen.com • orders@now-zen.com



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