Members of the press from several countries were invited to attend the most recent Aveda Congress in the Minneapolis Convention Center. One of the highlights of the three day event was a tour of the Aveda headquarters about 30 minutes outside Minneapolis in Blaine, Minnesota. The tour included meetings with Aveda Global Brand President Dominique Conseil, Global Artistic Director Antoinette Beenders, Aveda co-founder Shiv Nath Tandon, Aveda "nose" Guy Vincent (Aveda Perfumer), Executive Director of Botanical Research Cindy Angerhofer and other key Aveda executives.

THE TOUR: Aveda Headquarters, Blaine, Minnesota

Aveda was founded in Minneapolis in 1978 with the goal of providing beauty industry professionals with high performance, plant-based products while pursuing an ambitious social and environment agenda. Aveda's roots are planted in Ayurveda, the ancient east-Indian art of healing which takes a holistic approach to life and wellness. Thirty-five years later, Aveda is available in more than thirty countries providing products and education to more than 50,000 professionals in any of its 8,000 salons and 59 Aveda Institutes.

“At Aveda, the bottom line is about more than numbers – so states our mission, and this is the truth the company lives and breathes daily,” says Dominique Conseil, Aveda global brand president. “We believe every business should responsibly operate within a commitment to environmental sustainability. At Aveda, we are changing the world by changing the way the world does business.” 

The Blaine site produces 88% of the total SKU's sold. The main building is 276,000 square feet and the distrubution center takes up an additional 126,000 square feet on the 58 acre campus (40 of which are environmentally protected as a wildlife habitat). More than 600 products are produced at the site which employs 700 people. The facility is powered by solar and wind energy, is carpeted with recycled fibers, has an on-site day care center, gym (wellness center) and a cafeteria serving wholesome botanical foods.

Even more impressive is how Aveda is truly walking the walk and talking the talk. According to the press documents, Aveda’s signature Earth Month program is an annual fund-raising effort that, since 1999, has raised more than $26 million to help support organizations that directly affect environmental change. Since 2007, more than $20 million of this amount has been earmarked for water-related causes. Aveda participates in Breast Cancer Awareness month each October  and has donated more than $2.7 million to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation through sales of special edition breast cancer products to help fund research on environmental causes and links to breast cancer. Throughout the years, Aveda has pioneered new benchmarks of environmental responsibility in beauty. It was the first privately-owned company to sign the Ceres Principles in 1989 (Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies) and the first beauty company in the world to manufacture with 100 percent wind power. Aveda was also the first beauty company to receive a Cradle To Cradle charter for its commitment to sustainable products, packaging and production.