aerial view of Lake Champlain

Conservation Efforts

It’s amazing what a piece of chocolate can do.
Great tasting chocolate can transport you beyond the chaos of everyday life to a restorative moment of peace and serenity. Truly extraordinary chocolate has the power to do this, while also making the world a better place. Here at Lake Champlain Chocolates, we work in pursuit of these extraordinary chocolate moments for all — from the mom that’s looking for her sweet chocolate escape to the hard-working cocoa farmer, and everyone in between.

As a certified B Corporation®, we believe in using business as a force for good — crafting gourmet chocolate that benefits people, planet, profit, and purpose. We are constantly working to improve every aspect of the chocolate making process, whether it’s exploring more exciting flavor combinations, strengthening our partnerships within our local community, or expanding our sustainability initiatives.

Chocolate on an environmental mission

The new Restorative Moments Chocolate Bar Collection is the next step in our sustainability journey. Crafted not only out of the desire to embrace the restorative moments in life and in nature, but to preserve and protect the spaces that cultivate these experiences.

Lake Champlain, our namesake, is one of these special places. Not only is our chocolate factory located on the shores of this waterway, but it’s part of an ecosystem whose health is crucial to our local producers and the farmers that provide our fresh cream, sweet butter, and other local ingredients. Lake Champlain is also part of our community — a place where we can make memories with family, gather with friends, or enjoy a moment of sweet serenity.

Chocolate plus trees equals clean water

Planting trees for clean water

For our new Restorative Moments Collection, we are proud to be partnering with the Intervale Center’s Conservation Nursery — donating 10% of net profits from this collection to an organization that plants trees in order to help restore the quality and integrity of our waterways.

The Intervale Center has long been an integral part of the food community in Vermont (striving to improve farm viability and promoting sustainable land use, while working to engage the community in the food system). In 2002, the Intervale Center founded the Conservation Nursery. At the time, most of the tree stock being used for environmental conservation projects in Vermont came from large nurseries in the Mid-West. These trees didn’t match the local genotypes and weren’t native Vermont varieties.

a greenhouse filled with Nothern White Pine saplings

The Intervale Center set out to change that — building a tree farm where they harvest their own seeds and grow hearty native tree varieties that will really thrive in the Vermont environment. The trees and shrubs they grow help with conservation and river restoration projects throughout Vermont.

Planting trees is the easiest and most cost-effective way to mitigate climate change. Trees provide us with clean air, and they can also protect our forests and help clean our rivers and lakes. Planting (the right) trees and shrubs along our waterways creates what is known as a riparian buffer. A healthy riparian buffer protects against erosion, mitigates flood hazards, provides a habitat for local wildlife, and filters phosphorus and other pollutants from our water and air.

With a small team of dedicated employees and over 100 volunteers, the Intervale Center’s Conservation Nursery plants over 30,000 trees a year. This triumphant effort in environmental sustainability will help sequester over 4,000 tons of carbon over the next 5 years!

Extraordinary ingredients = extraordinary chocolates

Here’s our secret to creating irresistibly delicious chocolates… it’s all about using only the best ingredients possible. That’s why the Restorative Moments Collection is crafted with organic ingredients and fair trade certified chocolate. What does that have to do with clean water and environmental sustainability? Organic chocolate is grown without the use of harsh herbicides and pesticides, which as a result, means fewer chemicals make their way into our environment. Fair trade chocolate not only ensures that cocoa farmers earn a livable wage, but it also encourages sustainable, environmentally friendly farming practices which allows them to become better stewards of the land.

Sustainably-sourced paper

For more than 10 years, we have been utilizing FSC certified material in as much of our product packaging and print materials as possible. The FSC (Forest Steward Council) certification guarantees that the paper and cardboard we used was made from wood that was harvested from responsibly managed forests that are socially beneficial and environmentally conscious. We are proud to take our sustainable initiative to the next level by utilizing 100% post-consumer recycled fiber from New Leaf Paper for all of our chocolate bar wrappers. This sustainably-sourced packaging not only saves trees and reduces waste, but the production process reduces carbon emissions while also utilizing less energy and significantly less water than the typical virgin paper.

New Leaf Paper conservation infographic

Raising the blade

Our commitment to preserving and protecting restorative spaces in nature — like Lake Champlain — goes well beyond the chocolate bar. In 2018, we joined the Lake Champlain Basin Raise the Blade campaign and committed to sustainable lawn care practices at our Burlington chocolate factory. This includes only cutting our grass to 3 inches, removing only 1/3 of the grass blade, and leaving the lawn clipping. By following these sustainable lawn care practices, we are allowing our grass to create longer roots while promoting healthier soils that help absorb rainwater, filter pollutants, and reduce stormwater runoff.

Relax. Restore. Repeat.

Go ahead and enjoy your extraordinary chocolate just a little more, knowing that with each bite you are helping to preserve and protect restorative spaces in nature. It’s time to let chocolate change your world!