How to break eggs - sustainably

Stratum Nutrition isn't walking on eggshells when it comes to sustainability.

The company, a division of St. Charles, Missouri-based Novus International, sources ingredients from the egg-breaking industry, which generates 600,000 metric tonnes of waste eggshells annually. The liquid parts are sold as food ingredients, while shells end up spread on fields or dumped in a landfill.

Like so many other companies in the dietary-supplements industry, Stratum has found a way to turn a waste product into ingredients that benefit human health. How much of this waste stream is diverted to Stratum's products?

"We have a small role we're playing at this time. With our partnership with ESM Technologies, we're looking at promoting the ingredients we've already created," said Jeremy Moore, director of marketing for Stratum.

"We're also looking at how we could use the products outside of human nutrition and animal nutrition," Moore said, thereby increasing their use and diverting more waste. Stratum's natural eggshell membrane and eggshell calcium products are sold under the brands NEM and ESC, respectively.

"From a social perspective, we get to feel good about it because we are able to employ people to take advantage of these waste streams," Moore said. "From an environmental standpoint we're diverting a waste stream, and from an economic standpoint we're able to make this sustainable by making a profit."

Novus takes sustainability a step further, weaving it into its corporate culture.

"Now as we're looking at introducing new products we're always looking at it from a sustainability standpoint.," Moore said.

When Novus built its recently completed headquarters in the St. Louis suburbs, it decided on a LEED-certified design that included a solar array to leave as small a carbon footprint as possible. The building also includes countertops made from recycled plastic and aluminum, and has a number of energy-saving features.

"We're really in that mindset at all times," Moore said.

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