WhiteWave Foods beats sustainability goals, sets sights higher

WhiteWave Foods beats sustainability goals, sets sights higher

Goals and reported progress underscore the company’s ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship and corporate social responsibility.

WhiteWave Foods, the Broomfield-based company that makes Silk®, Horizon Organic®, International Delight®, and LAND O LAKES®*, today reported its positive progress against its corporate sustainability goals and announced a second wave of even more ambitious targets.

“Producing food choices responsibly, reducing our impact on the environment and giving back to our communities are all part of our mission of becoming the Earth’s favorite food company,” said Blaine McPeak, president of WhiteWave Foods. “We are incredibly pleased with our progress to date – we surpassed our original expectations, which gives us the confidence to aspire for even more in our future goals.”

Corporate Sustainability Goals and Progress to Date

WhiteWave set several sustainability goals in 2006 and 2007, and to date the company has:

·         Reduced GHG emissions per gallon of product produced by 16 percent, compared to a 2006 baseline, by improving herd, soil and pasture management, and incorporating energy efficiency measures. Having clearly surpassed its original goal of a 10 percent reduction by 2010, the company recently set a new, more aggressive goal to accomplish a 25 percent reduction in GHG emissions by 2013, still working from a 2006 baseline.

·         Reduced metric tons of waste to landfill by 30 percent, as a result of increased recycling programs and increased material efficiency at the company’s production facilities. Having now met its original goal of a 30 percent reduction in waste, WhiteWave is committed to continuing to look for new opportunities to remove waste and costs from the business moving forward.

·         Reduced non-ingredient water consumption by 5 percent compared with 2008 consumption, by implementing a series of equipment updates and efficiency improvements identified by on-site water audits of WhiteWave facilities. The company is continuing to work to reduce non-ingredient water use to achieve its goal of a 15 percent reduction by 2013, compared to a 2008 baseline.

·         Increased employee engagement in WhiteWave’s Values in Action (VIA) program by 27% from 2009 to 2010, nearly triple the 10 percent year over year growth goal. VIA was created in 2006 to not only encourage employees to volunteer with community organizations, but also to encourage and recognize employee efforts to reduce GHG emissions by taking public transportation, carpooling or cycling to work. WhiteWave is one of a few major companies to track corporate engagement in sustainability, volunteerism and activism in this way. Employees volunteered more than 7,700 hours in 2010, and nearly 300 employees gave back to their communities in 2011 through the company’s second annual Impact Day, providing close to 1,100 hours of service in a single day.

These environmental metrics are normalized per gallon of product produced, and apply to facilities under the company’s operational control. The GHG goal includes WhiteWave’s two company-owned Horizon Organic dairy farms; its five company-owned plants; four sales offices; CreaMiser Products division; research and development center; and the company’s headquarters in Broomfield, Colo. All GHG calculations are conducted in accordance with the World Resources Institute and World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WRI/WBCSD’s) GHG Protocol for Corporate GHG Reporting.  Waste and water reduction goals apply to company-owned plants, research and development center and Colorado headquarters. 

WhiteWave’s corporate sustainability goals are included in its Strategic Growth Plan and are part of a company-wide approach to environmental stewardship and corporate responsibility, called Responsible Livelihood.  Responsible Livelihood helps ensure WhiteWave products are produced responsibly and with respect for the earth’s natural resources, a mission that is part of goals and operating plans for all WhiteWave brands, facilities and departments.

Examples of additional WhiteWave Responsible Livelihood initiatives include:

  • Recapturing first quality product in an aseptic tank for use, preventing it from entering the public waste system, which helps to eliminate 50 sludge tankers and associated transportation emissions. 
  • Instituting a zero-waste recycling and composting program at WhiteWave’s headquarters. By recycling and composting the company’s food waste, paper, cardboard, recyclables, etc. within its various break rooms and café, WhiteWave diverted roughly 115,000 pounds of waste from landfills in 2010 alone. 
  • Securing Silver certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® for Existing Buildings (EB) rating system for WhiteWave’s corporate headquarters in Colorado.The program helps building owners and operators achieve operational efficiency while minimizing environmental impacts. Hines, the international real estate firm that owns the building, encouraged by WhiteWave, led certification efforts.Major initiatives that led to the building’s LEED certification include:

–      Water Restoration Credits: The first of their kind, Bonneville Environmental Foundation Water Restoration Certificates (WRCs) are an effective way for businesses to take responsibility for their water consumption by returning an amount of water equal to what they’ve used back to the environment.

–      Thirty-three percent reduction in potable water usage: The building implemented retrofitted hardware to all of its restroom plumbing fixtures. Low flow aerators and automatic flush valves were also installed in all restrooms in an effort to reduce water consumption.

–      Fuel efficiency parking spaces: The company has several parking spots reserved for hybrid and fuel efficient vehicles.

  • Recently launching a green purchasing initiative and training program that identifies opportunities to utilize environmentally-friendly office supplies, electronics and office fixtures in place of conventional versions. As a result of this initiative, employees are armed with knowledge to pursue sustainable purchasing objectives such as purchasing carpeting, desk chairs and cubicle material that are both recyclable and made from recycled sources.
  • Earning the ENERGY STAR®label at WhiteWave’s corporate headquarters building for the fourth consecutive year.  The ENERGY STAR labeling program for buildings offers a government-backed certification for properties that demonstrate measurable cost savings in operation and improve the quality of the environment. The building’s current weighted-average score of 87 under the program represents an annual energy savings of 37 percent, or $0.96 in energy costs per square foot when compared to the average U.S. office structure. 

About WhiteWave Foods

The mission of WhiteWave Foods is to be the Earth’s favorite food company, by creating nutritious, innovative, responsibly-produced foods that nurture people and the planet. WhiteWave brands include Horizon®, the leading national organic dairy brand; and Silk®, the national category leader in natural and organic plant-based beverages, including Silk® Soymilk, Silk® Pure Almond and Silk® Pure Coconut. WhiteWave also makes International Delight®, the nation’s leading provider of flavored, liquid non-dairy creamers and LAND O LAKES®* liquid dairy products, including America’s number one nationally branded Half & Half and Fat Free Half & Half.

Based in Colorado, WhiteWave is committed to sustainability, from encouraging the use of renewable energy to reducing waste, water use and greenhouse gas emissions at its farms, plants and offices. For more information, visit WhiteWave online at www.whitewavefoods.com, explore the WhiteWave blog at www.thegrazingmind.com, or follow WhiteWave on Facebook and Twitter.

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