The responsibility imposed by a rapidly changing climate weighs on governments, individual citizens and every industry that produces or consumes globally. Media and public scrutiny has focused on how companies can make a difference by improving their environmental business practices and lessening the impact on our planet’s air, oceans, landscapes, and quality of life. That’s why we’ve decided to take the lead in the food ingredient industry and place green eco-friendly initiatives at the forefront of our social responsibility as a manufacturing company.
As a leading innovator of natural, functional and organic food flavoring and ingredients, it made sense to launch our branded Catching the Green Wave™ environmental stewardship campaign. The plan’s goal is to achieve carbon-neutrality by 2013 through system wide changes to offset emissions from the company’s administrative and manufacturing operations by recycling, reducing and reusing.
The main component of this new campaign is Blue Pacific’s voluntary partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) WasteWise program, through which organizations eliminate the generation of solid waste to benefit the environment. With the help of WasteWise, we are working to conserve materials, save energy and reduce pollution to eliminate the emission of greenhouse gases and slow global warming.
Blue Pacific is the first food ingredient manufacturing company to be included in the EPA’s WasteWise program. We believe that the environmental and consumption issues impacting our daily lives need champions in every industry, and it is surprising that environmental stewardship is not more widespread in the food ingredient sector given the growth of natural and organic foods.
As a part of its contribution to WasteWise’s goal to eliminate solid waste in its manufacturing process, Blue Pacific has reduced its packaging by more than 60 percent with the roll-out of foam-molded, reusable boxes in all sample bottle distributions. We also employ back-hauling techniques to reduce the amount of energy expended during its shipping activities.
On the manufacturing side, we have also seen opportunities to move to greener operations. We are working on a cooperative program with our partner Green Wave clients to institute a new Clean-in-Place (CIP) method, which can sterilize reuseable poly-lined steel drums, eliminating the need to dispose of and buy new drums, drastically reducing solid waste. This is done on a case-by-case basis as we work in partnership with our clients at their request, employing the highest standard of quality assurance while maintaining the integrity of each unique flavor or ingredient we manufacture.
On the administrative side, our goal is to transition every vehicle owned and leased by the company to a Hybrid car by 2009 and we are creating incentive plans to encourage our employees to carpool to work.
In addition, we are working to transition to solar panel or wind energy at our California facilities. Currently we have adopted a mandatory recycling policy, and all company literature and marketing materials will be printed on recycled paper.
Blue Pacific’s investment in these eco-friendly business practices will not only provide our company and its employees a renewed sense of purpose in our daily business and personal eco-practices, it will produce tangible economic benefits to our company’s bottom line.
We are not alone in this view. According to a report by The Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), going green makes good business sense.
The study showed that 23 percent of the U.S. adult population is classified as consumers with Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS) with a profound sense of environmental and social responsibility, and are most likely to buy products with responsible operations in these areas.
This trend most notably seen in the natural and organic foods sector is moving over to conventional foods as well.
At the natural foods retail level, much of the decision making on consumer food and beverage purchases are based on environmental and social responsibility drivers.
The empowered and passionate “eco-consumer” no longer buys without cause, but purchases with conscious, trying to make a positive impact on the environment by buying products that share the same green vision and culture.
Donald F. Wilkes is CEO of Blue Pacific Flavors a leader in new flavor technology. For information visit www.bluepacificflavors.com.