Today is World Water Day, and consistent with our mission to Change the Way the World Eats for the better, we want to acknowledge both the water challenges we face in the world and our commitments to drive positive change in how our business can impact water security and conservation.
At WhiteWave, we believe strongly in the responsibility to take care of people and the planet, and water conservation is a big part of this commitment. More than 663 million people in the world are living without a clean and safe water supply close to home. The UN created World Water Day to help draw attention to and address this global issue.
Water conservation also hits close to home for us since high-quality freshwater is a key resource to cultivate crops, for use as an ingredient, and as a component of the food manufacturing process. By reducing the amount of water we use to make our products, we can create a more efficient and sustainable business model that not only benefits the environment, but also helps to keep our products affordable.
In 2016, we developed a climate and water policy that outlines our position and commitments in these areas. One of these commitments is to reduce water intensity (gallons per pound of product) by 20 percent, from a 2013 baseline, by 2025. And, we’re making good progress. From 2006-2013, we reduced water intensity by 6 percent. From 2013- 2015, water intensity has been reduced 7 percent.
Some of our water-related initiatives include:
- Balancing portions of our footprint with Water Restoration Certificates (WRCs). We balance 100 percent of our water footprint from our North American manufacturing through these WRCs. And, in 2015, we balanced 45 percent of our global manufacturing water footprint through the purchase of WRCs from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF). For each WRC purchased, 1,000 gallons of water is restored to critically dewatered rivers and water systems across the U.S. Since 2009, we’ve restored more than 3.6 billion gallons of water across eight states.
- Supporting BEF’s Change the Course water stewardship campaign. This effort engages companies and individuals in conservation awareness, action and replenishment of freshwater ecosystems. We’ve helped to restore more than 5 billion gallons of water through 17 restoration projects in seven states.
- Conserving water at our Mt. Crawford, Virginia manufacturing plant. In 2015, we completed the first phase of a wastewater treatment project where more than 55 percent of the water consumed by the plant’s cooling tower (more than 35 million gallons per year) can now be reused. And, this is just one example of many initiatives we have in place to reduce our water footprint at our manufacturing facilities.
We’re also marking this World Water Day by donating over 4,000 gallons of Horizon Organic milk to the people of Flint, Michigan. This community has been fighting for clean and safe water for the past two years, and our WhiteWave team hopes this small donation will help nourish this community in a time of need.
You can learn more about how to participate in World Water Day and make a difference here: http://www.worldwaterday.org/.
We’re happy to report that it was another exciting and successful year for WhiteWave at Natural Products Expo West, the world’s largest natural, organic and healthy products expo.
This year, our entire family of brands, including Earthbound Farm, Horizon, Silk, Simply Pure, Sir Bananas, So Delicious Dairy Free, STōK, Vega and Wallaby, were all in attendance. They shared and sampled an array of on-trend products to help meet the needs of today’s natural and organic consumer.
Here’s a quick look at a few of the new products shared at the show:
- Earthbound Farm Organic Chopped Salad Kits: These salad kits, full of premium, flavor-forward organic ingredients, have everything you need in one bag for a seriously delicious ready-to-eat salad.
- Horizon Organic Good & Go! Cheese Snacks: With real organic nutrition and five or more grams of protein, these new snack combos are a deliciously easy way to keep kids going.
- Simply Pure Sweet & Creamy: This tasty coffee creamer is made with real milk, cream and cane sugar, and contains no artificial flavors, colors or high-fructose corn syrup.
- Silk Protein & Nutmilk: With the goodness of almonds and creaminess of cashews, Silk Protein Nutmilk packs 10 grams of protein per serving from 100% peas.Sir Bananas: Every serving of Sir Bananas bananamilk contains real bananas and seven grams of protein. Plus, it has eight essential nutrients and is made without high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, sweeteners or colors.
- So Delicious Dairy Free Almondmilk Coffee Creamer: These delectably smooth creamers are available in six flavors and made using only organic, Non-GMO Project Verified nuts.
- STōK Un-Sweet Cold Brew Coffee This cold brew is steeped at a lower temperature for 10 hours to bring out every drop of smooth, bold, one-of-a-kind SToKness.
- Vega Protein+ Shake: With ingredients made from real, plant-based foods, Vega Protein+ Shake is a ready-to-drink, delicious way to start the day.
- Wallaby Organic Whole Milk Greek Yogurt: This new whole milk yogurt offers a slightly richer taste that is further complemented by the blending of premium organic fruit throughout each cup, offering consistent flavor in every spoonful.
In addition to sampling a variety of new products, we also hosted a Bee Friendly Green Kiosk at the show. The Kiosk was in support of the Bring Back the Pollinators program in partnership with The Xerces Society, which works to protect invertebrates and their habitats. When show attendees visited the kiosk, they were encouraged to pledge to support pollinators. In exchange, they were give a complementary seed packet and $5 was donated to The Xerces Society.
We were thrilled to be among the 70,000+ industry professionals in Anaheim, Calif. that share our passionate outlook on changing the food industry for the better. As always, we had a blast engaging with our peers, consumers and friends. We are already looking forward to Expo West 2018!
We are excited to be partnering with the Climate Collaborative , launching at Natural Products Expo West, the world’s largest natural, organic and healthy products event.
The Climate Collaborative is a three-year joint partnership between One Step Closer, an Organic and Sustainable Community (OSC2) and the Sustainable Food Trade Association which leverages the power of the natural products industry and takes bold action to reverse climate change.
The Collaborative is comprised of manufacturers, retailers, distributors, suppliers and other concerned businesses from the natural food industry. These companies, like us, are invited to make commitments in at least two focus areas and report annually on results. The focus areas include: agriculture, energy productivity, food waste, forests, packaging, policy, renewable energy, short-lived climate pollutants and transportation.
At WhiteWave, we’ve made commitments in the following three areas:
Forests: To remove commodity-driven deforestation from supply chains
Energy Productivity: To increase energy productivity
Food Waste: To reduce food waste in the supply chain
The Collaborative is aiming to have commitments from 100 companies in its first year. Together, with these other brands, we’ll work with the Collaborative to create pathways to action, connecting companies to resources and creating solutions.
Supporting the Climate Collaborative fits seamlessly with our ongoing commitment to reducing our environmental impact. Specifically, we have plans in place to address and reduce our water use, greenhouse gas emissions and waste to landfill.
By partnering with other innovators who set the bar high and inspire others, we can work together to minimize environmental impact and to create a better future for us all.
We invite you to check out more about the Climate Collaborative here: http://www.climatecollaborative.com/.
We are strongly committed to growing, packaging and delivering products in ways that support farmers, respect natural ecosystems, and care for workers throughout our supply chain. Our Supplier Code of Conduct clearly outlines our expectations in these efforts. Specifically, the Supplier Code of Conduct sets forth the standards we expect from our suppliers in three key areas:
- Business Ethics and Compliance – We believe that the quality of our products depends on the integrity of our business and the organizations we partner with. This includes legal compliance, quality and technical compliance, innovation partnerships and good corporate citizenship.
- Employee and Labor Relations – We are not only focused on protecting the earth’s natural resources, but all the individuals throughout the supply chain. This includes compliance, conditions, employee rights & safety, human rights non-discrimination and diversity & inclusion.
- Environmental Management – We understand that responsibly-produced foods are about more than just health and safety, and our sustainable practices are a part of our DNA and are the cornerstone of our business model. This includes environmental compliance, animal welfare, sustainable agriculture, responsible manufacturing and habitat & biodiversity.
Two examples of how we’ve used these guidelines to take action in our supply chain include our sourcing of sustainable palm oil and cocoa:
- Sustainable Palm Oil – All WhiteWave liquid creamers containing palm oil are now sourced according to rules set by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, an international organization dedicated to promoting sustainable development of palm oil.
- Sustainable Cocoa – As of the end of last year, all cocoa powder in WhiteWave’s plant-based, dairy and creamer products within the Americas Foods & Beverages segment is now sustainably sourced using UTZ, an independent certification program for the responsible production of cocoa.
Our approach to sourcing the almonds used in many of our plant-based food and beverage products is another example of our responsible sourcing principles in action. Most of these almonds come from the Central Valley of California, one of the most water-stressed regions in the country. To help address this issue, we support 17 watershed restoration projects in water-stressed regions of the country, including projects in California’s San Juaquin Basin. To-date, these projects have restored more than 5 billion gallons of water to the region. Additionally, recognizing that California’s almond industry is also highly dependent on pollinators, we proudly partner with the Xerces Society, a nonprofit organization that conserves and protects bees and other pollinators.
Our dedication to responsible sourcing ensures that we are producing food sustainably and ethically, with an eye toward protecting the earth’s natural and human resources. We expect and appreciate the support of our supplier partners in this commitment.