BEF and WhiteWave – Celebrating 10 years

Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) is proud to celebrate its 10 year anniversary with WhiteWave Foods and we have accomplished so much together over the years.  The partnership was initiated in 2003, when Silk became the first company of its size to make a trend-setting commitment to power 100% of its manufacturing processes with wind energy through the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).  Then, in 2007, Silk launched “Green Caps for a Greener World,” a cause marketing campaign designed to engage consumers in the conversation about renewable energy.  For every registered UPC, Silk committed to purchase additional RECs.

Within the next several years Horizon Organic, WhiteWave’s corporate offices in Broomfield, Colo. and International Delight also stepped up to support renewable energy.  By 2007, more companies were making significant renewable energy purchases, which helped drive standards to govern renewable energy purchases.  For example, 30 states now have Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) which are policies designed to increase generation of electricity from renewable resources.

WhiteWave was also an early supporter of BEF’s Water Restoration Certificates (WRCs).  In 2009, the company purchased WRCs to balance 100% of the water used at corporate headquarters.  This early support enabled BEF to expand water flow restoration projects to new geographic areas.

Just recently, BEF’s WRC program attracted National Geographic and Participant Media, which led to the creation of Change the Course, a first of its kind water sustainability campaign, initially focused on restoring the Colorado River, named America’s most endangered river in 2012.  Silk was the first charter sponsor of Change the Course, followed by other sponsors like The Coca-Cola Company and The Walt Disney Company to raise awareness for freshwater issues.  The campaign began in February 2013, and already has three new water projects underway in the Colorado Basin.  It has also attracted more than 24,000 people worldwide to pledge to conserve water in their every day life!

In 2012, International Delight’s commitment to fund a new water flow restoration project led to BEF’s first WRC project in California.  The location is in the Sierra Meadows region of Northern California, and restores flows to a critically dewatered meadow ecosystem that impacts both Northern and Southern California water supply.

Additionally, Patagonia issued a “challenge grant” in 2012 to get a new water project off the ground in Colorado.  WhiteWave was the first to meet the challenge, investing six times the amount of Patagonia’s initial grant, and the project is beginning in late 2013 or early 2014. Other like-minded brands such as New Belgium Brewing, The Clif Bar Family Foundation, Ted’s Montana Grill, are also contributing to the project in partnership with Patagonia.

From 2003-2013, the renewable energy purchases made by WhiteWave Foods and its brands equate to over 706 million kilowatt hours of electricity, equivalent to the annual electricity used by over 55,000 American homes.  The WRC commitments equate to over 244 million gallons restored, enough water to fill 370 Olympic sized swimming pools, while also supporting multiple new projects.

In honor of celebrating BEF’s 10-year partnership with WhiteWave, we encourage people to take the pledge to reduce their freshwater footprint at http://changethecourse.us/.  For every pledge made, Silk is helping 1,000 gallons of water be restored to the Colorado River through Change the Course.  We can all do our part to reduce and conserve.

Sustainable Palm Oil

 

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We are proud to announce that all liquid creamers containing palm oil are now sourced according to rules set by Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an international multi-stakeholder organization dedicated to promoting sustainable development of palm oil.  WhiteWave Foods currently uses palm oil in a variety of liquid creamers.

WhiteWave has been a member of the RSPO since 2010 and has therefore committed to supporting sustainable palm oil through Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) purchases. To be considered certified sustainable, palm oil must meet eight principles and 39 practical criteria of sustainable production. These principles and criteria are designed to prevent undue environmental and societal harm.

We are proud to source mass balance palm oil from verified sources that ensure the rainforest and its inhabitants are protected, and that workers are treated fairly and receive fair wages. We continually evaluate how we source ingredients to ensure we are offering responsibly-sourced products that people can feel good about serving their families.

The next generation of farmers is going organic

Nathan Bawden (now 16 years old) has been “working” on an organic dairy farm since he was a baby. Read about his family’s journey on their farm here:

http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20130701/NEWS05/707019975

Reunite the River

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From its founding, Silk® has been committed to making the world a healthier place through socially-responsible and environmentally-sustainable business practices. That said, Silk is hosting a one-of-a-kind event on Wednesday from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the Union Station Great Hall  (500 W. Jackson Blvd.) in Chicago to help restore the Colorado River.

Kurt Wenner, inventor of 3D pavement art and a world-renowned artist, will unveil his Reunite The River 3D art installation that highlights the plight of the Colorado River. Not only will the public be able to see and learn about freshwater issues and what they can do on a daily basis to reduce their water consumption, but they will also be able to interact with the installation, which visually depicts the startling fact that the Colorado River doesn’t reach the sea anymore. The last 90 miles of the river have nearly run dry.

Water issues are real in the U.S. The average American uses 2,000 gallons of water a day, which is twice the global average! Chicagoans are encouraged to attend the event on Wednesday to see the incredible artwork first-hand. Anyone can participate and pledge at www.ReuniteTheRiver.com to reduce their personal water consumption. Join us in reuniting the river.

How Reunite The River Works:

  • Engage – People can visit www.ReuniteTheRiver.com to learn about the global freshwater crisis
  • Pledge – Silk is challenging people to take the pledge at ReuniteTheRiver.com to reduce their freshwater footprint. There is no charge to pledge, just a request for individuals to make an effort to conserve their water usage.
  • Restore – For every pledge made, 1,000 gallons of water will be restored through projects supported by charter sponsors such as Silk.

 

Protecting Valuable Land in our Backyard

WhiteWave Foods has been a longtime supporter of helping people understand what’s in their food and where it comes from. We are committed to sustainable agriculture, continued learning and reducing our impact on the environment, and are therefore strong supporters of our local Boulder partner, Growing Gardens, and its mission to enrich the lives of our community through sustainable urban agriculture.

Growing Gardens raises awareness and provides opportunities for people to participate in urban agricultural programs. They unite the Boulder County community through urban agricultural projects such as: The Cultiva Youth Project, The Children’s Peace Garden, Horticultural Therapy, Fresh Food Families & Fitness, and The Community Gardens.

Protecting open space, promoting organic growing practices, and providing new learning experiences for kids and adults is core to the City of Boulder. And, it’s what Growing Gardens has contributed to since it was founded. WhiteWave Foods supports the impressive efforts of Growing Gardens, and we support Boulder City Council in placing a conservation easement on the Long’s Gardens property that is in our backyard. The conservation easement would protect the last 25 acres of working community farmland in the Boulder city limits.

Help us protect this land so it can continue to serve as a community-based resource for agricultural education. To make your opinion heard in this matter, you may contact the Boulder City Council before Tuesday, June 18 at council@bouldercolorado.gov. If you are local to Boulder, you are invited to make your voice heard by attending the June 18th  City Council meeting at the Municipal Building located at 1777 Broadway in Boulder CO.

 

Let’s LOHAS

LOHAS is an acronym for Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability, a market segment focused on health and fitness, the environment, personal development, sustainable living, and social justice. LOHAS describes an estimated $290 billion U.S. marketplace and consumers attracted to this market represent a sizable group; approximately 13-19% percent of the adults in the U.S. are currently considered LOHAS consumers.

The 2013 LOHAS Conference is upon us and runs June 18-20 in Boulder, Colo., our backyard. The LOHAS Business Conference provides a cross section of executives like no other, and is known for fantastic networking with decision makers who are interested in LOHAS business.  

This year’s group of 2013 LOHAS speakers includes more than 40 exciting people from LOHAS-minded organizations big and small nationwide. There are three experts from WhiteWave Foods speaking this year including:

  • Deanna Bratter, Sr. Manager, Corporate Sustainability, who will be speaking on a panel about Innovative Water Sustainability Tools
  • Craig Shiesley, Senior VP Plant Based Beverages for Silk, who will be speaking on a panel called “Staying Ahead of the Curve”
  • Mike Ferry, President of Horizon, who will be speaking about the intricacies of Building a Long Lasting LOHAS Brand.

All details about the 2013 LOHAS program can be found here: http://www.lohas.com/2013-program. You won’t want to miss this event!

At Our Core

WhiteWave has been a supporter of CORE for over a decade. CORE, or Connected Organizations for a Responsible Economy, is a non-profit with a mission to help Colorado organizations implement sustainability into their business. A couple of weeks ago CORE hosted its 8th annual “Sustainable Opportunities Summit” at the History Colorado Center. I was invited to participate on a panel discussion on Sustainable Water Management as well as accept a “Lifecycle MVP” award on behalf of WhiteWave. The panel session included a lively conversation around how other companies are thinking about water conservation and it was exciting to be able to share some of the great work WhiteWave and our Silk brand are doing on this issue. It was a busy and informative day, to say the least!

One of WhiteWave’s values I (we all) try to live by is “share what we do well”. One of the purposes of CORE is to collaborate and share best practices with businesses and sustainability professionals, and my participation in this event is a great example of “sharing what we do well”. 

My favorite CORE quote of late is “sustainability is more than a sound bite, it’s a sound business strategy”. This couldn’t be a more accurate mantra for me and my role at WhiteWave, working on our Corporate Sustainability efforts. WhiteWave has had sustainability at its core since its inception. Beginning in 2006 and the years following, we put measures in place around three key environmental goals – Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions reductions, Waste to landfill reductions, and non-ingredient water reductions all with a target year of 2013.

Well, here we are in 2013 – and while we’ve made great progress against our goals, we still have a lot of work to do. With the end of 2013 just around the corner – it’s time for new strategy, new goals, and new targets for our sustainability program.  We remain aspirational and will continue to set stretch goals and activate great strategies and tactics. It’s no small job, but we are on it. Stay tuned here on The Grazing Mind for more updates on our sustainability goals and achievements. We hope you’ll join us in helping to make a difference.

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Proud to Join The Organic Center Board of Trustees

 

 

At Horizon Organic, we strongly believe that by choosing organic food and beverages, we’re making the best choices for our families and the planet. And it is for this reason that we’ve been a longtime supporter of The Organic Center, a leading research institute focused on the science and educational benefits of food and farming.

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 The Center’s research into the nutritional and health benefits of choosing organic has helped provide many of us organic shoppers with the information we need to make informed decisions about the food we feed our families. At Horizon, we’re grateful for this work and its role in supporting and advancing the organic community.  

 As a newly appointed member of The Center’s Board of Trustees, I’m looking forward to working with this groundbreaking organization to help guide its mission to convene credible, evidence-based science on the health and environmental benefits of organic food and farming, and to communicate these benefits to the public.

 The Center’s work is incredibly important to continuing to grow the organic community and provide more organic choices to families. I’m proud to serve on The Center’s board and to support its commitment to organic research and education.

 

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We’re Changing the Course and You Can Too!

Water restoration and conservation are important initiatives for Silk and we’re excited about a new project we’re involved in. We’ve recently partnered with the National Geographic Society, Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) and Participant Media as the first sponsor to support Change the Course—an ongoing effort to conserve freshwater and preserve the ecological health of the heavily dammed, diverted and overused Colorado River Basin. This campaign will empower individuals and communities to reduce their own freshwater footprint while making on-the-ground water restoration efforts.

Change the Course is challenging members of the public to learn about the vital issues of freshwater, calculate their own water footprints and take a simple pledge to conserve at changethecourse.us. For every pledge received, a Change the Course corporate sponsor, like Silk, will donate to the cause.  Each pledge will restore 1,000 gallons of water back into the Colorado River, working to make the river healthy again.

Silk is thrilled to support the Change the Course initiative, help restore the Colorado River Basin and positively impact a project in our own backyard. At Silk, we believe that we all need to do our part to use water more thoughtfully and productively to help keep our rivers and streams healthy.

Help us Change the Course and visit www.changethecourse.us to pledge to do your part and to learn more about this important waster restoration project. You can also check out this great video about the Change the Course project to learn how you can help restore the Colorado River by making simple and easy changes like taking two minutes off your shower, drinking tap water instead of bottled water and buying recycled.

Congratulations, Silk® Iced Latte!

As part of Silk’s ongoing commitment to educate consumers about what’s in their food, the entire plant-based beverage portfolio is enrolled in or verified by the Non-GMO Project. The Non-GMO Project provides independent verification that Silk’s products are made without GMOs, earning The Non-GMO Project Verified seal.

 

We recently launched a new, exciting product – Silk Iced Latte. At the time of launch, this product was enrolled in the Non-GMO Project program, and we are happy to report that it’s now officially verified. The Iced Latte packaging will be updated in June with the Non-GMO Project Verified logo, giving our consumers the opportunity to make informed choices about the foods and beverages they eat and drink.