Lunch WhiteWave Style

We’ve talked about the Wafe Café a couple times here on TGM.  It’s easily one of the things I love most about working in our headquarters building. Having access to a beautiful salad bar with fresh organic veggies every day can’t be beat. (Okay, neither can the pizza bar, grill station or deli, but I digress.)

Yesterday, we held a meeting for all employees. We do that every quarter. Our president kicks off the meetings, and then various employees provide updates on their respective pieces of the business. It’s a cool way to find out what’s going on at the company. Also cool, the BBQ out back after the meeting. It was catered by our fabulous folks in the Wave Café and in keeping with our commitment to zero-waste recycling we made sure Eco-Cycle zero-waste stations were prominent so that employees could dispose of their lunch scraps outside – just like they do every day at the café and in our break rooms.

The neat thing is Eco-Cycle captured and provide a snapshot of the benefits of our recycling and composting efforts just for that single lunch (they track this stuff for us annually, too.) Get this, just for that one lunch, our employees:

  • Recovered 146 pounds of materials – that’s 97% of everything we discarded!
  • Saved 2 gallons of gasoline in energy savings
  • Saved 310 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions; and
  • Avoided 46 pounds of substances that threaten human health

Now that’s something to chew on.

Compost
Compost and Recycling station in the Wave Cafe

Molly’s post earlier this week touched on some of the Zero Waste stuff we do here, and it’s really one of the cooler things we have  going on at WhiteWave. If you take a walk around the four floors of our building you’ll see that each copy room is outfitted with recycling stations for paper and cardboard, and each break room and our cafe, with compost and recycling bins. The recycling stuff, while important, isn’t anything new; most offices do the same these days. But the compost stations, that’s different. And not just because it’s rare to see such a thing at a corporate office, but also because come spring time, employees here get to take all the compost we’ve generated over the year home.

Freshly delivered compost

Local companies Eco-Cycle and A1Organics help us manage and store the compost, and when the weather starts to warm up they drop a giant bin of the nutrient rich fertilizer in our parking lot. Then everyone here is free to take what they need for home gardens or yards. It’s a pretty cool perk, but I think more importantly it’s a pretty good educational tool. Every day we’re reminded of the importance of waste management. And since starting the program, we’ve kept more than 386,000 pounds of waste from the ending up in the landfill.

Dropped off right in our parking lot

Check back next week, and we’ll tell you a little more about some other conservation efforts going on at our production plants, where there’s been a lot of excellent work in the realm of waste and water conservation.

We make our own pickles

I know Google’s Café 150 is pretty amazing, but I’m going to go on record here and say that ours has to be in the running for second best corporate eatery in the world (only second because Google peeps eat for free).

Welcome to the Wave Café, one perk (probably the best one) of working at the WhiteWave Foods headquarter office in Broomfield, Colo. We’ll highlight the Café quite a bit on The Grazing Mind, but here’s your first view into the reason nobody orders out come meal time.

Salad Bar

Pizz.

Deli Special

We’re in the food business, so what we eat is key to how we approach our work. And thanks to Bon Appétit who manages the cafe, we get a daily reminder of the importance of not only eating healthy, but eating sustainably. This article which recently ran in the Denver Post can give you a little more detail into Chef Scott and team’s dedication to their craft. And like I said, stay tuned for more from the Wave Café…