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.