2016 Progress Report

We set our 2016 sustainability goals around three critical priorities: climate change, natural resources and social value. Why?

  • The threat of climate change is among the greatest issues we face today. We advocate for commercial composting to reduce the amount of methane emissions created by food scraps and other organic materials in our landfills.
  • We are committed to using natural resources wisely, most importantly through the design and disposal of our products. We also limit waste in our operations and our supply chain.
  • We value the employees, suppliers, and communities that enable us to deliver innovative sustainable foodservice products and services to businesses and consumers all over North America.

You can read more about our progress in related sections in this report, but here's a quick look at how we measured up:

What We Said We'd Do What We Did Status
Climate Change
In 2016, increase our advocacy for expanding access to commercial composting
  • Met with dozens of industry leaders to discuss accelerating the growth of the commercial composting infrastructure at theU.S. Composting Council (USCC) Conference.
  • Our vice president of product strategy and development was elected president of the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI), the U.S. standardization body for composting.
  • Our director of marketing serves on the board of the USCC and helped establish its Food Scrap Composting Task Force.
In 2016, decrease our normalized carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from air travel by reducing the total miles flown per $1,000 of sales by 5 percent relative to 2015 travel
  • Decreased our total miles flown by 2.5% per $1000 sales
  • Continued to promote our “No Fly Zone”, especially with our sales team, which encourages employees to use low carbon forms of communication instead of hopping on a plane
Not Achieved
In 2016, decrease the total vehicle miles reimbursed by 5 percent relative to 2015 travel
  • Achieved a total reduction in vehicle miles reimbursed of over 14%.
Achieve net zero electricity use at our headquarters (HQ). Until we get there, invest in high-quality offsets to balance our emissions
  • Worked with a local energy-efficiency company to map a path to net zero electricity.
  • Discussed energy-efficiency investments and financing options with our landlord.
  • Purchased carbon offsets to balance 100 percent of our CO2 emissions.
Made progress
Natural Resources
In 2016, complete the transition to compostable wrappers for our compostable cutlery kits
  • Sourced and tested a BPI-certified compostable film to wrap our Plantware® cutlery kit and transitioned our kits to this material.
In 2016, expand film recycling pilot and determine scalability
  • Spoke with operators in other regions, but was unable to execute a remote pilot.
  • Began conversations with leaders of the Wrap Recycling Action Program to see how we can collaborate on collecting and recycling films in foodservice operations.
Not achieved
In 2016, continue to partner with Lifecycle Plastics (LP) to build viable end markets for post-consumer plastic within Colorado
  • Committed to purchasing post-consumer recycled plastics, which allowed LP to secure a grant for funding its recycling facility.
  • Provided guidance for securing Food and Drug Administration clearance for using LP's plastics in food-contact packaging.
  • Unfortunately due to funding challenges, LP has stopped pursuing this effort.
By 2017, increase HQ waste diversion to 90 percent
  • Improved diversion rate from 75 percent to 80 percent.
Made progress
By 2017, reduce HQ water consumption by 10 percent; restore the balance every year through high-quality water restoration certificates
  • Installed a high-efficiency dishwasher in our kitchenette.
  • Reduced water use by 19 percent compared to the baseline year of 2010, and by 9 percent compared to the previous year.
  • Balanced 100% (153,000 gallons) of our HQ water use by purchasing WRCs from Bonneville Environmental Foundation.
Made progress
By 2020, discontinue legacy products that do not meet our current material standards for renewable resources and post-consumer recycled content
  • Closed the price gap between our virgin polypropylene lids, recycled content lids, and renewable lids to encourage customers to shift to more sustainable options.
  • Continued removing polypropylene lids from national accounts, contract by contract.
  • Identified date to discontinue all sales and distribution of polypropylene lids.
  • Identified additional ways to communicate the fact that Plant Starch Material is not compostable.
Made progress
Social Value
In 2016, continue to use our Sustainability Squad as a way to engage Eco-Patriots in sustainability and make Eco-Products a great place to work
  • Met monthly to brainstorm and collaborate.
  • Implemented fun projects to engage employees in sustainability.
In 2016, fifty-five percent of our employees will take advantage of their paid day off to volunteer
  • Promoted volunteerism in staff meetings and other communications.
  • Met our goal with just over 55 percent of employees using this benefit.
In 2016, seventy percent of our employees will include a sustainability goal in their performance review.
  • 90 percent of employees included a sustainability goal in their performance review.
In 2016, ensure all manufacturing suppliers have undergone their first audit
  • Audited 100 percent of foreign manufacturing suppliers
  • Audited the majority of U.S. manufacturing suppliers.
Not Achieved
In 2016, review audit results for all suppliers to develop our understanding of common issues and opportunities
  • Analyzed audit results to understand common and high-risk issues.
In 2017, begin tracking supplier efforts to become more environmentally and socially responsible
  • Became more familiar with environmental and social issues facing our suppliers.
Made progress

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