Letter from the President

Thank you for your interest in Eco-Products' 2017 Sustainability Report! It's hard to believe the evolution that has occurred both within our company and throughout the foodservice packaging industry since we began reporting just three years ago.

The year 2016 proved pivotal for both Eco-Products and the global movement toward Zero Waste. Concern about the environmental and social impacts related to landfill waste – and wasted food in particular – continued to rise, which drove much-needed action. For example:

  • Prominent global foodservice operators and consumer goods companies, such as Sodexo and Unilever, made time-bound commitments to advance Zero Waste practices.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture took steps to work towards specific goals to reduce wasted food.
  • The study from Rethink Food Waste Through Economics and Data (ReFED) demonstrated that commercial composting plays a critical role in keeping food out of landfills, and an article in BioCycle provided compelling data on the role that compostable foodservice packaging will play in making this a reality.
  • The New Plastics Economy issued a set of global studies undersigned by major multination corporations that defined the extent of plastic packaging waste and pollution. The research reinforced that the use of compostable packaging is critical to reducing the amount of both plastics and food that get sent to our landfills.
  • Select U.S. communities built on the trend of banning the use of foam polystyrene disposables by requiring the use of compostable packaging.

Eco-Products not only stayed on top of these trends, but is actively working with industry peers to push for and accelerate change, which you will read about in this report. We are hopeful that these actions will continue to multiply, both locally and nationally.

For our part, Eco-Products made progress toward our vision of being in the vanguard of our Zero Waste future. We proudly became a certified B Corp® in July of 2016, joining an exclusive club of sustainable business pioneers such as Patagonia®, Seventh Generation™, and Ben & Jerry's®. Participating in B Lab's certification process was enlightening and helped us refine our sustainability strategy, goals and reporting, which you will learn more about in this report.

We also took steps to:

  • Expand our line of compostable products and discontinue items that no longer meet our design standards.
  • Strengthen our supply chain by formally auditing most of our manufacturers. We were happy to discover they are performing generally well.
  • Divert more materials from landfills, reduce energy and water use, and curtail greenhouse gases generated from air and vehicle travel.
  • Preserve our culture by staying true to our values, challenging our employees, and providing a fun place to work. We are grateful to our talented team of “Eco-Patriots” and happily this year will celebrate our first group of employees who've been with us for 10 years.

Additionally, we experienced our third acquisition in four years when Newell Rubbermaid purchased our parent company — Jarden Corp. — to form Newell Brands. Newell Brands is a leading global consumer goods company that has built a portfolio of brands with the potential to flourish and create value as part of its strategy to support consumers wherever they Live, Learn, Work and Play.

In 2017, we plan to continue enhancing our operations, product line, and supply chain. We will also devote increased attention to helping our customers implement successful waste diversion programs, sharing our Zero Waste expertise with disadvantaged communities, and continuing to push for expanded access to commercial composting.

Like many, we are both equally inspired and disheartened by the ongoing conversations and attention paid to the challenges with waste that we face as a society. In times like these, we return to our belief in the ingenuity and commitment from the concerned citizens, employees, and committed customers that are core of our relentless push for changes to the status quo in our use of disposables. I couldn't be more excited about our progress or more optimistic about Eco-Products' continued dedication to our mission.

Ian Jacobson
Eco-Products, Inc.

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Ian Jacobson - Like many, we are both equally inspired and disheartened by the ongoing conversations and attention paid to the challenges with waste that we face as a society.