Our Approach

Our approach to sustainability and sustainability reporting

It shouldn’t be particularly surprising that we try hard to run our company in sustainable ways. Marketing 101 tells you that a brand like ours would never work in the long run if we didn’t find ways to practice what we preach. For us, sustainability is not a marketing campaign. It is not a stand-alone initiative. It is core to who we are and what we do. Yes, we have a dedicated Sustainability Maven on staff to ensure this remains true, but she is not the only one who is charged with implementing sustainability at Eco-Products. Every employee is.

Of course, we are not and will never be perfect. Some of our impacts are within our direct control to affect, and some we influence minimally. What we know for sure is that the best way to manage any of our impacts is through a strategic approach, measurement, and public goal setting. Our shareholders would never let us operate without measurable financial targets, and we think the rest of our stakeholders should have meaningful metrics to measure us by as well.

This report aims to paint a picture of our 2015 sustainability performance. It chronicles activities taking place within our walls, in the field with our customers, and anywhere food service and zero waste overlap. Using our brand as a force for good is an opportunity, a responsibility, and we don’t take it lightly.

Our sustainability report addresses the environmental and social issues most relevant to our business and our stakeholders. These topics and goals were identified though stakeholder input, including our Sustainability Advisory Committee annual meeting and ongoing communication, collaboration on customer sustainability efforts, participation in industry organizations and initiatives, input from employees, and engagement with community members such as city councils and nonprofits.

Why do we report?

This report serves multiple purposes. First and foremost, it allows us to be transparent about our sustainability approach, successes, and challenges. Our stakeholders deserve this. Second, it keeps us focused. Setting public goals and committing to an annual report sharpens our focus on continual improvement. Finally, it enables us to treat sustainability just like any other important metric. We set goals and track progress for sustainability like we do in every other business function.

About this report

The scope of this report is calendar year 2015, although in some instances we describe qualitative progress in 2016 in order to provide the most useful snapshot of our efforts. The report covers our direct operations and our employee, supplier, and community relationships. It also includes the life-cycle impacts of our products, such as their manufacturing and end-of-life scenarios. Eco-Products acquired Bridge-Gate Alliance Group in late 2014. Because of the date of acquisition, Bridge-Gate operations and impacts were not included in the scope of last year’s sustainability report. They are included in this report, and will be going forward.

One last thing about our approach to reporting is that we look to frameworks such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and B Corp for guidance on what issues to address and report. Such initiatives provide insight on which topics have been deemed material by others outside our organization, and our sustainability achievements compare favorably with companies that have elected to formally utilize GRI’s reporting framework and/or obtain B Corp certification. We actively monitor these initiatives, and continue to assess whether additional engagement with them is appropriate in light of our business, sustainability, governance, and social responsibility priorities.

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Pete Dignan
President & COO,
Renewable Choice Energy

Jeff Hohensee
Director of Strategic Partnerships, Alliance for Sustainable CO

Ramsay Huntley
Senior Sustainability
Manager, AT&T

Bruce Hutton
Professor/Dean Emeritus, University of Denver

Jennifer Leitsch
Director of Corporate Responsibility, CBRE

Virginia “G” Winter
Principal, Equinox Consultancy LLC