This is a story of an environmental activist turned businessman Gary Hirshberg, who in 1983 began making and selling organic yogurt to fund his school. The company has been operating rather untraditionally from its inception. It pays twice as much to suppliers to source ingredients and promotes only through its labels on the products by talking about environment, going against the traditional business sense.
Converting all its farmers in the supply chain to organic practices is one of the biggest challenges for the company. Some of the steps taken in the right direction are:
- Climate Counts map: To show consumers how to fight climate change with their purchases, Stonyfield has funded a new nonprofit called ‘Climate Counts’ and created the consumer website ClimateCounts.org.
- Greener Cow: Less burps, higher omega 3’s
About 42% of the green house gases come from an unlikely place- the belching of its thousands of cows. Stonyfield has developed the ‘Green Cow’ project to scientifically reduce those emissions.
- Reducing packaging: Company believes that focusing on recycling means to focus at the wrong end. At Stonyfield, it is all about resource reduction – for example, just by changing the lids of their yogurt cups has saved more than a $1million, tones of CO2 and thousands of gallons of water to the company.
- Switching to form-fill and roll stock instead of pre-formed material to make cups has resulted in another $2.5 million a year to the company.
- The transportation area made a 40% reduction in GHG emissions from eco-driving.
Today, it is a zero landfill company with all its sludge and waste being used to generate renewable energy. I think Stonyfield Farm is good example of a sustainably focused company. By not only employing fair trade practices with all its farmers but also providing consumers with clear transparency of their efforts towards sustainability, the company has built its green reputation that is unparallel in the industry.
For more @ http://www.stonyfield.com
(All pics from Stonyfield website)
Talk by CE-Yo Gary Hirshberg at Stanford Discussions – Social Conversatons Network @ http://sic.conversationsnetwork.org