Organic farming has always been at the heart of our Earth-friendly yogurt business. In one year alone, our organic ingredient purchases keep more than 185,000 pounds of toxic persistent pesticides from the air, water and land.
But Stonyfield’s Earth efforts reach far beyond organic farming. In fact, we don’t have a green team, we ARE a green team – with people across the business contributing to our mission. We’re continually refining the art of making more yogurt with less environmental impact per cup.
We organize these efforts around a handful of impact areas, like facility greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; milk production; sustainable ingredients; water; transportation and distribution; waste; and sustainable packaging.
Cow burps? Really?
Over the years, our environmental work has brought us to some unexpected places. Like the discovery that making packaging lightweight can do more for the environment than recyclability. And the discovery that most of the impact our business has on the climate (52%) is due to milk production—with a good amount of impact due to the methane burped by cows!
In 2008, we piloted our “Greener Cow” project which reduced cow methane emissions (and made more nutritious milk) by altering cows’ diets.
Green we’ve been doing lately
Between 2007 and 2012, we reduced solid waste by 50% and GHG emissions from our Yogurt Works by 20%. Between 2006 and 2012, we reduced GHG emissions from transportation by 36% and reduced our fuel costs by over $20 million.
In the summer of 2012, we achieved a 90%+ recycling rate at our Yogurt Works facility for the first month ever! We’re excited about this because it brings us one step closer to our ultimate goal of 0% waste.
Green to come
In 2012, we took a big leap forward with pioneering software that lets us measure life-cycle emissions of our products in real time. We now know the carbon footprints of all our products as we produce them.
Translation? We’re able to bring new speed and effectiveness to nearly all of our impact-reducing efforts.
A few environmental milestones
1997 – First US manufacturer to offset all GHG emissions from facility energy use.
2005 – Installed, on our Yogurt Works roof, New Hampshire’s then largest photovoltaic solar array.
2006 – Our new wastewater treatment equipment converts waste into biogas.
2008 – Our new green office building uses 40% less energy than a similar building built to code.
2010 – We introduce the first yogurt cup made from plants.
2012 – We begin using biodiesel fuel (made from waste vegetable oil) in some of our trucks.