Organic Valley reduced waste by 25 percent and diverted more than 100,000 pounds of waste in 2008
Organic Valley Family of Farms joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) WasteWise Program in February 2009, demonstrating its commitment to conserving natural resources and protecting the environment. WasteWise is the country’s first national voluntary solid waste reduction program.
WasteWise encourages organizations to reduce municipal solid waste through waste prevention, recycling, and buying or manufacturing recycled content products. The WasteWise program focuses on waste prevention—actions that minimize or eliminate the generation of waste before it is created—with the goal of decreasing the amount of material that must be managed through recycling or landfilling. WasteWise partners have saved millions of dollars in purchasing costs and waste disposal fees by reducing, reusing and recycling solid waste materials.
In 2008, through a general waste reduction program, including composting and recycling efforts at is headquarters, distribution center, butter creamery and cheese cut-and-wrap facilities, Organic Valley reduced waste by 25 percent by diverting more than 100,000 pounds of waste from landfills.
In addition, last year Organic Valley used 70 percent recycled fiber to ship its products and saved:
- 45,212,074 gallons of water (equivalent to 75 Olympic size swimming pools)
- 25,835,471 kWh of energy
- 109,801 trees
- 2,454,270 gallons of oil
- 19,377 cubic feet of landfill space
The amount of energy and oil that was saved is equivalent to 43,682 metric tons of carbon, which equals the annual greenhouse gas emissions from 8,000 passenger vehicles.
In 2009 through the WasteWise program, Organic Valley hopes to build upon the success of 2008 and further reduce waste by five percent.
"Our commitment to the health of our planet began 20 years ago when we formed our cooperative to save family farms through organic agriculture," said Cecil Wright, vice president of sustainability at Organic Valley. "We’re continuously looking at ways to reduce our waste and preserve our natural resources, and partnering with WasteWise is a natural extension of our commitment to protecting the environment."
Research by EPA and others has shown that conserving materials through waste prevention and recycling saves energy and reduces pollution, including emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. In addition to the numerous environmental benefits that waste prevention and recycling offer, waste reduction can improve operational efficiency and reduce waste management and purchasing costs.
EPA launched WasteWise in January 1994 as a voluntary partnership program designed to help organizations implement practical methods for reducing municipal solid waste. WasteWise membership boasts nearly 2,100 partners representing a wide array of businesses, institutions, and government agencies.
WasteWise focuses on three key elements of waste reduction—waste prevention, recycling, and buying or manufacturing recycled content products. Organizations joining WasteWise agree to develop goals in these areas, track their results, and share their accomplishments with the program. To facilitate the implementation of waste reduction programs, WasteWise provides partners with guidance for establishing goals and tips for monitoring progress. EPA commends partners for their achievements through the presentation of WasteWise awards and features in program articles and publications. For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/wastewise .
Organic Valley Family of Farms: Independent and Farmer-Owned
Organic Valley is America’s largest cooperative of organic farmers and is one of the nation’s leading organic brands. Organized in 1988, it represents 1,332 farmers in 32 states and one Canadian province, and achieved $527 million in 2008 sales. Focused on its founding mission of saving family farms through organic farming, Organic Valley produces a variety of organic foods, including organic milk, soy, cheese, butter, spreads, creams, eggs, produce and juice, which are sold in supermarkets, natural foods stores and food cooperatives nationwide. The same farmers who produce for Organic Valley also produce a full range of delicious organic meat under the Organic Prairie Family of Farms label. For further information, call 1-888-444-MILK or visit www.organicvalley.coop, www.organicprairie.coop and the cooperative’s farmer website, www.farmers.coop. Organic Valley is also on Twitter, www.twitter.com/organicvalley and Facebook, www.facebook.com/pages/Organic-Valley/20674850824.