Nature’s Path, the largest organic cereal brand in North America, is announcing that two of the company’s facilities – in Blaine, Washington, and Delta, BC, Canada – have been certified at the Gold Level by the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council. As a leader in green business and sustainable food manufacturing, Nature’s Path is the first and only cereal company in North America to become Zero Waste certified by the council.
“We live by the mantra ‘Leave the earth better than you found it,’ and feel we owe it to future generations to be good stewards of the land and adhere to our triple bottom line,” said Jyoti Stephens, Sr. Director, Human Resources and Sustainability, Nature’s Path. “We strive to be as environmentally sustainable as possible in everything we do and being Zero Waste is an important initiative for us. After all, at Nature’s Path we love to make delicious, organic breakfast and snacks, not waste!”
Beyond making sense from an environmental standpoint, Zero Waste programs make business sense as well; the company estimates annual savings of $288,000 at the Blaine facility and $56,000 at the Delta facility. In addition, diverting waste from landfills in turn supports local green businesses including local recycling companies.
Nature’s Path’s Blaine and Delta facilities currently divert 95 percent of waste from landfills, for a combined total of 2,875 U.S. tons each year (equivalent to 1,643 midsize cars or 14 blue whales), surpassing the criteria of diverting 90 percent. The company conducts independent, third party waste audits every two years.
The U.S. Zero Waste Business Council defines Zero Waste as “…designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them. Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health.”
“Nature’s Path is a leader in creating a zero waste economy for all. We were very impressed with what they have accomplished and their ongoing direction; the company is clearly committed to the goal of zero waste as part of their overall sustainability initiatives,” said Stephanie Barger, Founder and Executive Director. “We enjoyed seeing how simple the process and ingredients are, and how comprehensive Nature’s Path programs have become. The company has clearly created value through Zero Waste in their operation.”
For its certification process, the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council provides a third party evaluation of policies, processes and programs related to zero waste and validates the information through documentation review and a site visit. Two of Nature’s Path’s three plants have met the zero waste criteria, and the third plant in Sussex, Wisconsin, is on track to be certified by the end of 2016.