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WhiteWave Foods’ sustainable initiatives are fundamental to its business

The company's Earthbound Farm brand recycled nearly 9,300 tons of food waste, including 98% of all lettuce culls from 2014-2015.

WhiteWave Earthbound Farms
WhiteWave Earthbound Farms

WhiteWave Foods’ mission is to change the way the world eats for the better. That’s why in its 2014-2015 corporate social responsibility report, the Broomfield, Colo.-based processor vows to further reduce energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, water use and waste-to-landfill per pound of product by 20% by 2025.

For WhiteWave, it’s more than just producing great-tasting foods.

“At WhiteWave, we believe in producing food in a way that’s better for people, our communities and our planet,” says Deanna Bratter, director of sustainability. “Sustainability is fundamental to our business, and by necessity, our approach stretches throughout our supply chain—from the way we source our ingredients to how we get our products to market.”

Since WhiteWave first began tracking its environmental impact in 2006, it has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 32% per pound of product. And, over the past two years, has reduced water use by 6% per pound of product and waste-to-landfill resource intensity by 52%.

“These targets build on great progress we’ve made over the last 10 years reducing impacts across energy, water use and waste companywide, while making a difference in our communities and nurturing a positive workplace for our employees,” adds Bratter.

 â€śOur corporate social responsibility report not only demonstrates our recent accomplishments, but also our commitment to continuously improve,” says Bratter. “We created and are expanding nutritious food categories for our consumers across the world, while constantly seeking new ways to deliver the transparency, choice and responsible practices people are looking for today.”

In 2015, WhiteWave balanced 45% of global manufacturing water use through a partnership with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, Portland, Ore., to restore critically dewatered rivers and water systems across the United States.

“Since 2009, our water efforts have replenished more than 1.9 billion gallons of water,” says Bratter. “We’re also looking at how we can make our own operations more efficient.”

In 2015, WhiteWave’s Mt. Crawford, Va., manufacturing plant completed the first phase of a 2-phase wastewater treatment project in which more than 55% of the water consumed by the plant’s cooling tower, over 35 million gallons per year, can now be reused. In doing so, the project has reduced the plant’s demand on available water by 7 million gallons in its first quarter of operations, shrinking the plant’s water footprint by 10%.

Additionally, WhiteWave diverted 78% of waste from landfills through recycling, composting and reuse efforts in 2015. And, its Earthbound Farm brand recycled nearly 9,300 tons of food waste, including 98% of all lettuce culls from 2014-2015. 

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