Hormel’s New Environmental Goals

Hormel Foods Corporation is a leading manufacturer and marketer of many food and meat products around the world. Based inAustin,Minnesota, Hormel’s environmental goals are something they work hard towards. ConAgra Foods Inc, Kraft Foods Inc, and Tyson Foods Inc are some of their top competitors.

New environmental goals were recently announced by Hormel Foods Corporation. New packaging, water, solid waste, air and energy issues were all apart of the environmental goals. In the ended fiscal 2011 Hormel met a number of their goals. They had a large water reduction by beating their goal by 15% and reduced packaging by a total of 21.8 million pounds. With the accomplishments they achieved in 2011, they have a difficult challenge for meeting goals in 2012.

Hormel’s recycling rate is something that they hope to raise. At the end of 2010 their recycling rate was 41% and 46% at the end of 2011. Air emission targets and indirect energy consumption are also items on their environmental goals list.

Source: community.nasdaq.com

Heinz Ketchup Launches new PlantBottle Packaging Promotion to Encourage Individuals to be more Aware of the Environment

“Join the Growing Movement” campaign has been launched on restaurant bottles of Heinz Ketchup featuring PlantBottle technology, which invites consumers to promise to be more environmentally responsible through a mobile application. For each pledge made, Heinz promises to plan a tree, up to 57,000 trees.


PlantBottle plastic looks exactly like regular ketchup bottles, but it is actually 100% recyclable and made out of renewable material derived from sugar cane. All 20-ounze ketchup bottles are made with PlantBottle packaging.

“Heinz is committed to utilizing the best technology and innovations available to be as environmentally responsible as possible,” said John Bennett, Vice President – Foodservice Ketchup, Condiments & Sauces. “This program celebrates not only what Heinz is doing to be more sustainable, but also how everyone can do their part to live a more eco-conscious lifestyle.”

Participating in the “Join the Growing Movement” is easy and helps plant a tree!

1. Scan- Find a “Join the Growing Movement” Heinz Ketchup bottle at several local restaurants and use a smart phone to scan the QR code. This will then bring up the mobile application.

2. Pledge- Promise to live a greener lifestyle by choosing an activity.

3. Share- Tell your friends on Facebook or Twitter how you pledged to be green and in return Heinz will plant a tree.


Source: marketwatch.com

AmberWorks Looks To Improve Bioplastics

A lot of interest in PLA and other bioplastics has faded in the last year or so. The concept received a lot of coverage in recent years as environmental concerns have continued to mount. But if you keep up on it, you’ll notice that the talk has all but stopped. But why? In theory, bioplastics are great but it’s quite evident that the technology isn’t there to allow them to complete with their other plastic counterparts. Cost, durability, and sensitivity to extreme heat are the glaring issues.

With that said, NatureWorks and BioAmber have teamed up to start a joint venture called AmberWorks. The goal? To develop new compounds that will expand the property range of bioplastics.

The companies are targeting biodegradable food service products such as injection molded cutlery and thermoformed cups, lids and clamshell containers. Samples have been developed already for thermoforming and injection moulding and the material is approved for food contact by the FDA. The new materials expand NatureWork’s Ingeo properties in terms of flexibility, toughness and heat resistance.

No word on the timing of when it will officially come to market. Conventional wisdom says that eventually the technology will be developed so that bioplastic can conceivably become a competitive plastic product in the thermoforming industry. It’s now just a question of how long.

A Roadmap for Greener Packaging

One major component in the fast food industry that may not initially come to mind is packaging. Packaging has large effects on the fast food industry and although it is not directly related to other damaging images of the industry like obesity, food safety, impact on food systems, animal rights and other issues, it is definitely connected to a company’s overall impact on the environment. Areas where packaging causes harm is in the depletion to natural resources, loss of biodiversity, waste, and climate change. Dogwood Alliance explains that most of fast food packaging has impacts by its use of paper, which is the largest component within the industry.

Dogwood Alliance recently released a report, “Greening Fast Food Packaging: A Roadmap to Best Practices,” which outlines eight key attributes of environmentally friendly fast food packaging and provides guidance for fast food companies on how to asses environmental impacts in the supply chain. The report highlights fast food industry leaders like McDonalds and Starbucks as well as companies who are not pulling their weight like KFC. Dogwood Alliance also provides a roadmap for fast food companies on how to best reduce their packaging footprint

TriplePundit, a new-media company for the business community that focuses on cultivating awareness and understanding of the triple bottom line, recently interviewed Campaign Director at Dogwood Alliance, Scott Quaranda about the report:

TriplePundit: How important is packaging if you look at the big picture of environmental and social impacts of the fast food industry?

Scot Quaranda: Fast food is ubiquitous and of course there are many issues associated with the industry that deserve scrutiny.  That said, all fast food, whether eat-in or take-out tends to come in some type of packaging and all of that packaging really adds up in terms of use of natural resources. The Southern US is the largest paper producing region in the world and the number one product being produced here is packaging. By taking a closer look at the impact all of this packaging has on the forests and communities of our region and providing a simple roadmap to greener packaging we hope to make a difference on at the very least on that level.

3p: Is making fast food packaging greener also beneficial in terms of cost savings or is it actually more expensive?

SQ: Greener fast food packaging can be good for the corporate bottom line. Moving through the various attributes we identified there are numerous opportunities for companies to save money.  Indirectly, being green is good for the corporate brand and can increase loyalty and customer base.  More directly, by reducing the overall use of packaging you save money in material costs and if you add to that smarter shipping, a company can save money on transportation costs.  If you encourage re-use, you use less packaging, which saves money and increasing in store recycling, individual restaurants and chains can cash in by selling those materials to recycling facilities. All in all, it is not simply something to feel good about, a company can save and even make money too.

3p: What is the most important factor that gets these companies to take action – is it pressure from customers? NGOs? Greater understanding of the benefits of sustainability?

SQ: I would say it is a combination of consumer and environmental pressure along with visionary corporate leadership. Obviously it sometimes takes pressure to raise awareness around these important issues, but the biggest changes we have seen have come after the CEOs and upper level management respond to the pressure not with a slick PR campaign but instead by taking the reins and developing an implementable vision that they share throughout all levels of the company. This has clearly been the case with Starbucks, McDonald’s and Quiznos who have buy in on sustainability issues from the top all of the way to the bottom of the company.

3p: How attentive is the fast food industry to your efforts to green up packaging?

SQ: It varies across the board, but lately we have seen some big shifts from the largest players in the industry. For example, McDonald’s announced an industry leading environmental packaging policy last year that increases overall use in recycled paper in its packaging as well as eliminates some of the most controversial fiber being used like paper that comes from natural forests that have been converted to tree plantations. The report identifies a whole host of companies that have taken small to big steps in each of the eight key areas. There are of course still companies that continue to greenwash rather than address environmental packaging issues, but we hope by shining a light on some of these key issues that will change.

3p: Where fast food companies that read your report and think you might have a point should do? What is the first step?

SQ: The first step is to develop an environmental packaging policy that addresses some of the key issues we identified in the report and work to develop buy in at all levels with the company as well as collaborate with environmental, community, and academic experts that can help create the roadmap to greener packaging.  Next comes the heavy lifting of looking across your supply chain and working with suppliers to reduce the overall material use, increase the amount of recycled fiber, and eliminate all controversial sources of fiber.

3p: Finally, any advice to customers? What can we do to help persuade fast food companies to take action?

SQ: For customers, there are a number of easy ways to make a difference.  When buying fast food, ask for less packaging for your order and ask the manager to work to green the restaurants packaging. If possible, bring your own mug or to-go container to eliminate the need for new paper, styrofoam or plastic packaging. If you are feeling more passionate, plug into efforts from environmental organizations, like the Kentucky Fried Forests campaign, to make a difference in that way. And of course if you own or work at a restaurant or have friends that do, share this report with them so that all restaurants big and small can see how their packaging can be greener.

Soure: TriplePundit


Globe Guard Introduces Reusable Box Sealer

In the packaging world, efforts are constantly being made to create packaging that will benefit consumers as well as the environment. By reusing packaging, there is a great stride in creating an environment that is more geared towards sustainable packing. In an effort to encourage companies to reduce waste and reuse more, eco-friendly packaging company, Globe Guard, invented Globe Guard® Reusable Box Sealer™. The patent-pending reusable box sealer “Makes Every Box a Reusable Box.”

The product is designed to help companies reduce packaging waste during testing, product development, shipping preparation and other applications. The sealer does not require any sort of wasteful packaging materials such as packaging tape or glues. Instead, the product allows a box to be sealed and reopened many times until it is ready to be shipped. The reusable seal also allows you to open and reopen a box without any knives or scissors. In turn, this allows for a considerable amount of reduction in the amount of corrugated waste that companies produce.

As described by Globe Guard themselves, there are two very common scenarios in which the Globe Guard Reusable Box Sealer is particularly important:

  1. “The box is going to be handled or shipped internally (closed loop) and not shipped via UPS, FedEx, or USPS.”
  2. “Immediate or repeated access to the contents is advantageous or necessary.”

The sealer works very easily and quite simply. It works by slipping the reusable sealer between the top major flaps of any box and holding them closed until the box is to be reopened again.

Quite simply, the Globe Guard® Reusable Box Sealer™ is a great new product and a great way to motivate companies to create a more eco-friendly work environment by promoting reusable packaging.

Tomorrow is World Car-Free Day!

In case you didn’t know, tomorrow is World Car-Free Day. So what does that mean? Well, this green holiday will be celebrated world-wide by individuals focused on giving the climate a break by taking cars off of the roads. People around the globe are organizing their own events exploring alternative transportation via wiki to the WCN website. WCN, or World Carefree Network, is loosely running World Car-Free Day.

What are people doing to honor this holiday you ask? Events include everything from group cycling on the way to work to people protesting the lack of non-car transportation options in the street. But if you live in a location where this celebration simply isn’t practical, there are still options for the dedicated. You could sample an electric car from a car sharing program such as Hertz on Demand for the day. Carpooling is another option that is an act of lessening the amount of automobiles on the roads.

World Car-Free Day began in 2008 and tomorrow will mark the 4th time it will be celebrated.

Ford and Toyota Team Up To Build New Hybrid Engine

Ford and Toyota are teaming up to make a gas-electric hybrid engine to power pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles. The signed deal has both companies sharing development costs to make a hybrid engine that is more affordable to bring it to the market faster. Hybrid automobiles have been the talk of the auto industry since gas spiked in 2007 but because of how expensive the options are, American consumers have yet to buy in. And whose to blame them in the middle of the biggest recession since the Great Depression?

Another reason that hybrids have not grown popular in the US is because Americans find trucks and SUVs necessary- more so than other countries. And hybrid options up to this point for trucks and SUVs have been underwhelming. That is the main reason that this deal between automobile giants has been struck. Toyota’s Executive Vice President for R&D, Takeshi Uchiyamada, said about hybrid technology for trucks and SUVs “Those kind of models are indispensable to American customers. And providing them with our hybrid technology will help conserve energy and reduce output for greenhouse gas here in the US”.

Hybrid trucks will help automakers meet stricter government regulations into the future. In the US, the fleet of new cars and trucks will be required to average 56.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

It will take a year for Ford and Toyota to figure out who will do what research and about 2-3 years before a system can be developed. No speculation yet as to how gas mileage their engine will get.

California Eliminating Polystyrene Foam Takeout Packaging

Approximately 1,369 tons of polystyrene foam goes into U.S. landfills daily. By volume, polystyene foam takes up 25 to 30 percent of total landfill area. These figures make it one of the most environmentally unfriendly types of waste around.

Big cities in California such as San Francisco, Oakland, and Huntington Beach have banned the use of polystyrene foam takeout packaging. You can now add Salinas to the list. Salinas city council banned the containers at a 6-1 vote on August 16th which will officially go into effect February 12, 2012. The law also extends into banning all disposable food serviceware including plates, cups, bowls, trays, cup lids, straws, utensils, etc. The law will apply to all establishments that sell or provide prepared food for takeout.

There are a total of 39 bans on polystyrene takeout packaging in California. Los Angeles has bans in place at citywide facilities and events. A bill will be voted on by the state on August 25th that looks to phase out polystyrene takeout packaging statewide by 2016.

Various cities up the West Coast including Seattle and Portland have also banned these containers. If packaging companies are slow to evolve into the new world of sustainable packaging, they most likely will be forced to by law to help preserve the environment. It’s no question that our eco-conscious society is changing the dynamics of the industry.

Top 3 Green Companies

The act of going green is defined as the process of changing one’s lifestyle for the safety and benefit of the environment. People who decide to go green and take on an eco-friendly lifestyle consider the outcomes their decisions have on global warming, pollution, and other environmental concerns. Sounds simple right? Well if you are a business it may be harder than you think. Those who do decide to make their business practices green have the potential to make a big impact in helping save the environment. They also set a positive attitude for their company, differentiate themselves from competitors, improve efficiency, and reduce costs. Going green is an big process to tackle, but the end results are great.

One problem that arises when businesses decide to go green is green washing. Green washing is the practice of companies making unsubstantiated or misleading claims of the environmental benefits of a product or service. Those who rise above this maintain a good company name and brand, while also promoting eco-friendliness.

Here are the top 3 green companies that have made commitments to become sustainable companies:

1. Dell: Dell has made a commitment to transform their packaging by making it safe for the environment. They started by trying out different materials for their packaging. Dell worked with bamboo because it replenishes itself quickly. They also just recently turned to mushrooms as part of their cushioning for their server packaging. Mushrooms are grown, not manufactured, using less energy to produce the packaging. Dell has made many goals in becoming a sustainable company. They plan on reducing waste and making their packaging recyclable. They are constantly looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint.

2. Wal-Mart: The CEO of Wal-Mart decided a few years ago to make a commitment to becoming more sustainable. They decided to make goals of running their stores on 100% renewable energy, implementing a zero waste system, and redesigning products so they are more eco-friendly. Wal-Mart has been successful in meeting their goals and becoming a more sustainable company. They have drastically reduced its waste, cut down on packaging for the goods they sell, improved fuel efficiency, and monitored their suppliers carbon footprint. Wal-Mart has saved millions of dollars by going green, which has helped their business as well as the environment.

3. Waste Management: When you think of this company, eco-friendly probably is the first words that come to mind. But they are taking initiative to change that. Waste Management is no longer just a garbage company, but an environmental answer resource. They are taking charge and finding advances in technology to reduce waste, increase recycling and reuse, creating safer disposal options, and developing sources of renewable energy. They have also found a way to capture methane from landfills, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions and has generated enough renewable energy to power 1 million homes. They are more than just a garbage company to 20 million customers and are continuing to find ways to protect the environment.


If these 3 companies can take the imitative to go green, so can others. These companies have done a great job at setting examples for other companies to hopefully follow.

PepsiCo: Recyclable and Compostable

PepsiCo is at it once again to fulfill their overall environmental goal of becoming an eco-friendly company. PepsiCo has realized something very important, their beverages are not just packaged in cans and bottles, cups are another way that Pepsi products get distributed. Places like colleges, stadiums, theme parks, and eateries use cups to serve Pepsi beverages. Although cans are fully recyclable and they have created the Plant Bottle, PepsiCo now has another task to tackle.

So how did PepsiCo solve this problem? They realized the need for sustainable beverage packaging and used some innovation and creativity to create 5 different eco-friendly, compostable, and recyclable cups that they will issue to their U.S. food-service customers. They designed 100% recyclable clear plastic cups, compostable paper cups, and wax cups that are made from plant-based materials from sustainably managed forests.

PepsiCo has done a fantastic job at going green and meeting their sustainability goals. They work hard to come up with innovative ways to green their packaging. PepsiCo has taken initiative to realize that consumers want to be more eco-friendly and they want their packaging to be eco-friendly as well. They hope that other companies will realize this and come up with their own ways to be more sustainable companies and produce eco-friendly packaging.