In 2016, we initiated a program to institute a zero landfill program within B&G Foods based on work done at Maple Grove Farms, which reached a 92 percent diversion rate from landfill after just two years. Members from each of our manufacturing facilities attended training at Maple Grove Farms, which was followed with on-site audits at each United States location. All of our manufacturing facilities began tracking diversion to landfill rates and three of our manufacturing facilities currently have diversion rates exceeding 90 percent.
In 2017, Maple Grove Farms was certified silver by the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council. Maple Grove Farms was also awarded the 2017 Vermont Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award, which recognizes actions to conserve and protect natural resources, prevent pollution and promote environmental sustainability. Our goal is to have each of our manufacturing facilities become certified as a zero landfill site under an accredited body within five years.
Water is a critical resource throughout our business, from agricultural fields to manufacturing facilities to the products our consumers enjoy. Because we recognize the importance to B&G Foods and to the environment of responsible water stewardship, we continually look for opportunities to reduce total water usage, the risks relating to water scarcity and the impact of our operations and key supply chains on water quality.
For example, our Green Giant manufacturing facility in Irapuato, Mexico has undertaken various efforts to reduce water used in sanitation and within the manufacturing process. Several years ago, the facility installed a reverse osmosis system to reclaim discharged water from its wastewater treatment plant, which reclaims millions of gallons of water each year.
Green Giant Mexico also encourages its contract growers to reduce their water use through conversion from flood, or gravity, irrigation to drip irrigation. Flood irrigation is the movement of water through earthen canals or furrows, with water delivery occurring in between rows of crops. Drip irrigation is precise application of water through tubes or irrigation tape, with water applied through small holes directly at the root of the crops.
For further information, please review our Water Stewardship Policy.
Our Green Giant facility in Irapuato, the agricultural region of south central Mexico, has been planting trees throughout the region for almost 20 years in an effort to help improve such issues as water infiltration, carbon dioxide capturing and deforestation.
What started out as a couple hundred trees per year has taken root into something much bigger, with close to 150,000 trees planted to date with an overall goal to plant 500,000 trees. That’s the estimated number of trees it would take to make the Irapuato facility “carbon neutral,” which means the trees will absorb enough carbon dioxide from the air to offset the carbon dioxide we create in making our products.
Each of our manufacturing facilities has undertaken independent efforts to reduce energy consumption. We’re proud to share that we participate in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), which works with suppliers to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate climate change.
Individual facilities have also upgraded lighting to LED equipment, which has resulted in reduced electrical usage. Another key focus has been fuel consumption. Several facilities have upgraded the burner controls for boilers in order to reduce consumption, while others have switched to consume cleaner burning natural gas to reduce pollution. Sites have also upgraded insulation efforts to reduce energy consumption.
In 2007, a volunteer with Tennessee-based nonprofit The Elephant Sanctuary, which provides a haven for old, sick or needy African and Asian elephants, wrote David Wenner, our CEO at the time, to ask for a molasses donation. The sweetness of molasses helps elephants take their dietary supplements and medications.
In 2008, we officially kicked off the partnership between The Elephant Sanctuary and Grandma’s Molasses, which now donates a year’s supply of molasses annually. We’re honored to have America’s #1 molasses brand partner with The Elephant Sanctuary.
We believe in being good corporate citizens and supporting the communities who support us. We give back to various causes and charitable efforts at corporate, brand and local levels, and encourage employees to do the same.
In 2016, Green Giant embarked on a long-term corporate sponsorship with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which includes an annual donation and joint marketing with St. Jude and Green Giant products.
Employees at our corporate headquarters in Parsippany, New Jersey get involved with many charitable events, including participating in the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. Employees at our manufacturing locations get involved with local community events, such as Bike MS, United Way and Habitat for Humanity.