How to Make Money and Save the World

This is the subtitle of Gary Hirshberg’s book “Stirring it Up". Hirshberg, the “CE-Yo” of Stonyfield Farm, believes that the company’s environmental and sustainability mission is in their “DNA”. Stonyfield Farm purchases organic ingredients that help to keep over 100,000 farm acres free of toxic, persistent pesticides and chemical fertilizers known to contaminate soil, rivers, and drinking water. Over the past 12 years, the company offset 100 percent of its CO2 emissions from their Londonderry, NH facility. In 2008, Stonyfield produced 12 percent more yogurt, but reduced energy use by 8%. Some of their clean renewable energy is created through solar rooftop systems of their Yogurt Works plant. And, each year Stonyfield Farm gives away 10 percent of its profits to organizations and projects that work to protect and restore the earth.

As proponents of reuse and recycling, the company’s solid waste management program has kept more than 20 million pounds of waste from landfills and incinerators. In traditional waste management “the solution to pollution is dilution.” Five years ago Stonyfield exceeded the local waste water treatment capacity and had to build a pretreatment plant for the residues of yogurt making and cleaning. Stonyfield’s wastewater treatment would have yielded a truckload of sludge every single week. When asked, town officials told Stonyfield that the sludge would be sent to Vermont. Amid “images of Ben and Jerry’s sending their waste to NH…” the company decided not to send their sludge “to the mythical place called away”. Instead, Stonyfield built a facility that generates a burnable biogas that replaces propane in our plant, uses 40% less energy, 50% lower costs and generates essentially no sludge.”

Beyond running a successful company, Hirshberg is a world-renowned speaker on sustainability, climate change, and socially responsible business and a strong proponent for sustainable practices on the part of organizations and consumers. Recognizing that each purchase sends a message on the kind of society and planet we want to live in, Stonyfield Farm created a nonprofit called Climate Counts which shows people how they can help fight climate change by the way they shop and invest. The organization also gives 10% of their profits to efforts that help protect and restore the earth.”

Sources: http://www.sustainableunh.unh.edu/ May 2009 and www.Stonyfieldfarm.com

Comments

Paul Schempp said:

Hirshberg is obviously a smart businessperson and savvy marketer. He can make money while also perserving the planet. Hopefully is represents a new way of executives.

Paul Schempp said:

Hirshberg is obviously a smart businessperson and savvy marketer. He can make money while also perserving the planet. Hopefully is represents a new way of executives.

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