Working Together Towards a Sustainable Future
by Loree Dowse | September 2018
Sustainability in the consumer goods sector continues to be an important factor in purchasing decisions – and why shouldn’t it? According to a 2017 Cone Communication CSR study, 86% of US consumers expect companies to act on social, and environmental issues.
As our team of innovative thinkers continues to deliver some of best vegetable products on the market, we also understand the need as a company to be a responsible global citizen.
In planning Mann Packing’s brand new processing facility in Gonzales, we had the opportunity to reduce our energy consumption by embracing alternative sources, so we took it.
Southern Monterey County experiences powerful winds due to pressure differentials of cool air streaming in from the Pacific Ocean intersecting with warm air from the inland parts of the valley. The installation of a wind turbine to help power our future facility made complete sense.
Erected in July, our new turbine stands 260 feet tall overlooking the valley we proudly call home. Once our new facility is up and running in 2019, the turbine will provide 50-75% of the building’s power during wind peaks. The equivalent power offset is equal to 349 U.S. homes with an annual estimated energy cost savings of $120,000-210,000.
Aside from our energy efforts, Mann Packing and nine other local ag companies have partnered with Greener Fields Together, a sustainability incentive administered by PRO*ACT, to commit to genuine sustainability improvements across our supply chain. For us, this comes in the form of pledging to reduce the landfill waste coming out of our Hansen Street Salinas facility.
We began the Greener Fields Together program in 2017, and according to our mid-year internal waste reporting, we have already reduced our landfill waste by 68.38 tons and increased our recycling by 129.96 tons. This is due in part to continuous employee training to better improve our materials separation.
Like any other vegetable company, organic waste tends to be the largest waste stream. This is of concern to Mann Packing as well as the other agriculture companies taking part in Greener Fields Together. Besides our history of creating our famous Broccoli Cole Slaw using discarded organic waste, we are always on the lookout for ways to keep our veggie byproducts from going to the landfill. Last year, 30 million pounds of Mann’s organic waste was used to feed cattle right here in the Salinas Valley.
As our Green Team initiatives continue to expand, our goal is to create a work culture that is aware of our impact on Mother Nature. Margret Mead said it best with her famous quote; “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”