Reduce, Reuse, Recycle — Earth comes first at our Vista Plant

Reducing our footprint

 

“Sustainability, ensuring the future of life on Earth, is an infinite game, the endless expression of generosity on behalf of all.” —Paul Hawken

 

Here’s what we’re doing to reduce waste generation, water use and energy consumption at our manufacturing plant in Vista, California:

We’re installing solar panels in our employee parking lot that, once completed, will allow us to generate a significant portion of the electricity we use.

To reduce our water use, we’ve developed a system that lets our liquid soap filling machine operators know when to wash out the filling machines reducing rinse water use by 85%.

Partnering with water-filtration innovators, we’re piloting methods to clean our gray water, which will allow us to reuse more of our water.

We’ve made plans to replace our existing landscaping— grass and tropical species—with drought-tolerant native species that are adapted to the San Diego climate.

We have committed to reducing the amount of waste we send to landfill to just one dumpster a month, and we are well on the way to reaching that goal! Waste-sorting stations throughout our plant help us divert waste that can be recycled or composted.

DumpsterDive058Our cross-departmental waste sorting team pauses for a photo as they take stock of our company’s waste stream

For our shipping boxes, we only use 100% PCR (post-consumer recycled) corrugate. We’ve switched to a cardboard that’s 30% thinner, and have slowly removed 90% of the dividers from inside our cases. We’re able to reuse our cases several times before they lose their rigidity— not only saving materials, but reducing greenhouse gas emissions because there is less weight to be shipped. And we worked closely with our label manufacturer to build an industry-leading model for recycling the rolls of backing on our labels.

All of these efforts require that we accurately measure our environmental footprint—our total energy consumption (electric, natural gas, fossil fuel, propane), water consumption, waste generation, and greenhouse gas emissions. These measurements allow us to benchmark and track our progress as we decrease our carbon footprint and become a near-zero-waste* operation.

*“Zero-waste” is an industry term that actually means 10% or less of all waste is going to landfill. We have chosen to call our goal for waste reduction “near-zero-waste,” which more accurately reflects the reality that as of yet not everything can be reused, composted, or recycled—but we’re getting there!

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