How Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Gets Greener Profitably
In its pollution prevention and reduction program, Green Mountain reuses and recycles wherever feasible by promoting and working toward the use and purchase of sustainable resources, and by meeting or exceeding requirements, Comey said. Here are some examples of how the company reduces, reuses, recycles and recovers — all with financial implications to its bottom line:
* Reduced the amount of nonrenewable materials in the coffee packaging of its Newman’s Own Colombian Special coffee. “We never would’ve had this relationship of co-branding [with Newman’s Own] if it weren’t for who we are and what we do,” Comey said.
* Reuses cardboard. In its plant, Green Mountain handles tons of cardboard. It used to just pay a company to take it away and dispose of it. But now it bands all cardboard up and ships it to a company that sells it to larger box stores that import from overseas. “Now we get paid to have it picked up,” Comey said.
As for the cardboard it doesn't ship out, Green Mountain shreds it and uses it for packaging. “This sends a great message to consumers that we’re reusing our materials,” Comey said.
* As for recycling, Green Mountain uses pallets made from 100 percent recycled material. Overall, the company has reduced its waste from 600 tons to 400 tons.
* Green Mountain also has an extensive energy recovery program. It’s increased the generator in its plant from 35 percent efficiency to 70 percent efficiency, Comey said. It also installed laser-jet printers that eliminate hazardous materials while producing cleaner printing jobs. “They burn off the top layer of ink when you do your own barcoding,” he pointed out.
Among other energy reduction measures, the company installed nitrogen generation, increasing its common footprint.
* In its fulfillment center, Green Mountain was able to increase natural lighting, making it a better place to work while cutting wattage 50 percent, saving $18,000 a year.