GoMacro’s Five Principles – Live Long, Eat Positive, Give Back, Tread Lightly, and Be Well – have served as the foundation of our company since our inception in 2004. Our sustainability efforts play a part in how we live out each of those principles within our company and our communities. This year, we made incredible progress towards meeting our goals and continue to look for ways we can set the standard for planet-friendly practices within our business and industry.
We’re committed to becoming Zero-Waste Certified and landfill-free in our production facility by donating bars, scraps, and other materials to local businesses and charities.
In fact, 100% of our food scraps are donated to local farmers and organizations that can utilize the materials, while our bars that become unsellable, due to small errors like imperfect wrappers, are donated to food pantries throughout the Midwest, helping to feed those in need.
In 2020, we became 64.2% waste-free by recycling and diverting 387 tons of waste from landfills, which is 98 more tons diverted than in 2019. Our goal of achieving Zero-Waste Certification requires us to be 90% waste-free, and we’re continuing to find ways to reduce waste in our operations.
In addition to diverting waste, recycling is another powerful way we’re working to Tread Lightly. Our 12-count trays are made from 100% recycled material and can be composted, reused, or recycled once you have enjoyed all the bars. With the help of Kimberly-Clark, we recycled 2.6 tons of gloves and hairnets used throughout our production facility in 2020, as well as 126.2 tons of baled cardboard.
While we’re proud to share that we’ve recycled 35,000 nut butter pails in 2020, we’re working toward a more sustainable nut butter and syrup pumping system that would eliminate the use of the pails altogether.
We’ve been powering our production facility with 100% renewable energy since December 2018 using a combination of our 844 rooftop solar panels and renewable energy credits (RECs) from regional wind farms.
In 2020, we took things a step further and began covering the additional costs of purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs) for the entire Village of Viola. Now, through this unique partnership, every home and business throughout the village where GoMacro is headquartered is 100% renewably powered at no additional cost to residents.
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
While using renewable energy drastically reduces GoMacro’s greenhouse gas emissions, we also work to reduce our carbon footprint in other ways.
Two sustainable methods are used for 60% of our shipping – consolidated shipments with nearby Organic Valley and sustainable shipments via UPS. UPS has made strides toward decreasing their carbon footprint through their use of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles in their fleet.
In addition to reducing our own emissions, through our partnership with Carbonfund.org, we help fund the Envira Amazonia Project, preserving nearly 500,000 acres of tropical rainforests to date. The Amazon Rainforest produces roughly 6-9% of the world's oxygen, sequesters millions of tons of carbon, and provides habitat for many threatened species.
In 2020, we increased our employee count, yet continued to decrease our wastewater discharge per employee from 13,292 to 8,481 gallons. We’re also committed to preserving our local Kickapoo River. Each member of the GoMacro team is granted one paid day per year to give back to the community, and several members teamed up for a full day of river clean up early in 2020.
We believe that natural food that is closer to the earth and less processed is healthier for the body, soul, and planet, and we only work with suppliers whose values and commitment to quality match our own. All suppliers must meet our high standards when it comes to producing ingredients that are Certified Organic, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Kosher, non-GMO, and of course, taste delicious – and we’re pretty picky! We also look for those with excellent sustainability programs in place and treat their growers and employees fairly. Learn more by checking out our Responsible Sourcing page.
The Sustainable Food Trade Association’s (SFTA) 11 Point Action Plan is a natural extension of our Five Principles. While the SFTA Declaration of Sustainability covers areas like organic sourcing, climate change, energy, waste, and distribution, it also emphasizes the importance of fair and equitable labor practices. Although labor is not directly related to environmental initiatives, it’s important to us to also create a work environment that reflects our company’s values and commitment to employees.
All full-time employees are eligible for company-sponsored short term disability benefits. This year, we also increased wages for all production, line, and hourly wage workers.
In addition, we exceeded the CDC requirements in combating the spread of COVID-19 in our community. This included free weekly COVID tests for employees, hazard pay, additional paid time off, and reconfiguration of production flows to create safe and socially-distanced workspaces to prevent potential exposure.
In pioneering these best practices, we also had the opportunity to partner with other local companies and act as a resource in the area.
Since 2017, GoMacro has had an interdepartmental group of employees that creates, promotes, and facilitates sustainability initiatives that address environmental, economic, and social responsibility goals. The Green Team has eight official members, but sustainability is a company-wide collaboration, and we’re always looking for ways we can improve every department.
Raising the Bar
At GoMacro, it’s our mission to spread awareness for a balanced, plant-based lifestyle – not only for our personal health, but for the health of our planet. We believe every action adds up, and we strive to lead by example in our industry and our communities. Join us as we raise the bar and make the world better, one bite at a time.