From Sustainable Manufacturing Practices to Sponsoring Water Restoration Projects, Silk Expands its Water Conservation Efforts
BROOMFIELD, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Silk®, the brand known for its bestselling soymilk, almondmilk and coconutmilk, announces new initiatives in water conservation and restoration efforts. From its founding, Silk has been committed to making the world a healthier place through socially-responsible and environmentally-sustainable business practices.
Silk has been working with Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) since 2003 and has recently partnered with the National Geographic Society, BEF and Participant Media as the first charter corporate sponsor to support Change the Course—a multiyear global effort to conserve freshwater and preserve the ecological health of the heavily dammed, diverted and overused Colorado River Basin. This campaign will empower individuals and communities to reduce their own freshwater footprint while making on-the-ground water restoration efforts.
Change the Course is challenging members of the public to learn about the vital issues of freshwater, calculate their own water footprints and take a simple pledge to conserve at changethecourse.us. For every pledge received, a Change the Course corporate sponsor, like Silk, will donate to the cause. Each pledge will restore 1,000 gallons of water back into the Colorado River, working to make the river healthy again.
“As a brand that is deeply committed to sustainability and conservation, this water restoration project is close to our hearts,” said Craig Shiesley, Senior VP Plant Based Beverages and Canada. “We’re thrilled to support the Change the Course initiative, help restore the Colorado River Basin and positively impact a major body of water in our own backyard. We all need to do our part to use water more thoughtfully and productively to help keep our rivers and streams healthy.”
With drought conditions on the rise across the country, both restoration and conservation projects are crucial to the health of the country’s water supply. As a brand committed to environmental sustainability, Silk recently conducted two studies—a “life cycle assessment” and a “water footprint assessment”—comparing the environmental impact of a half-gallon ofSilk® Original soymilk, almondmilk and coconutmilk to a typical half-gallon of conventional U.S. dairy milk.1,2
The independent study, commissioned by Silk’s parent company, WhiteWave Foods, revealed that, on average, producing one half-gallon of plant-based beverages, such as soymilk, almondmilk or coconutmilk, requires 77 percent less water and generates 47 percent fewer greenhouse gases (GHGs) than producing one half-gallon of conventional U.S. dairy milk.
“We’ve always believed that plant-based foods like Silk are better for people and the planet,” said Shiesley. “We’re proud of these positive results and have used them to help us identify additional opportunities to further reduce greenhouse gas and other environmental emissions, as well as water consumption.”
In addition, for 2013, Silk has committed to offsetting 50 percent of its manufacturing water footprint through the purchase of water restoration certificates (WRCs) and 100 percent of its electricity footprint from manufacturing at its company owned facilities. Silk’s goal is to offset 100 percent of both its water and electricity footprints in the coming years through BEF.
Silk’s parent company, WhiteWave Foods, is also committed to sustainability initiatives, which include reducing waste-to-landfill, water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. To date, on a per gallon basis, the company reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 21 percent compared to a 2006 baseline, has reduced waste to landfill by 35 percent compared to a 2007 baseline, and has reduced non-ingredient water by eight percent compared to a 2008 baseline. WhiteWave Foods is also focused on improving the environmental and social impacts of ingredient sourcing, as well as improving the environmental impacts of its packaging.
Silk was founded in 1996 on a promise to make the world a healthier place. The brand believes that plant-based foods are the best way to nourish people and the planet and today offers a broad portfolio of nutritious, great-tasting milk alternatives, including Silk® Soymilk, Silk PureAlmond® and Silk PureCoconut®. Silk’s products use the highest-quality plant-based ingredients. In addition, Silk’s entire plant-based beverage portfolio is or will be enrolled in the Non-GMO Project’s Product Verification Program. Silk is also committed to making the world a healthier place through socially responsible and environmentally sustainable business practices, such as the Responsible Soybean Sourcing & Production Program, the traceability website (www.silksoymilk.com/traceit/) and Silk’s legacy of using and championing renewable energy. For more information, visit www.silk.com, Facebook.com/SilkUS or follow us on Twitter @LoveMySilk.
1 Based on life cycle assessment conducted in 2011 utilizing external LCA experts and certified for comparative declaration under the ISO 14040 /44 standard series.
2 Based on a 2011 water footprint assessment conducted by Silk using the Water Footprint N