Monthly Archives: August 2018

New Member Highlight: Clif Bar – A Different Kind of Company



Clif Bar & Company, a leader in organic energy food for athletes and active people, strives to run a different kind of company – one based not on profit alone but on five bottom lines the company calls its “Five Aspirations.” Those Aspirations – sustaining the company’s business, brands, people, community, and the planet – serve as the guiding principles for every decision Clif Bar makes. For its people, this means sharing ownership of the company and creating an inspiring workplace. It also means building a sustainable business and supporting the communities where Clif Bar lives, works, and plays. Clif Bar is based in Emeryville, California with bakeries in Twin Falls, Idaho and Indianapolis, Indiana.

Environmental sustainability comes to life at Clif Bar through four focus areas: Sustainable Food and Agriculture, Clean Energy and Climate Action, Zero Waste, and Natural Resource Conservation.


Highlights from the work in these areas include:

Sustainable Food & Agriculture

  • Over a dozen Clif brands are certified organic or “made with organic”, including CLIF BAR, LUNA, CLIF Kid Zbar and CLIF BLOKS energy chews.
  • 888 million pounds of organic ingredients purchased since 2003; 77% of all ingredients used are certified organic and/or sustainable with a goal to reach 80% by 2020.
  • Largest private funder in organic research in the U.S. and committed to endowing five chairs in organic research in public, land-grant universities with two established at University of Wisconsin and Washington State.

Clean Energy & Climate Action 

  • 100% green power for electricity used at all facilities with approximately 80% of the electricity at Clif headquarters generated by a 500-kW rooftop solar array.
  • Supply chain partners are provided with free consulting through Clif Bar’s 50/50 by 2020 program to help suppliers transition to green power for the electricity used to make Clif Bar’s ingredients, packaging, products and services.
  • Climate neutral business operations since 2003 and over a decade advocating for strong climate policy with partners like Ceres and Protect Our Winters.

Zero Waste

  • Moving towards zero waste at Clif Bar headquarters, bakeries and distribution centers with a 2020 goal of 90 percent or more waste diversion from landfills and incineration. The company achieved 89 percent waste diversion in 2017.
  • 100% recycled paperboard caddies and a 10% packaging reduction of Clif Bar’s wrapper in 2016 has avoided 500,000 lbs. of film to date.


Natural Resource Conservation

  • Long-term partnerships to support groups like the Conservation Alliance, Surfrider, Winter Wildlands Alliance and other nonprofits to Protect the Places we Play.
  • Over 135,000 trees planted in partnership with American Forests and other non-profit partners.

Employee Engagement

  • Sustainability benefit program provides financial support for employees to purchase of fuel efficient hybrids or electric vehicles (over 430 purchased to date), commuter bikes, and energy-saving home improvements.
  • Employees are provided the opportunity to volunteer on company time. In 2017 employees donated 19,847 hours of community service.

Clif Bar is excited to be a part of the GSA and working with alliance members toward shared goals and vision for a healthy, sustainable future. To learn more about Clif Bar’s Sustainability Journey and the company’s Five Aspiration Business Model, visit www.clifbar.com.

Dynamic Energy Networks Brings Renewables, Resiliency to Stadiums and Arena

By Lew Blaustein, GreenSportsBlog

Karen Morgan, President and CEO of Dynamic Energy Networks (Photo credit: Dynamic Energy Networks)

Karen Morgan, President and CEO of Dynamic Energy Networks (Photo credit: Dynamic Energy Networks)

June’s Green Sports Alliance Summit took place at Atlanta’s LEED Platinum jewel, Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Forward thinking and acting Arthur Blank, owner of the Falcons and Atlanta United, directed the people who designed and built the stadium to do whatever it took to get the country’s first Platinum designation for a pro sports stadium.

The community-minded Blank also made sure that the stadium would serve the adjacent West Side neighborhood: Local residents helped build and are helping to operate Mercedes-Benz Stadium. And, in the case of a natural disaster or other type of emergency, the stadium will be transformed into a resilient community center.

But what if an owner is not as committed to the environment and/or the community as Mr. Blank, and/or doesn’t have as deep pockets?

Enter the innovative investment platform, Dynamic Energy Networks (DEN), backed by the Carlyle Group, along with its powerful global technology partner, Schneider Electric.

DEN brings deep experience in energy infrastructure investment and design, especially as it relates to distributed energy resources and Microgrid solutions. DEN/Carlyle has the experience and long-term vision to take on complex infrastructure projects such as stadia and arenas.

Schneider Electric is leading the digital transformation of energy management and automation and has deep experience in energy efficiency upgrades at sports venues across the world.

As long-term investors, DEN stands behind these solutions, taking on the financial risk on behalf of owners, venues, and other sports organizations.

GreenSportsBlog spoke with Karen Morgan, President and CEO of DEN, to get a sense of the “Art of the Possible” as it relates to the delivery of resilient, reliable, secure and sustainable solutions at stadia and arenas.

GreenSportsBlog: Karen, your input on the “The Art of the Possible: New Business Models to Achieve Your Community’s Energy Goals” panel at the Green Sports Alliance Summit in June, was a master class on the business of large scale renewable and microgrid projects, the trend towards distributed energy generation and what that can mean for stadiums, arenas and the communities they serve. We will get into that in a bit, along with how Dynamic Energy Networks fits into the Green-Sports world. But first, how did you get into the renewable energy business?

Read the full article here.

Responding to U.S. Recycling Crisis, Leading Bin Manufacturers Join The Society-Wide Standardized Label Solution

Recycle Across America
Press Release


Photo Credit: Recycle Across America

Photo Credit: Recycle Across America

Minneapolis, MN – August 23, 2018: China has historically purchased more than 30% of U.S. recyclables. However, in January of this year, they enacted the China National Sword Policy, banning the purchase of the majority of U.S. recyclables due to the high levels of garbage mixed in with the recyclables (also known as contamination). As a result of the ban, China now purchases less than 3% of U.S. recyclables. China’s reaction to the contaminated recycling from the U.S. has led to a collapse in recycling markets, causing much of U.S. recyclables to be sent to landfills.

In a historic effort to resolve this crisis, leading bin manufacturers, including BearSaver, Bigbelly Smart Waste and Recycling Systems, CleanRiver Recycling Solutions, EZ Dump Commercial, Landmark Studio & Design, Max-R, and Securr are joining forces with 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization Recycle Across America (RAA) to offer the standardized recycling labels on their recycling, compost and trash bins to make it easy for the public to recycle properly throughout society. They are joining this national movement to help eliminate the public’s confusion at the bin, which has been the primary cause of the contaminated recycling and China’s ban.

To date, there are nearly nine million standardized labels displayed on recycling bins throughout the U.S., which are proving to often double and triple recycling levels and significantly reduce or eliminate the contamination. In turn, the standardized labels help reduce the cost of processing the recyclables and allow manufacturers in many industries to have access to high quality recycled commodities at  competitive prices, thereby preventing the depletion of finite natural resources.

“There is an environmental bottleneck that has been happening as a result of public confusion, apathy, and skepticism with recycling, which has been the byproduct of inconsistent labels throughout society. That’s why this is truly a historic moment to have these bin manufacturers demonstrate their leadership, uniting with this solution on behalf of their customers and the public. They understand the societal,  environmental and industry benefits that come when the public can instantly know how to recycle right, wherever they are in the U.S.” said Mitch Hedlund, Founder of Recycle Across America.

Additionally, RAA has launched a coast to coast celebrity-led public service (PSA) campaign called, “Let’s recycle right!(R)” to bring attention to the standardized labels solution and the need for proper recycling. As the largest multi-media campaign in U.S. history created to help society recycle right, the TV  commercials are airing in all of the major cities across the U.S. and have already been increasing the adoption of the standardized labels for bins.

Read more about this release and Recycle Across America here.


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