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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.

Opinion: MLBs most energy, environment, and climate conscious players

By Matt Chester
This article was published by the Chester Energy and Policy blog on July 9, 2018.

Matt Chester assembles an All-Star Team with MLB players who have proven themselves to be the most conscious of issues surrounding energy, the environment, and climate change.

Sports can be the ultimate awareness raiser for climate issues

Baseball’s Midsummer Classic is just around the corner, where fans, players, and coaches all vote on which players will play in the All-Star Game based on their performance during the first half of the season.

This year’s game is hosted in Washington, D.C, both home of the first Major League Baseball (MLB) stadium ever to be certified as LEED Silver and also epicentre of U.S. politicians debating the green issues of the day.

As such, I thought it appropriate to assemble an All-Star Team with MLB players who have proven themselves to be the most conscious of issues surrounding energy, the environment, and climate change– the Green All-Star Game, if you will.

Why do this?
Lew Blaustein of the GreenSportsBlog does a great job explaining that bringing awareness to green issues is the most critical action athletes, teams, and leagues can do with their platform.

Athletes especially can educate the public and make environmental issues relevant to new audiences. The world of sports already takes pride in charitable work, including such high-profile partnerships as the NFL integrating pink into its colour schemes for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Among MLB players, the most commonly supported charities include children’s hospitals, fighting poverty, cancer research, and more.

Obviously, these charities are more than deserving causes, but surely there is also room for athletes focusing on climate change and the clean energy transition.

Baseball players are especially great for these endeavours because they are exceedingly marketable given their faces are not obscured by helmets like football or hockey players, they have long-lasting careers, and baseball forever has a place in the social sphere as America’s Game.

Not only that, but baseball players have many reasons to advocate for the environment and fight against climate change.

For one, the effects of climate change are most immediate and dangerous to islands and nations in the Caribbean, and MLB rosters feature a significant number of players from vulnerable communities— notably the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and more.

And if not for altruistic reason, baseball players might even seek to support green causes so climate change doesn’t alter the number of home runs or the hit-by-pitch count in baseball (note– I know there’s no real evidence of these effects, this is said tongue-in-cheek– put away the pitchforks).

Who makes the cut?
With all that said, the search begins for MLB players who have publicly championed green causes– whether that means renewable energy technologies, environmental causes, or fighting climate change.

Read the full story.

Oregon State Student Athletes Represent Best of Green-Sports with BAST Program

By GreenSportsBlog

Sam Lewis (l), Jesikah Cavanaugh (front) and the BAST team managed the “Return Pom Pom” effort at select Oregon State home football games in 2016. (Photo credit: OSU Campus Recycling)

Sam Lewis (l), Jesikah Cavanaugh (front) and the BAST team managed the “Return Pom Pom” effort at select Oregon State home football games in 2016. (Photo credit: OSU Campus Recycling)

Cadres of green-minded students and the growing popularity of sustainability as an academic discipline are just two reasons why there is a growing intersection of Green & Sports on campuses across the country. But while athletics and sustainability departments have driven the green-sports bus, student-athletes have taken a back seat to this point. At least, that is, until Oregon State University’s Samantha (“Sam”) Lewis, a cross-country/track runner, and Jesikah Cavanaugh, a swimmer, decided they, along with three other student-athletes wanted to accelerate the greening of OSU sports. GreenSportsBlog talked recently with Sam and Jesikah to get their takes on how they came to take on leading roles in the birth of the Beaver Athlete Sustainability Team (BAST), what it has accomplished so far and where they think it will go from here.

If you wanted to draw up two characters to be green-sports student athlete pioneers, you would have conjured Sam Lewis and Jesikah Cavanaugh. They helped create the Beaver Athlete Sustainability Team or BAST at Oregon State University in Corvallis.

Both are life-long environmentalists.

Sam, a runner who grew up in Boulder, CO, told GreenSportsBlog that “sustainability was embedded in my life from an early age. We composted, recycled, rode bikes and snowshoed.” Oregon State was a natural choice due to her “love of the outdoors and of running in the rain.” I get her first love but running in the rain? Not so much.

Jesikah’s lifelong appreciation of the environment was nurtured in Anchorage, AK, where, she reports, “everything is clean.” A swimmer by the age of four, Jess says she was inspired by her older, faster sister Meghan. Recruited by Division III schools in Colorado and Pittsburgh, PA, Jesikah applied to OSU almost as an afterthought: “My dad went to Oregon State and I didn’t want to go there. But I was interested in environmental engineering and I liked that their program was tied to chemical engineering rather than civil, as was the case at most schools. I ultimately want to work on water remediation—cleaning and restoration—so that link with chemical engineering was a key reason I ended up in Corvallis.”

Both overcame serious obstacles in their sports.

Sam, who ran the 6K in cross-country, “suffered lots of injuries,” including a stress fracture in her back during her sophomore year. “It was so frustrating. I was recruited to be a Division I runner at a Pac-12 school and I couldn’t even walk my dog,” shared Sam, “It took a couple of years to be able to compete again, but the work it took to come back was so worth it—it was the best feeling ever.” And the women’s cross-country and track team has faced its own challenges. “The sport was dropped at Oregon State in 1988, rebooted in 2004, so we have been playing catch up against some of the best teams in the country,” explained Sam. But, reflecting her grit, the cross-country squad was able to finish a respectable 12th in the powerful, 35-team West region last year, an improvement of seven places from 2015.

Jes was not offered a swimming scholarship. No problem. She walked on to the Oregon State swim team as a freshman, swimming the 100- and 200-meter butterfly. Her consistent performances (“I never missed a meet!”) earned her a scholarship by her junior year.

With passion for the environment and grit, all that was needed for Sam and Jes to enter the green-sports fray was a cause.

Read the full interview and story here.

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