- THE MAGAZINE
- FOOD MASTER
Silk, the brand known for its soymilk, almondmilk and coconutmilk produced, announced new initiatives in water conservation and restoration efforts.
Since 2003, Silk has been working with Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF), and recently partnered with the National Geographic Society, BEF and Participant Media to support Change the Course—an ongoing effort to conserve freshwater and preserve the ecological health of the heavily dammed, diverted and overused Colorado River Basin. This campaign is designed to 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 www.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,” says Craig Shiesley, senior vice president of 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.”
Silk conducted two studies—a “life-cycle assessment” and a “water footprint assessment”—comparing the environmental impact of a half-gallon of Silk Original soymilk, almondmilk and coconutmilk to a typical half-gallon of conventional U.S. dairy milk. The independent study, commissioned by Silk’s parent company, WhiteWave Foods Co., Broomfield, Colo., revealed that, on average, producing one half-gallon of plant-based beverages, such as soymilk, almondmilk or coconutmilk, requires 77% less water and generates 47% 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,” says 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% of its manufacturing water footprint through the purchase of water restoration certificates (WRCs) and 100% of its electricity footprint from manufacturing at its company-owned facilities. Silk’s goal is to offset 100% of both its water and electricity footprints in the coming years through BEF.
WhiteWave Foods is also committed to sustainability initiatives. To date, on a per gallon basis, the company reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 21% compared to a 2006 baseline, has reduced waste to landfill by 35% compared to a 2007 baseline, and has reduced non-ingredient water by 8% 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.