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Ippolito’s Commitment to Zero Waste

Ippolito Team Jan 23 , 2017

We realized that starting with a waste reduction program was the best opportunity to engage our entire operation and create a platform to discuss sustainability initiatives moving forward.

 

In addition to the environmental benefits that come with a recycling program, we recognized the opportunity to reduce costs and maintain a proactive position for proposed regulations.

 

As recent as September 28, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill (AB) 1826. This bill requires that all commercial businesses recycle their organic waste to phase out food waste from landfilling by 2020. At Ippolito International, our culls, the by-product of our value-added processing/packing shed lines, are diverted from the landfill and sent to a local feed lot. They are then used to feed cattle or create compost, which is a valuable soil amendment..

 

Back in October of 2011, California also implemented AB341 which adopted a 75% recycling goal state-wide.

 

To reduce the impact on the environment and to reduce the costs associated with solid waste disposal, Ippolito launched a facility wide waste reduction and recycling program in April 2016 with a goal to achieve Zero Waste the following year.

 

Our Zero Waste efforts at Ippolito International will help build upon California’s environmental leadership nationally and worldwide.

 

Process

During this process, there were three critical components identified prior to this ambitious project. First, we established a baseline starting in 2016 to identify how much waste was being generated. Second, we analyzed the waste streams and identified opportunities to reduce, reuse, and recycle while also taking into consideration economic and practical limitations. Finally, the third component is continuous improvement; we will continue to identify additional opportunities for improving our impact.

 

Having the proper signage, labeling, and right-sized receptacles are critical to ensuring the program’s success. To that end, we customized specific signs for each area of material generation. Proper labeling for recycling and landfill containers reduces confusion thereby reducing contamination of the recycling materials. Multiple waste audits were conducted and used to complete a right-sizing analysis at each facility.

 

Building relationships and collaborating with everyone involved both internally and externally has been the key to launching this program successfully. Examples of service companies outside the Ippolito organization include the local hauling and recycling vendor, waste hauler, solid waste authority, and cull hauling company. By working together in a collaborative effort, we will be able to reach this goal by December 2017.

 

Preliminary Results

In our first eight months, we have had great success. We have significantly increased our recycling efforts and accounted for a substantial amount of materials we’ve discard each month. We attribute this successful start to a few things including starting with upper management engagement, company-wide training, creating customized signage, and most importantly the desire to do the right thing.

 

Moving Forward

Ippolito International will continue to educate our employees about our waste reduction efforts and share the progress we are making to achieve Zero Waste through regular internal tail-gate trainings. We are expanding our efforts to include environmentally preferred purchasing policies, verifying proper hazardous and universal material management, and incorporating a Zero Waste policy into our employee handbook. We are also continuing to track and quantify our material use to validate our process improvements.

 

We hope to lead by example and provide a model for waste diversion/reduction and resource conservation in the food processing industry. We will demonstrate that sustainability can be good for both the environment and for business.

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