A Leader in Green Tech Energy and Sustainability in Food Manufacturing: Nature’s Path

When it comes to adopting more environmentally-sustainable practices and using green technology, it’s helpful to look at how other planet-friendly food and beverage companies have found success. And if you’re not familiar with Nature’s Path, a Canadian-based food manufacturing company, they are raising the bar on what it means to be sustainable!

The History of Organic Farming at Nature’s Path

Founded by Arran and Ratana Stephens in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1985, Nature’s Path is one of the early pioneers of organic farming. Arran grew up on his family’s second generation organic berry farm and it was here where he learned about caring for the soil and protecting the planet.

Weaved throughout their 30 years of organic farming is their commitment to leaving the earth better than they found it. “It’s in our DNA to do business better that’s kinder and more gentler to the environment,” says Arran Stephens, founder of Nature’s Path.

 

Still a family-run company, Nature’s Path prides itself on offering the first USDA-certified organic cereals on the market!  In addition, Nature’s Path is recognized as one of British Columbia’s top employers and has grown to a team of nearly 200 full-time employees

Uner Arran and Ratana’s leadership, Nature’s Path has taken the traditional, linear approach most brands use- the ‘Take, Make and Waste’ model, and created a more circular method that utilizes green technology!

Sustainability + Regenerative Organic Farming at Nature’s Path

Learn More About Green Tech Energy and Sustainability in Food Manufacturing

In order to be more sustainable in both their farming and distribution of their products, Nature’s Path has committed to the following practices:

  • Growing Organic
  • Zero Waste
  • Climate Neutrality
  • Water Preservation
  • Educating, Inspiring, and Giving Back

And, as a leader in the food and beverage space, Nature’s Path continues to balance profitability and sustainable initiatives to stay ahead of the competition. Read more about how and why to create this balance at your company!

Nature’s Path partners with a handful of organic farms in Canada and the United States to ensure their 48,000+ hectares of land uphold the best regenerative organic practices and utilize green technology.

 

Therefore, every ingredient Nature’s Path uses in their snacks and breakfast items are certified USDA organic, non-GMO, and/or Canadian organic. Why choose to go organic or regenerative organic? Well, it provides quite a few long-term benefits:

  • Increases soil health and preservation
  • Promotes biodiversity and balance within the local ecosystem
  • Captures or sequesters carbon in the soil to reduce CO2 emissions
  • Ensures fair working conditions for farmers

In addition, one of the biggest sustainability goals at Nature’s Path is to have entirely reusable, recyclable, or compostable earth-friendly packaging by 2025!

In order to accomplish this and other goals, Nature’s Path continues to develop and reassess their operations methods as innovative, cleaner green tech methods of production arise. Read more in detail about how they are accomplishing each of their goals.

How Nature’s Path Uses Green Technology

Nature’s Path Canadian operations work with their energy partner, Bullfrog Power, to employ renewable, green energy. For example, the Nature’s Path Blane plant diverts all of their wastewater to an external anaerobic biodigester which recycles waste into biogas. This can then be used as energy!

As a result of all their sustainability efforts, Nature’s Path received the Northwest Clean Air Agencies Parners for Clean Air (NWCAA) gold award two years in a row!

Additionally, Nature’s Path has been a certified Climate Smart Business since 2014, and has been a part of the SOC2 and SFTA Climate Collaborative since 2017.

A Farmer Practicing Green Tech Energy and Sustainability in Food Manufacturing

How Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) Factor In at Nature’s Path

Every year since 2008, Nature’s Path purchases Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to offset all of their electricity used in production.  Think of REC’s as a way to track electricity that was generated without the use of fossil fuel emissions. 

Other terms you may have heard used to in conjunction with or instead of Renewable Energy Credits include:

  • Renewable Energy Certificates
  • Green Tags
  • SRECs or Solar RECs
  • Green RECs
  • Wind RECs

We will cover more about RECs in an upcoming VECKTA blog!

Additional Steps Towards Sustainability at Nature’s Path

1. Product Packaging + Distribution

From a consumer perspective, Nature’s Path works hard to deliver its products to consumers as sustainably conscious as possible. “Our goal is to have all of our packagings be in recyclable, reusable or compostable earth-friendly packaging by 2025,” says Jyoti Stephens, Vice President of Mission and Strategy for Nature’s Path.

Furthermore, Nature’s Path was one of the Founding Partners of Loop, a shopping platform launched in May 2019 in New York City.

As part of Nature’s Path zero-waste distribution initiatives, Loop delivers its products in a “milkman-esque” fashion. Customers receive Nature’s Path products in recyclable containers, often glass or aluminum. They consume the products, and then the empty containers are returned in the Loop bag for fresh ones! Pretty smart, right?

2. Establishing Green Initiatives on the Nature’s Path Team

As one of the top employers in British Columbia, Nature’s Path also creates green lifestyle initiatives for its team members. All employees are provided access to:

  • Sustainability Training Workshops
  • Lunch and Learn sessions
  • A Health and Wellness and Bike to Work Week
  • Clean Energy Vehicle (CEV) and Green My Ride programs

Finding Continued Success at Nature’s Path

Nature’s Path is a great role model for other food and beverage companies that want to use green technologies to become more sustainable. And, with green tech becoming more readily available and cost-effective, there are always new changes that can be implemented. Moving towards onsite energy is just one of the steps that VECKTA encourages businesses to consider.

Furthermore, food and beverage company leaders must continue to balance profitability and sustainable initiatives in their buisness model if they want to remain competiive. So if you’re ready to take action towards a more sustainable future, reach out to us here at VECKTA.

We help companies just like Nature’s Path meet their sustainability goals by matching clients with our vetted energy partners to design, finance, and build onsite microgrids or other distributed energy systems. Let’s chart a new, more sustainable and more cost-effective path together.

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