Each month we tell the story of one company, exploring how and why it has chosen to prioritize climate action. To learn more or be considered for a future story, email us at [email protected].
This month talked with Dana Trans, the Senior Mission Associate at California-based, organic baby food company, Plum Organics to learn more about what Plum is doing to achieve its goal of leaving only “a baby-sized footprint on the planet.” Earlier this year, Plum committed to reducing the climate impacts of its packaging and transportation as well as to transitioning to renewable energy. It’s only been seven months but it’s clear the company is making real progress.
Why does Plum prioritize action on climate change?
At Plum, we believe in using business as a force for good, and it’s easy to argue that our planet’s health needs some attention. By thinking and acting sustainably, we can secure the highest quality of life for little ones now and for future generations.
Can you describe some of your projects on climate change?
Plum considers the climate and environmental impacts throughout the design, manufacturing and distribution of our products:
- Packaging: We have ongoing efforts to reduce our use of cardboard and actively look for opportunities to unlock dramatic improvements to our packaging-related emissions. This year, we’ve successfully reduced 100% of our pouch master cartons, which demonstrates emission reduction measures of ~9 kg CO2 equivalence per pouch from its previous configuration (based on the LCA work we did this last year).
- Renewable energy: The impact our office has on the environment is very important to Plum. We strive to decrease Plum's reliance on fossil fuels by making our headquarters run on clean energy. This year, we transitioned to purchasing 100% of our energy from solar and we now power our Emeryville office with renewable energy.
- Transportation: Rethinking our distribution systems is another way that Plum works to reduce our environmental impact. We launched an initiative last year specifically to look for ways to increase the productivity of our miles and reduce the climate impact of our logistics. By optimizing our supply chain, we’ve shipped even more product on 84 fewer trucks. We’ve also collaborated with other shippers to reduce distribution miles specific to Plum. This year, we will continue to look for more opportunities to eliminate an additional 300 trucks from the road. By redesigning our distribution model and collaborating with other brands, we can remove and consolidate shipments, reduce emissions, and create an increased business value in our transportation network.
Are you seeing any results from your action beyond your own operations—affecting your consumers and the industry?
We pioneered baby food in the spouted pouch to deliver healthy food for little ones in a way that had a lighter footprint on the planet -- our lifecycle assessment showed that these pouches have a significantly smaller footprint than glass jars do. Over the years, we’ve seen a greater number of baby-food pouches in the marketplace, making the whole category more environmentally-friendly.