Clif Bar & Co.'s Climate Action Contribution
About Clif Bar & Co.'s Climate Efforts
Climate Neutral Business Operations
• Clif Bar is committed to taking responsibility for our contribution to climate change and working to build the climate movement. Since 2003 we've began tracking our carbon footprint and investing in enough green power and carbon offsets to run carbon neutral business operations. Additionally, in 2007, we offset our historical carbon footprint back to our company’s start in 1992. To date, Clif Bar has offset over 225,000 metric tons of CO2 by investing in "help build"projects that provide social and environmental benefits including:
o Supporting 36 renewable energy and efficiency projects including farmer-, community- and school-owned wind turbines and,
o Providing 2000+ household water filters in Ghana that will deliver safe drinking water for more than 10,000 people for 10 years.
Our On-going Commitment to Renewable Energy
• 100% green power is sourced for electricity used at all Clif-owned and -operated facilities. This includes our headquarters, bakeries in Idaho and Indiana and satellite offices in Ohio, Minnesota, and Arkansas.
• Approximately 80% of the electricity at Clif headquarters is generated by a 500-kW rooftop solar array. When installed in 2010, this was the largest smart solar array in North America.
Greening the Supply Chain
• Through our 50/50 by 2020 green supply chain program we're asking our supply chain partners (including ingredients, packaging, manufacturing, and logistics) to transition to 50% or more green power for the electricity used on Clif’s behalf by 2020. Recognized by the White House in 2014 and by the EPA in 2017 for supply chain leadership, this award-winning program provides free, expert consulting. To date, 43 supply chain facilities have successfully transitioned to sourcing green power for Clif Bar's products and services.
Sustainable Manufacturing & Zero Waste
• Clif Bar is moving towards zero waste at our headquarters, bakeries and distribution centers with a 2020 goal of 90% or more waste diversion from landfills and incineration. Across our company, we achieved 89 percent waste diversion in 2017.
• When it comes to packaging, Clif Bar & Company has made great strides by eliminating shrink wrap, moving to 100% recycled paperboard and corrugate, and reducing waste. We are working on a more sustainable packaging system that includes wrappers, caddies, boxes and shippers. We’ve also partnered with Terracycle to create an industry-wide program to recycle energy bar wrappers. But there’s much more work to do and our research for better solutions is always in progress.
• Our recently constructed bakery in Twin Falls, Idaho was recognized as the 2016 Green Plant of the Year by Food Processing magazine and Food Engineering’s 2017 Sustainable Plant of the Year for going above and beyond industry standards in prioritizing sustainability and employee well-being in design and operation.
• Clif Bar’s California headquarters is certified LEED Platinum and the Clif Bar Baking Company of Indianapolis is LEED Bronze.
Supporting Organic and Sustainable Agriculture
• Organic food and farming delivers multiple benefits for people’s health and the environment. Organic is also a power part of the climate solution . Since 2003, we have purchased 888 million pounds of organic ingredients. .
• We’re working to increase our purchase of USDA certified organic and certified-sustainable ingredients to 80% of all the ingredients we buy by 2020. We reached 77 percent at the end of 2017, and all of our product lines use organic ingredients
Building the Movement
• Through our Sustainability Benefits program, we support our employees on their personal journeys toward sustainability. We offer cash incentives to employees for the purchase of fuel efficient hybrids or electric vehicles (over 430 purchased to date), commuter bikes, and energy-saving home improvements.
• Clif Bar has advocated for strong, effective climate and water conservation policy at the state and national level for over a decade in partnership with CERES (BICEP – Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy) and Protect Our Winters. We also lobby for federal policies that support organic agriculture in the Farm Bill.
• Clif Bar’s sustainability journey continues beyond our four walls. We have ongoing financial and volunteer commitments to organizations such as the Conservation Alliance, American Forests, CERES, Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP), Sustainable Food Trade Association, Climate Collaborative, U.S. Green Building Council, Leave No Trace, Access Fund, The American Alpine Club, Protect our Winters (POW), Winter Wildlands Alliance, Surfrider Foundation, and Save the Waves.
• Besides our support for those groups, Clif Bar Family Foundation provides operational support to hundreds of grassroots organizations that strengthen our food system and communities, enhance public health, and safeguard our environment and natural resources. To date, the Clif Bar Family Foundation has contributed over $24 million dollars to supporting grassroots nonprofits such as 350.org, Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN), Food Recovery Network, etc.
Climate Action Commitments
Current Climate Actions Clif Bar & Co. Is Taking:
Commit to Reduce Short-lived Climate Pollutant Emissions
Short-lived climate pollutants—such as black carbon, methane, tropospheric ozone, and hydrofluorocarbons—are powerful climate warmers many times more potent than CO2 over their lifetimes. Because they are short-lived in the atmosphere, actions to reduce these super pollutants can have substantial, near-term climate, agricultural and health benefits and are an essential complement to CO2 reduction strategies. Policy-makers can announce regulatory or voluntary approaches to drastically reduce SLCPs, such as developing methane strategies or adopting rules on use of warming HFCs. Organizations can commit to engage with suppliers to provide training, conduct pollutant inventories, and establish systems for tracking, measuring, and monitoring these types of emissions. Analysis shows that SLCP emissions can be cost-effectively reduced by an estimated 40-50 percent by 2030.
Policymakers, companies and organizations are encouraged to accept the #SLCPChallenge of the U.S. Climate Alliance, which calls for ambitious action on SLCPs. Feel free to elaborate on your work towards reduction, along with your other efforts, in the "Other Commitments" field below.
Commit to Remove Commodity-driven Deforestation from Supply Chains
Restoring our forest’s ability to store carbon on a global scale is a critical and cost-effective climate mitigation solution. Making a commitment to eliminate deforestation means setting targets to assure key commodities in your supply chain (like palm, soy, beef, paper and pulp) are from deforestation-free sources. An ideal target could be to establish a disclosure and reporting plan for your supply chain and/or conversion to 100% deforestation-free commodities by 2020.
Commit to Reduce Climate Impacts of Packaging and Reducing Waste
There are many ways to reduce the climate impact of packaging including reducing materials (i.e., “source reduction”); replacing virgin materials with post-consumer recycled content; replacing traditional plastics made from fossil fuels with biopolymers; re-designing packaging to be more compact and therefore efficient for transport and storage; using biodegradable packing materials; and recycling at end of the packaging’s life to name just a few practices.
Commit to Responsible Engagement in Climate Policy
While individual organization action is necessary, local and federal government action is also needed to reach global climate goals. Your organization can have a critical voice in advancing public policy. A commitment to responsible engagement in climate policy means that your organization commits to supporting public policy to: promote energy efficiency and renewable energy; increase investment in a clean energy economy; support climate change adaptation, or put a price on carbon.
Commit to Reducing the Climate Impact of Your Transportation
Organizations making a commitment to reduce the climate impact of transportation should consider practices such as measuring transportation greenhouse gas emissions and setting reduction targets, switching fuels, optimizing the efficiency of shipping operations, and reducing transit- and travel-related greenhouse gas emissions. Businesses can develop a green transportation action plan to map the movement of goods to market and identify opportunities to increase efficiency. Organizations can buy hybrid and electric vehicles within their own fleet, and can reduce the footprint of their workforce through incentivizing public transportation, installing EV charging stations, promoting telework, and locating near transit centers.
Commit to Increase Your Use of Renewable Power
Increasing your percentage of renewable energy sources is a key component of reducing overall GHG emissions. Installing onsite renewable generation, like solar panels, is a good long-term strategy if possible. But renewable energy can also be procured through Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), renewable power purchasing agreements (PPAs), and in some locations from retail electricity providers or local utilities that offers a high percentage of renewable power. Also consider becoming an EPA Green Power Partner.
Commit to Increase Energy Efficiency
Most companies begin by assessing energy usage or performing an energy audit to identify opportunities to increase energy efficiency throughout their facilities and operations. Energy reduction targets can be framed as either absolute reductions or reductions that are normalized per unit of production, such as per tons shipped, per dollars of revenue produced, or other relevant business metric. Some examples of commitments that can be taken include:
- Conducting an energy audit or request a meeting with your building owner to explore scheduling an audit
- Upgrading HVAC system to a more efficient model
- Upgrading lights in your office/facility to LEDs
- Upgrading insulation and windows
- Replacing appliances in your office with Energy Star-rated models
- Instituting a company policy of turning off lights other electronics when not in use.
Commit to Understand and Reduce Your Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Understanding your GHG emissions is the first step to making measurable reductions in those emissions. The EPA provides an overview report and CoolClimate Network provides a simple tool for “low emitters” to better understand sources of emissions, as well as how to use that information to set reduction targets. For this commitment, it is as simple as committing to complete a greenhouse gas inventory for your business or oganization, but in the future your inventory can be used to make a commitment to set a specific goal, such as “reduce GHG emissions by 50% by 2025.
New Climate Actions Clif Bar & Co. Commits To Take:
Commit to Building Climate Resilience in your Community
By committing to adapt to the impacts of a changing climate, companies and institutions can secure their operations and supply chains and conserve natural resources that are stressed due to climate change. While there is much a business can do within their community, primary among these options is reducing water usage. Organizations can commit to increase their own water security through a range of actions, including installing water-saving devices, capturing rainwater for onsite uses, and recycling grey water. Or just commit to get engaged with your community in resilience planning.
Integrate Climate Change into Portfolio Analyses and Decision-Making
Commit to integrate climate change-related risks and opportunities in portfolio analysis and decision-making processes through one or more of the following:
- Analyzing and assessing climate change-related risks and opportunities (e.g. through carbon footprinting, scenario analysis).
- Making commitments and setting targets (e.g. to carbon footprint reduction, to enhanced portfolio resilience, to decarbonization, including via the Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition).
- Investing in low carbon investment funds and other products (e.g. low carbon indices, climate-aligned bonds).
Areas For Collaboration
We are interested in collaborating on the following:
- Encouraging more aggressive state energy efficiency policies
- Aggregating demand for electric vehicles with other actors
- Encouraging more aggressive state targets for electric vehicles and GHG standards
- Promoting increased charging infrastructure
- Collaborate on climate and clean energy action, and to advocate for stronger climate policy at the local level
- Encouraging more aggressive state renewable energy policies
We are members of the Climate Collaborative, an organization working to build the climate movement in the natural food sector.
We work closely with NativeEnergy to invest and support "help build" carbon offsets that generate social and environmental benefits.
We are active members of the Conservation Alliance, the Outdoor Industry Association, and POW (Protect Our Winters) all of which advocate for climate action and protection of the wild outdoors.
Clif Bar & Company crafts nutritious and organic food to feed and inspire adventure, including the CLIF® BAR® energy bar; CLIF Kid®, Nourishing Kids in Motion® and LUNA®; The Whole Nutrition Bar. Family and employee-owned, the company is committed to sustaining its people, brands, business, community and the planet. For more information on Clif Bar & Company, please visit www.clifbar.com, check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/clifbar and follow us at www.twitter.com/clifbar and www.instagram.com/clifbar.