In 2002, we put ourselves on an eco-diet; continuously improving plant efficiencies, acting on new technology options and taking advantage of emission offsets. Two years later, our factory in Hellendoorn became the first Dutch factory to convert 100% of its gas and electricity use to 100% renewable energy (wind, sun, biomass or water) to power its manufacturing operations. We pay a premium for this energy, but we think saving the planet is a worthwhile cause.
The sad truth is that when we make our ice cream, some of it gets wasted so, in 1987, we began supplying a pig farm in Stowe, Vermont. The pigs go hog-wild over all the flavours except Mint Cookie (actually, they love the cookies, just can't stand the mint). Nowadays, we're also keeping pigs in the farm next to our Dutch factory happy too. In fact, they've developed such a taste for our frozen flops that they refuse to eat anything else! We're currently looking into how we can close loops further by converting our ice cream waste into energy through a bio-gas digester.
Every year we learn how to recycle more of our solid waste. Back in 1998, we recycled 53% which actually saved us $66,000! In our offices, green guidelines mean that we recycle, use energy efficient light bulbs and where possible, use 100% renewable energy.