Source from over 250 growers/ vendors – more than 90% direct from growersProduct line varies. Right now: 220 items We carry multiple brands of same product offering customers a range of (price/quality/size) options for the same product1/3 of our product is sourced in Oregon and Washington; local sourcing peaks in summer/ early fall
In our staff surveys, over 95% of staff say they strongly embrace the company’s mission and core values.We expect all staff to become educated about the product, our growers and about organic agriculture. Over the past two summers, we have sponsored classes conducted by Oregon Tilth at Luscher Farm near Lake Oswego. At the session Natalie and I attended this summer, we learned about the organic certification process from a Tilth auditor and about the production and uses of compost tea. We also got on hands and knees and weeded a row of cilantro – a great reminder of the labor-intensive nature organic farming can be. As the business grows, we intend to take deliberate steps to provide staff at the lower end of the pay scale with above market compensation and benefits. We offer a 6.5% 401K match and profit sharing (approx 20% of profits) that is paid strictly on the basis of hours worked and seniority with the company.
THE CHALLENGE AHEAD: I think organic farming systems provide us with the foundation on which to build the house. I think consumers are looking to the organic trade to be leaders. Not enough to sell organic apple but to know that it was harvested, packed, put into a truck a warehouse, store, dinner table with the principles of sustainability being followed. I am hopeful that is there is a growing movement of food producers, distributors, etc asking this question. I was hired as “sustainability” manager and people were like what is that? Now going to trade shows and conferences I am meeting lots of people hired to focus on this task. Not just a marketing thing, it is becoming accepted as a business imperative—we can’t keep using up resources as we have we are experiencing climate change—were going to have to change are you going to be the first or the last to change? Consumers are looking to organic to be a leader in brining us a sustainable food system. Organic offers the foundation upon which to grow.
In 2005, OGC management concluded that a strong and legitimate market for organic produce had developed. We convened a summit attended by nearly 200 staff, growers, retailers, and other suppliers to discuss how we could go “beyond organic” certification process to address packaging, transportation, facilities, and labor employed in harvesting, processing, and shipping produce. OGC’s board of directors changed our mission statement from “Promoting health through certified organic agriculture” to “Promoting health through organic agriculture as a leading sustainable organization”.OGC hired Natalie as a graduate student intern to explore sustainability initiatives that could be pursued in the trade. That led to the development of the Food Trade Sustainability Leadership program at the U of Oregon.In early 2006, OGC’s sustainability efforts were piecemeal and not coordinated. Rick Baker, the interim CEO, introduced the company to Duke Castle and The Oregon Natural Step.Upon joining OGC in Feb 06, Josh hired Natalie to serve as the company’s first Sustainability Coordinator reporting directly to the CEO. Over the next few months, Natalie, Josh and Duke conducted half-day sustainability orientations to over 100 staff. We conduct annual Natural Step trainings for all new hires as well as additional training for interested staff.In the summer of 2006, Natalie formed our first Sustainability Steering Committee. The committee consisted of at least one non-manager employee from each department and each facility. Duke Castle facilitated the meetings. We employed the Natural Step Backcasting Planning Model
This slide shows how we have been integrating sustainability into our annual planning process for the last 2 years. Every spring we are committed to an annual training in TNS for every employee and offer advanced topic trainings for others. Over the summer we form a rotating Sustainability Steering Committee representing each dept and facility (aspiring leaders and interested people) we hold a series of planning meetings. The committees first order of business is to take stock of our progress by doing a baseline assessment of our business--SCORE (Sustainability Competency & Opportunity Rating & Evaluation) self-audit developed by Darcy Hitchcock and Marsha Willard of Axis Performance Advisors. The SCORE audit is a practical way we have found to scrutinize our business practices against the principles of sustainability allowing us to identify the areas which we still have unsustainable behaviors and processes. Reflect on: Are we doing any better? What areas are we making progress or having a hard time? Why? Using the backcasting process, the Committee members revisit our long term breakthrough goals and vision asking “what would success look like” if we operated in a sustainable manner? If our business did not violate the TNS system conditions?Then we have a compass of where we want to go, next we work on developing a list of specific projects we can undertake over the next year that will help us work towards our breakthrough goals. These projects are then worked into our annual operating plan—budgeting staff time, and financial resources. Every year our ambition is great, we have many things we need to work on and limited energy, so we needed to balance things like cost,, most impact for the effort, staff energy. This is a the most critical part of the planning process that can make or break our sustainability initiatives. You, can’t expect change to fast or employees feel bunt out and resentful about sustainability initiatives on top of existing responsibilities on the other hand engaging employees makes them feel proud of the work they do. Have to make sure that success measures are integrated into individual employee goals and annual objectives.SEE PAGE 7 and 8 of ANNUAL REPORT.
Here are the long term breakthrough goals we have developed over the last 2 years. These goals provide our our “compass, take some of the theoretical aspects of sustainability and boil it down the main areas we need to work in order for our business to be sustainable. READ GOALS ALOUD... We know we wont achieve these overnight, but every year we will strive to take on project that are steps toward achieving these objectives. Work these projects into our annual operating plan and budget.Next I will highlight a fewof these projects.
Costs an extra $12,000 per year.
Tonya Haworth and Jason Smith sorted and documented our trash.A team installed color-coded signage to help staff sort and properly dispose of compost, recyclable items and trashWe acquired more user-friendly recycling and compost bins.We educated staff at team meetings.Challenges: changing culture; disposing items that aren’t easy to recycle (e.g. waxed lined boxes), and persuading suppliers to change packaging
Goal 1: Achieve carbon neutrality and eliminate fossil fuel use [SC #1 & #3]Health and wellness committee in 2010 launched to organize education, activities and programs that support the personal health of our employees. We hope to harness OGC’s spirit of fun and creativity to create opportunities that our fellow employees will take advantage of and value.Monthly or Quarterly Education Topics: nutrition and weight loss, know your #’s (cholesterol, blood pressure, etc), flu prevention, ergonomics, stress reduction, smoking cessation, etcHelp Employees Take Advantage of Providence Health Plans: The “Life Balance” program includes free health assessments, personal health trackers, health & nutrition classes, tobacco cessation support, discounts and more.Employee Training Together for a Fitness Activity:hood-to coast relay, shamrock run, truffle shuffle, “worst-day of the year to ride” Wellness Fair:Information on health, screening and prevention.Fitness Goal Setting and Contests:Similar to OGCs SMART Commute program, where employees work towards personal fitness goals together (i.e. Organic Valley has walking/jogging teams and distance goals).
Tweaking as we go.
Energy Sustainability Workshop:The Natural Step for Not-for-Profits
The Greatest Challenge Arctic sea ice drops to its second lowest level on record Scientists call event “tipping point" in global warming. -South Bend Tribune (08/28/08)Is Also Our Greatest Opportunity!!!
10 Mega-Issues on the Horizon1. Energy2. Water3. Climate4. Food5. Pollution/Disease6. Poverty7. Racial/Ethnic Tensions8. Citizen/Investor Accountability9. National Security10. Erosion of Trust
What got us here?Scientific and Industrial Revolutions
The Next StepA SUSTAINABILITY REVOLUTIONDriven by the same capabilityfor INNOVATION that fueled thescientific and industrialrevolutions, but this timeinformed by the lessons ofnature and in harmony with theconditions of sustainability.
What is Sustainability?Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs -United Nations World Commission on Development and Environment (1987)
What is Sustainability?Sustainability brings three elements intoharmony: Environment Economy Society
Triple Bottom Line + +People Prosperity Planet
The Natural Step: what is it?• International NGO• Scientific approach• Holistic, generic framework• Strategic advice & education• Leadership and role models• Innovative tools and services• Networks & partnerships
Entrepreneur and Author Paul Hawken “The whole world has dreamt about a solid definition of sustainability that would allow systematic step-by-step planning. When the definition arrived, delivered by The Natural Step, it was remarkable to see how simple it was. Why hadn’t anybody thought about it before?”Paul Hawken, Author. The Ecology of Commerce, Natural Capitalism, and Blessed Unrest
TNS Core PurposeTo develop a genuine commitment to, and competence in, sustainable development throughout society.
Building Block of LifeWhat makes it possible for this cell to emergeand to sustain itself?
Scientific Foundations Basic Laws of Physics 1st and 2nd Laws of ThermodynamicsLaw of Conservation of Matter
Scientific Foundations Evolutionary Biology4.5 billion years – Swirling stew3.5 billion years – First plant cell1.5 billion years – First green plants0.7- 1 billion – First animal cells2 million years – Human ancestors Evolution
Earth is like a terrarium•Closed system•Sun pays thebills
The System•Like the terrarium, Earth There is no awayis a closed system withrespect to matter•The system has a naturaltendency towards runningdown (Entropy)•The sun provides theenergy to keep the systemfrom running down and isthe source of all life The sun pays the billsthrough Photosynthesis
Metaphor of the funnel Declining resources and ecosystem services Through innovation, creativity & the unlimited potential for change we can open the walls of the funnel Increasing demand for resources and ecosystem services
4 System Conditions of a Sustainable SocietyIn a sustainable society, nature is not subjectto systematically increasing... ...concentrations of substances extracted from the Earth’s crust, ...concentrations of substances produced by society, ...degradation by physical means, and, in that society... ...people are not subject to conditions that systematically undermine their capacity to meet their needs.
Operating Manual for the Planet Objective 11. Reduce and eventually eliminate our contributions to the systematic accumulation of materials taken from the earth’s crust. Inefficient Use Efficient Use Dissipative Use Tight Technical Cycles Scarce metals Abundant metals Fossil Fuels Renewables
Operating Manual for the Planet Objective 2 2. Reduce and eventually eliminate our contribution to the systematic accumulation of substances produced by society. Inefficient use Efficient use Persistent and Abundant & Unnatural breakdown easily Dissipative use Tight Technical Cycles
Operating Manual for the Planet Objective 33. Reduce and eventually eliminate our contributions to the ongoingphysical degradation of nature. Inefficient use of Efficient use of resources and land resources and land Resources from Resources from well- poorly managed managed ecosystems ecosystems
Operating Manual for the Planet Objective 44. Reduce and eventually eliminate our contributions to conditionsthat systematically undermine people’s abilities to meet their ownneeds. Unsafe and unhealthy Safe and healthy production and use production and use Violations of human Respect for human rights rights Economic barriers Sufficient resources for livelihood
Operating Manual for the Planet1. Reduce/eliminate our contributions to the systematic accumulation of materials taken from the earth’s crust.2. Reduce/eliminate our contribution to the systematic accumulation of substances produced by society.3. Reduce/eliminate our contributions to the ongoing physical degradation of nature.4. Reduce/eliminate our contributions to conditions that systematically undermine people’s abilities to meet their own needs.
Operating Manual QuizRead through the list of sample initiatives that an organization may undertake and circle the System Conditions of Sustainability that the initiative most closely relates to. When you are done, share and compare your answers with your small group. Note any questions or discrepancies you may find.Initiative #1: When an organization openly and freely shares their sustainability learning and best practices, which sustainability condition is primarily supported? SC#1 (Earth’s crust) SC#2 (Society made) SC#3 (Degrade nature) SC#4 (Needs)Initiative #2: When energy conservation is promoted in a town reliant on fossil fuels, which sustainability condition is primarily supported? SC#1 SC#2 SC#3 SC#4Initiative #3: When a woodlot owner becomes FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) Certified, which sustainability condition is primarily supported? SC#1 SC#2 SC#3 SC#4Initiative #4: When an organization introduces a green cleaning products program, which sustainability condition is primarily supported? SC#1 SC#2 SC#3 SC#4
Why should you care? “Indiana Michigan Power announced in late September that it is seeking a rate increase of 9.5 percent for commercial and industrial customers along with a 22.7 percent increase on Indiana residential customers.” South Bend Tribune, October 31, 2011
What’s in it for me and my organization?What does sustainability offer me and my organization?• New Outreach Potential• Organizational Distinction• Platform for Innovation• Improved Public and Community Relations• Reduced Energy Bills and Operating Costs• Improved Employee Morale• Increased Productivity and Reduced Employee Absenteeism• Risk Avoidance (law suits, new environmental regulation, and culture shifts)• Do well by doing good• Be a hero to your children and grandchildren
Strategies for Planning and Implementation Systems ThinkingLearning Organization
Strategies for Planning and Implementation“We started treating everyone andtraining them up to be mini-entrepreneurs in the company. I thinkthat’s what made the difference andmade the company grow. I credit myarmy of entrepreneurs. In therecession they know exactly what todo. This year we’ll have a 26%percent growth year. The leaps arebecoming larger... Part of that is thatour people are more owner-like thanemployee-like.”
CREATE A SUSTAINABILITY ACTION PLANIdentify a set of priorities for actions and innovations that putthe sustainability objectives into practice, evaluated on the basisof the following questions: 1. Does the action/innovation step towards all four guiding objectives of sustainability simultaneously? 2. Does the action/innovation create a flexible platform for future steps, or does it lead to a blind alley? 3. Will the action/innovation give a good return on investment, i.e., time and money.
Largest wholesalers of organicproduce in PNW3 facilities; Employ 140;14 tractors, 16 trailers, 5bobtails1/26/2012 41
OGC Mission and Core Values TO PROMOTE HEALTH THROUGH ORGANIC AGRICULTURE AS A LEADING SUSTAINABLE ORGANIZATION HEALTH INTEGRITY Nurture the overall health of the Honestly represent the food we distribute and the workplace, community, food services we provide building on our experience as supply, soil and planet. growers, wholesalers, retailers and brokers. PARTNERSHIPS SUSTAINABILITY Maintain positive long-term relationships Embrace the challenge of creating a more that are built on trust with people and sustainable business model that distributes organizations across the spectrum of food organically grown food in accordance with the production and consumption. We are all principles of “good, clean, and fair”. interdependent.1/26/2012 42
The Challenge Ahead How do we achieve a sustainable food production and distribution system? How do we bring the ecological and social principles that underlie our farming practices into the entire supply chain?1/26/2012 43
OGC + Natural Step• 2005 Sustainability Summit with farmers and customers• Re-wrote mission statement• Hired Sustainability Manager• Company-wide training in the Natural Step• Formed cross-functional Steering Committee to determine goals and continual improvement process (A-B-D-C Backcasting)1/26/2012 44
Annual Sustainability Planning Process D A Implement Sustainability Projects in Teams Training Measure Progress B/C D Measure Baseline Brainstorm Annual Develop Vision for Projects & Targets OGC1/26/2012 45
OGC’s Long Term Sustainability GoalsGoal #1: Achieve carbon neutrality and eliminate fossil fuel useGoal #2: Eliminate solid waste and toxic substancesGoal #3: Achieve on-farm sustainability and small/medium farmviabilityGoal #4: Foster a healthy and fulfilling workplace (added 2007)Goal #5: Build customer and broader community awareness andsupport for a healthy and sustainable food system. (added 2008)1/26/2012 46
Facilities: Energy and Efficiency• Switched to 100% clean wind power and/or green power in all three facilities.• Installation of high efficiency lighting and occupancy sensors is saving $2,764 annually.• Refrigeration system upgrades, insulation and dock seals saving $3,635 annually. 1/26/2012 47
Waste Reduction: Avoid Landfill Organically Grown Company Waste 2006 2007 2008 Waste to 376 tons 276 tons 176 tons landfill Waste to 644 tons 686 tons 1042 tons recycle Waste to 110 tons 216 tons 215 tons compost1/26/2012 48
Employee SMART Commuting Program Number of TOTAL Days of Average Number of Alternative Commute Pounds of Participants Transport Distance CO2 SavedPORTLAND 55 2010 19.2 37,385EUGENE 16 1005 22.4 20,160 • Employee punch cards with monthly and special prize drawings • Track and post results1/26/2012 49
How do they measure our progress? • OGC tracks nearly 50 performance metrics • Regular public posting • Annual Sustainability Report1/26/2012 50
Madison’s TNS – Top 10 Projects for 20101. New City Sustainability Plan – Adding to thesuccess of the Building a Green Capital City Plan thatwas adopted in 2005, the City of Madison recently 7. ABCD Process at Madison Parks – Beginning thestarted a new planning process to update its first year of a full Natural Step review of parkenergy/climate/sustainability plan. Reps from about operations including a thorough backcasting and40 organizations are contributing to the effort. visioning process.2. “Leave the Leaf” Composting Program – Exploring 8. “Sustainapedia” – Publishing a resource guide forways to encourage homeowners to compost leaves residents and local businesses to promoteon site. sustainability in the community.3. TDM for City Employees – Developing a 9. TNS Training for New Hires – Developingtransportation demand management (TDM) plan for materials to provide to newly hired City of MadisonCity of Madison employees. staff in order to promote sustainable practices in the4. Zero Waste – Continuing a multi-year project that workplace and engage employees in sustainabilitydeals with waste reduction and increases Recycling from the start.5. Water Conservation/Water Sustainability Plan – 10. Madison PACE Program – Developing a programProposing ways that the Water Utility and Madison for property owners to borrow funds needed forresidents can reduce per capita water consumption energy sustainability/efficiency upgrades andby 20% by 2020. renewable energy systems with scheduled6. Green Purchasing – Identifying and pursuing repayments made through the municipal servicessustainable options for materials and supplies bill or annual property tax bill.needed for City operations. Examples include: GreenOffice policies for furniture/fixtures, daylighting, tasklighting, and limiting use of disposable products.
Sustainability and Innovation at the Center for a Sustainable Future
ABCD Methodology in PracticeAwareness• Who? How?
ABCD Methodology in PracticeBaseline• List System Condition violations.• How will you measure the baseline?
ABCD Methodology in PracticeCompelling Vision• Who will help create it?• How will you create it?
ABCD Methodology in PracticeDown to Action• Who will help brainstorm possibilities?• How will you ID best practices?• What/how measure?
BrainstormingCreating a Local/Regional Sustainable Development Network
Upcoming EventsSouth Bend Green Drinks3rd Tuesday of each month5:30-7:00pmFebruary 21 at Oliver MansionRain Barrel AuctionFriday, May 4, 2012South Bend Museum of ArtEarth Day Celebration Week April 16-22
Center for a Sustainable Future Center for a Sustainable Futurehttp://www.sustainthefuture.iusb.edu Facebook