What is environmental sustainability? The United Nations defines Sustainable Development as: "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
For us, it's largely about finding new and innovative ways to be even more efficient with the resources that we use, like water, energy and raw materials. We believe that by taking small steps to improve, we can use our scale for good. As Purina's Global Sustainability Director, Mark Brodeur, explains, "We're a large company that can make a positive and lasting impact if we focus on those issues that matter most."
What do we mean by "small steps?"
There's no way that any brand can completely eliminate its impact on the environment. For example, all products require energy, water and other resources to be produced and distributed. Even so, all products and companies have opportunities to improve.
As we search for ways to make the small steps forward, we want to be honest about the fact that it's a continuous journey. So where are we right now? As Brodeur explains,"We're working hard to understand the environmental impacts along our entire supply chain so that we can better understand where we are doing well and where opportunities exist to get even better. For example, we're constantly working to make our operations more efficient so they maximize the use of resources, like water and energy, to make the same amount of product. Plus we're challenging ourselves to raise the bar in other important areas like packaging, transportation and ingredient sourcing.
As we continue taking small steps forward, we plan to be transparent about the realities of our efforts, while continually looking for even more ways to improve the environmental performance of our products and our company.
Starting at Home
Our St. Louis headquarters is the center of our sustainability efforts, where a dedicated and cross-functional team of experts resides. In the last three years, we've made several environmental improvements on this campus:
- A campus-wide lighting project that has reduced energy consumption by 50%
- Installation of water-efficient toilets that reduced gallons per flush by 65%
- Addition of rain-sensing technology to irrigation systems
- First business in St. Louis to require housekeeping contractors to use green cleaning products and techniques
- LEED Silver certification for the Purina Farms Event Center. LEED is an internationally recognized designation for leadership in energy and environmental design.
- Introduction of single-stream waste recycling at Purina's US headquarters in St. Louis and exceeded goal (30% more recycling).
- Continued improvements to the Campus Energy Management Plan. Recognition received from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for energy reduction progress.
- Earned highest government rating, the Energy Star Award, for two buildings on the St. Louis campus.
- Purchased an electric vehicle for headquarters Security Operations.
- Installed photo-voltaic solar and thermal panels on a new building at St. Louis Purina headquarters.
Trying New Ideas Every Day
"There are multiple pilot projects going on across our St. Louis headquarters to test new and innovative technologies," Brodeur explains. For example, the same team responsible for helping the company reduce energy, water and waste has identified a type of nanotechnology material that, if coated around pipes, will greatly reduce heat - and thus energy - from escaping. "We started looking at whether this would work on the pipes in our factories. We're always testing new improvements like this across the company."