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Dean Foods Revises Sustainability Goals

Dean Foods, which makes more than 50 local and regional dairy brands including Horizon Organic, Silk and Land O’ Lakes, announced a revised set of environmental sustainability goals the company says will be more achievable.

At its current pace, the company would fall short of its 2013 goals, which include reductions in greenhouse gases (20 percent), water usage (30 percent), and solid waste (30 percent). Decreases in these areas were 8.4 percent, 10.5 percent, and 21 percent respectively through the year 2011.

Dean Foods said it came up short on the greenhouse gas and water goals due to unforeseen volume declines and more water-intensive processes from an expanding product portfolio. The company did achieve (ahead of schedule) a sub-goal of reducing distribution fleet CO2e emissions by 50,000 metric tons.

The company’s new goals are for the year 2020:

  • Decrease greenhouse gases 25 percent
  • Decrease water use 35 percent
  • Decrease solid waste 50 percent
  • Decrease energy use 20 percent

The greenhouse gas reduction goal matches the goal set by the U.S. dairy industry’s Innovation Center.

"We are committed to speaking openly and transparently about our progress and shortfalls, and then realigning on new, expanded, and more accurate and achievable goals," said Gregg Tanner, President of the company's Fresh Dairy Direct business unit and Chief Supply Chain Officer for Dean Foods.

"Our new 2020 goals reflect our matured understanding and measurement within our facilities," Tanner added. "They will guide us to significantly reduce our environmental impact and operating costs – as well as improve our efficiency – for the next eight years."

The company said efforts to reinvigorate the company around the new goals will begin this month and the company will share additional information when it releases its 2012 CSR report later this year.

In 2011, Dean Foods certified all of the Silk brand products with the Non-GMO Project.

Bart King is a PR/marketing communications consultant and principal at Cleantech Communications.

Bart King is the principal and founder of New Growth Communications, a network of affiliated content producers and strategists serving clients in the emerging green economy. Follow him @bart_king and on LinkedIn.

[Read more about Bart King]

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