What recipe calls for food scraps, coffee grounds, car mechanics, used batteries, cotton shopping bags and a running team for good measure? It's not a riddle, just some of the ingredients Kraft Foods employees are using to cook up a recipe for positive change by going green!
Employees have created their own grassroots sustainability projects in offices and manufacturing facilities around the world. All-volunteer Kraft Foods "Green Teams" and Cadbury "Green Advocates" are taking steps to integrate sustainability into their daily work. And they're inspiring colleagues to work together and do their part to build a better world.
"We're changing our behavior, our business practices and our culture," said Steve Yucknut, vice president for sustainability. "What's most exciting to me is seeing employees come up with their own ideas to go green and spreading those ideas around their plant or office and beyond. Employees feel empowered to make real changes and deliver real results."
Kraft Foods has done the basics at many facilities around the world – like trading individual printers for more efficient, shared devices, adding recycling bins and replacing disposable kitchenware with reusable items. Following are several examples of employees' creative spirit delivering results:
Curitiba: The award-winning Atitude Consciente (Conscious Attitude) program educates employees on reducing solid waste, water and energy consumption and increasing recycling rates. Now in its fourth year, the program also has inspired employees to tune up their cars to reduce harmful emissions.
Sao Paulo: Twenty-five employees joined the local "Live Earth Run for Water" race – a four-mile (six-kilometer) run representing the average distance women and children in developing countries walk each day to get water.
Don Mills, Ontario: Employees created an organic garden to grow their own vegetables to share with family, friends and even the office cafeteria. Green Teams helped the office collect food scraps and coffee grounds for composting – reducing the amount of waste going to landfills. And they even started a free employee shuttle program to encourage public transit use, increasing ridership 150 percent in one year.
Mount Royal, Quebec: One dedicated plant employee began a collection point for used batteries. As the idea caught on, the batteries piled up – totaling more than a million pounds of batteries for recycling.
Green Advocates recognized Earth Hour by turning off all non-essential lights, appliances and computers at plants in Beijing and Guangzhou and in offices around the country, even convincing many colleagues to do the same at home.
Each year, more than 1,000 Bremen plant employees join the city's "Spring Cleaning" efforts on April 16 to recycle office waste and exchange ideas for making their offices kinder to the environment.
Employees launched "Green Soul" in 2007 – promoting recycling drives, a bike to work week and giveaways of free energy saving light bulbs and water saving devices.
Minworth: Green Advocates increased recycling rates nearly 10 percent in the past year by auditing where waste was going, making it easier for employees to recycle.
Bournville: Employees at the Cadbury World visitor attraction have sold nearly 30,000 reusable cotton shopping "bags for life" in less than five months after switching from disposable shopping bags.
Chirk: Plant employees created a program to replace inefficient light bulbs, install motion sensors and educate colleagues on energy savings, eliminating more than 350,000 pounds (160 tons) of CO2 emissions per year.
Many of Kraft Foods' headquarters, sales offices and plants have local Green Teams who promote sustainability in the workplace and beyond.
Chicago: Employees created an online system for sharing and reusing idle plant equipment around the world – repurposing 360 machines in 2009, helping keep equipment out of landfills, saving money and energy that would be used to build new machines.
Parsippany, N.J.: Green Advocates created Sustainability Awareness Week, featuring a "working smarter day" on video conferencing, a "black and white day" on smarter printing, and "green day" on energy saving practices at work.
About Kraft Foods
The combination of Kraft Foods and Cadbury creates a global powerhouse in snacks, confectionery and quick meals. With annual revenues of approximately $50 billion, the combined company is the world's second-largest food company, making delicious products for billions of consumers in more than 160 countries. The combined company's portfolio includes 11 iconic brands with revenues exceeding $1 billion – Oreo, Nabisco and LU biscuits; Milka and Cadbury chocolates; Trident gum; Jacobs and Maxwell House coffees; Philadelphia cream cheeses; Kraft cheeses, dinners and dressings; and Oscar Mayer meats. More than 70 brands generate annual revenues of more than $100 million. Kraft Foods is a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Standard & Poor's 500, Dow Jones Sustainability Index and Ethibel Sustainability Index.