As a proud certified B Corp, we’ve made a commitment to do everything we can as a company to reduce our impact on the environment and within our communities. With Earth Day on the horizon, we figured now is as good of a time as any to give a shout-out to some of the ways we think about Mother Earth on a regular basis.
Sampling ice cream and sorbet until your heart’s content has always been a sort of golden rule at our scoop shops (seriously, try every flavor twice if you want!). But lots of ice cream samples also means a lot of plastic taster spoons (more than 1.5 million in 2016) headed for the landfill.
So, last August, we switched to long-handled metal taster spoons to cut down on waste in our shops—and to also give you a better ice-cream-sampling experience. It’s a small change we believe can have a big impact.
Let’s talk about Styrofoam. It’s sturdy and lightweight, and it keeps ice cream solid frozen as it travels through the mail. But for all its usefulness, we know the indestructible nature of a Styrofoam cooler isn’t good for, well, nature. So, in 2014, we launched the Jeni’s Ship Back Program.
Since then, every Jeni’s shipment comes with a postage-paid return label to make it easy send the box and label back to us. We reuse every cooler and cardboard box as many times as we can. But if we can’t, we recycle the cardboard and send the Styrofoam to a plant that can give it new life.
And our customers use it. A lot. We get back about 95% of the boxes we send out—an average between 1,200 and 1,400 returned boxes a month. So thank you for helping us do our part to reduce our footprint and yours!
Our kitchen and bakery have always maintained advantageous recycling programs: 75 to 80 percent of our waste is recycled, composted, and/or reused. The majority of our food waste—damaged cookies and end-of-the-run sauce or ice cream base—is not compostable because of its high butterfat content. But that doesn’t mean these items can’t have a second life.
“The majority of our food waste is diverted to a couple pig farms in Central Ohio,” says Steve Boutros, our Environmental Health & Safety Manager who has been leading our sustainability efforts (like food waste and composting at our bakery and kitchen) for years. “They use the majority of it to supplement their pigs’ diets or spread it on their fields to turn into something that is compostable.” One farm is a small husband-wife team that raises heritage breed hogs, and the other is a community farm where 4-H members keep their pigs for state and county fairs.
This week, on the grounds of our Columbus kitchen—where we hand-stuff ice cream sandwiches and fire-toast sugar into Salty Caramel—we planted our annual employee-run volunteer garden. We filled the raised beds at the front of the building with vegetables, and then invite members of Team Jeni’s to take home the bounty when it’s ready.