Ben & Jerry's is more than just an ice cream company – it's a business that seeks to create positive change in the world. Through its values-led sourcing, commitment to social and economic justice, and efforts to protect the environment, Ben & Jerry's strives to be a socially responsible company that uses ice cream to make a difference.
One of the ways Ben & Jerry's seeks to create positive change is through its values-led sourcing. The company recognizes that the ingredients it uses have an impact on people and the planet, and it seeks to use its purchasing power to support positive change. This means sourcing ingredients from suppliers who share its values and are committed to social and environmental responsibility.
For example, Ben & Jerry's is committed to increasing the number of Black-owned and Black-led suppliers it works with as a way to support growing wealth in these communities. The company also works with social enterprises like Greyston Bakery and Rhino Foods, which are focused on hiring people who face barriers to employment, such as refugees and people with criminal records.
Thriving Farmers and Farmworkers
Ben & Jerry's also recognizes the importance of supporting farmers and farmworkers in its supply chain. Guided by its core values and working with partner organizations, the company seeks to ensure that all farmers and farmworkers in its supply chain can thrive. This includes working with organizations like Fairtrade International and Milk with Dignity, which empower farmers and farmworkers to have a say in working conditions and business practices.
Regenerative Agriculture and Animal Welfare
Another way Ben & Jerry's seeks to create positive change is through its commitment to regenerative agriculture and animal welfare. The company recognizes that the way we produce food has a significant impact on the environment, and it seeks to promote farming practices that build healthy soil, restore degraded natural environments, and keep animals healthy. By doing so, Ben & Jerry's hopes to have an ongoing positive impact on the environment and to support healthy ecosystems.
Social and Economic Justice
Ben & Jerry's also recognizes that social and economic justice are crucial to creating a better world. The company is committed to achieving equity, opportunity, and justice for historically marginalized communities and recognizes that fair livelihoods are key to enabling individuals, families, and communities to thrive. Ben & Jerry's also seeks to honor the rights of all people to live with liberty, security, self-esteem, and freedom of expression and protest.
Environmental Protection and Restoration
Finally, Ben & Jerry's is committed to environmental protection and restoration. The company recognizes that our natural systems are under threat and seeks to have a positive, life-giving environmental impact. This includes efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, use responsible packaging, and manage waste in a way that generates energy and supports local agriculture.
Ben & Jerry's is a company that seeks to make a positive difference in the world. Through its commitment to values-led sourcing, support for farmers and farmworkers, promotion of regenerative agriculture and animal welfare, commitment to social and economic justice, and efforts to protect the environment, Ben & Jerry's uses ice cream to create positive change. By supporting a company that prioritizes social and environmental responsibility, consumers can feel good about indulging in a sweet treat that does some good in the world.
Sweet and Sustainable: Examining the Environmental and Ethical Impact of Ice Cream Production and Consumption
Ice cream is a popular treat enjoyed by millions around the world. From classic flavors like vanilla and chocolate to more adventurous ones like lavender honey and maple bacon, there's an ice cream flavor for everyone. However, the production and consumption of ice cream can have significant environmental and ethical impacts. This blog post will explore these impacts and discuss ways to promote sustainability in the ice cream industry.
Environmental Impact of Ice Cream
Ice cream production can have a significant impact on the environment. Here are some of the environmental impacts associated with ice cream production:
Dairy cows require significant amounts of water, feed, and land use, which can contribute to water scarcity and land degradation. Additionally, cows produce methane during digestion, a potent greenhouse gas contributing to climate change.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The transportation and refrigeration of ice cream can lead to greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels. This includes emissions from the production of electricity for refrigeration units and emissions from the transportation of ice cream products from the manufacturing facility to retail outlets.
Ice cream production requires a significant amount of water, particularly for cleaning and processing equipment. This can contribute to water scarcity in areas where water resources are limited.
Packaging materials used for ice cream products can contribute to waste, particularly if they are not recyclable or compostable. This includes plastic containers, paper cartons, and other packaging materials.
Ethical Considerations in Ice Cream Production
Like many food industries, the ice cream industry raises several ethical concerns. Here are some ethical considerations related to ice cream production:
The dairy production for ice cream can involve animal welfare issues, including confinement, disease, and the separation of calves from their mothers. Some consumers and advocacy groups are concerned about the treatment of cows in the dairy industry and advocate for animal welfare reforms.
Ensuring fair wages and safe working conditions for all workers involved in the ice cream production process is an important ethical consideration.
Reducing waste, conserving natural resources, and minimizing greenhouse gas emissions are all important ethical considerations in promoting sustainable ice cream production.
Consumers may also value transparency in ice cream production, such as knowing where ingredients come from, how workers are treated, and what environmental impacts are associated with the production and transportation of the product.
Promoting Sustainability in Ice Cream Production
Choose Sustainable Brands
Look for ice cream brands that prioritize sustainability and have transparent sourcing and production practices. Many ice cream brands now offer organic, non-GMO, and Fairtrade options.
Reduce Food Waste
Reduce food waste by buying only what you need and storing ice cream properly to prevent spoilage. When you do have excess ice cream, consider donating it to food banks or composting it.
Choose Plant-Based Alternatives
Plant-based ice cream alternatives, such as those made with coconut, almond, or soy milk, have a lower environmental footprint than dairy-based ice cream.
Reduce Packaging Waste
Choose ice cream brands with packaging that is recyclable or compostable, or consider buying ice cream in bulk to reduce packaging waste.
Support Sustainable Practices
Support sustainable practices in the ice cream industry by buying from companies that use renewable energy sources, reduce water use, and minimize waste.
Eat Less Ice Cream
Lastly, consider reducing overall ice cream consumption to lessen the environmental impact. By consuming less ice cream, we can reduce the demand for dairy and the environmental impact associated with its production.
The production and consumption of ice cream can have significant environmental and ethical impacts. However, by promoting sustainable practices in the ice cream industry and making more environmentally conscious choices as consumers, we can help reduce the impact of ice cream on the environment. We can promote sustainability in the ice cream industry by choosing sustainable brands, reducing food waste, choosing plant-based alternatives, reducing packaging waste, supporting sustainable practices, and eating less ice cream.
Ultimately, it's important to be mindful of our choices and consider the environmental and ethical impact of the products we consume. By working towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly ice cream industry, we can enjoy our favorite treat while minimizing its impact on the planet.