At Vega, we believe plant-based eating is as important for your health as it is for the health of the planet. We also believe sustainability is not just about what goes into our products. It’s part of everything we do. And because we believe that changing the world starts with us, and every choice matters. When we learned in 2013 that 71% of our carbon footprint came from packaging materials, we knew something had to change. So we made a change (this time not a small one!), and 5 years later we’re able to see what impact it really had.
Rewind to 2013...
Back in Fall 2013 we were the first in our category to make the switch from virgin HDPE plastic bottles to 96% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic bottles (excludes 4% colorant). By making this single change, we hoped by the next year Based on projected sales of bottled Vega® products for FY 2014 we’d:
- Divert 233 tons1 of plastic from the waste stream.
- Save 277.9 tons1 of CO2—62.9% less CO2 than virgin plastic.
- Use 14,865 million BTUs1 less energy—85.6% less energy than virgin plastic.
Well, how did we really do?
The only way to measure progress is to compare where you are today to where you began. As we near the 5-year anniversary of our change from virgin to post-consumer plastic, we audited the impact that single change has made.
It turns out, we’ve achieved the following environmental impact benefits from 2013-2018:
- Diverted 3,058 tons1 of plastic from the landfill or becoming trash debris than virgin plastic.
Made into Vega® bottles stacked end-to-end, that’s a stack 645 times the height of Mount Everest.
Saved 3,651 tons1 of CO2– 63% less CO2 equivalent greenhouse gases than virgin plastic.
This much CO2 could fill 4,633 parade balloons, making a balloon-only parade 52.7 miles long.
Used 195,270 million BTUs1 less energy–7× less energy than virgin plastic.
That’s enough energy saved to run 1,847 average detached single family homes in America for a year.
It just takes one small change to start a revolution
At Vega, we like to be some of the people there from the beginning of the revolution—but when it comes to the planet, it’s not just about us. That’s why we offered to share all of our PCR secrets with any company interested in making the switch, too. In fact, we offered it as a challenge, and gladly paid our investment forward for the greater good. We’re delighted to see other brands—including some of our competitors and store brands of our major retail partners—are now using PCR for their nutrition powder bottles.
We know you probably won’t buy a Vega® product just because the bottle it’s in is made from recycled plastic. But knowing that Vega is actively making choices that support our planet might give you one more thing to feel good about while you’re enjoying your morning smoothie. Learn more about Sustainability at Vega here.
1. Data analysis by Terra Stewardship Sustainability Consulting Group (terra-stewardship.com) Based on Vega historical volume through forecast volume 2018, all markets.