Once Again has a dedicated Green Team that monitors our environmental impact and provides recommendations and solutions to help our company be more ecofriendly and reduce our carbon footprint. Our Green Team recently coordinated the effort for us to purchase solar and wind turbine credits for all of our electrical use. In addition, we have strived to teach people internally about recycling and a few years ago, enhanced people’s comprehension on recycling receptacle use.
Food Waste Reduction Program
From farm to fork, more than 40% of all food is wasted. And Food is one of the largest problems of landfill waste. Our team also has looked at our company’s food waste and what we can do to be even better about reducing it with the goal of one day completely eliminating it. Since our company’s inception, we have donated food byproducts to area animal lovers and farms who feed our products to their pets, livestock, and local wildlife, such as filling their personal birdfeeders. Our byproducts include food waste created when we change over our lines, skins on peanuts, spills off of our roasters and lines, product that doesn’t meet our taste profile, etc. We also have food waste that cannot be donated to area animal enthusiasts such as outdated products, or products that don’t pass our quality testing. These items are sent to a local company who takes our food waste and upcycles it into an energy source, such as electricity. They do this through a process known as anaerobic digestion.
All 16 oz. jars of nut butter are packaged in glass. We utilize recycled glass to maintain a small environmental footprint. Glass is the only packaging material that the US Food and Drug Administration deems, “Generally Recognized as Safe.” Glass is largely inert, and therefore, neither gives off chemicals to the packages’ contents, nor absorbs chemicals from those contents glass packaging’s excellent barrier properties not only keep external contaminants, including odors, away from the product, but also prevent oxygen from entering and causing spoilage. So our nut butters have a longer shelf life and require no preservatives, which is a good thing.
Our glass jars may be recycled. When recycled, a glass jar may be melted down and reformed into another glass container, over and over again, through recycling. Recycled glass is not limited in the number of its useful life cycles; nor does it have to be “down-cycled”—that is, recycled only into lower-value products as some other packaging materials must, such as paper or plastics. Glass, which uses much less energy than other packaging materials, retains a significant portion of the energy used to make it the first time and is easier and less energy-intensive to re-melt and reform: when you recycle one glass bottle you save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for well over six hours (or, if you are truly active in conserving energy, a 6-watt light emitting diode [LED] bulb for nearly three days).
A better package, made better for the environment, can only be the right way.
Each container we use is from partially recycled glass. Our containers meet the highest standards in the US for post-consumer recycled content as set by California, Florida and Oregon.
The materials in our glass jars are made of primarily sand, limestone and soda ash are themselves earth-friendly and slag and other significant solid waste by-products are not produced when the jars were made.
Our glass supplier does not use brick containing chrome or heavy metals in the construction of the furnace block that holds the glass while it is being melted (2800 degrees Fahrenheit). Even though those furnaces would last longer, chrome-bearing brick, when thrown away must be sent to and handled in special hazardous disposal facilities, and so, our supplier has chosen to be environmentally friendly.
Their furnaces do not use air, as most glass furnaces around the world do. Air is almost 80% nitrogen. Using air to burn fuels at the high temperatures in which glass furnaces operate, converts some of that nitrogen to nitrogen oxide, or NOx, which, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is “one of the main ingredients involved in the formation of ground-level ozone.” It can trigger serious respiratory problems, contributes to the formation of acid rain and nutrient overload, deteriorating water quality. This contributes to atmospheric particles that cause visibility impairment, most noticeably in national parks. There, it reacts to form toxic chemicals and contributes to global warming. So, our supplier uses a mixture that is over 90% oxygen, injects it with natural gas—which is much cleaner than oil—into the glass furnace and thus produces far less NOx, than if air is used. Is this a more expensive way to produce our glass jars? Yes. Could we get glass somewhere else where there are lower or no political or monetary consequences of pollution? Yes. We could have, but have decided to take the higher road. A better package, made better for the environment, can only be the right way.
At Once Again we believe that organic farm production is much safer for our environment. Because organically grown crops avoid the use of pesticides, harmful fertilizers, and chemicals, there is no risk of soil contamination or water run-off pollution. In addition, without the use of chemicals on crops, there is no risk of harming wildlife or pollinating insects.
Pollinating Insect/Colony Collapse
Once Again Nut Butter continually works and is dedicated to improving our environmental footprint. Our company has a dedicated Green Team that looks for better ways to be environmentally conscientious. Our commitment to organic and non-GMO products along with our support of programs addressing colony collapse disorder are some of our company’s larger considerations. We support the Bee Keeper’s Association of Rochester, Honey Bee Awareness Day, and the Xerces Foundation. Most of our products are organic and all of them are Non-GMO verified, with the exception of our local honey. Why not our local honeys? Well, as much as we love our little honey bee friends, we just can’t seem to convince those little rascals that they shouldn’t pollinate crops that are spread with pesticides. In fact, organic honeys no longer exist in the continental United States. Why? Because there must be a radius of at least 5 miles surrounding hives where no pesticides are used on crops, and that no longer exists in the United States today, with the exception of Hawaii.
Palm Fruit Oil
Once Again is RSPO Certified
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is a global non-profit association formed in 2004 to promote the growth of sustainable palm oil products. RSPO includes more than 650 member organizations in 50 countries including manufacturers of consumer goods, cosmetics, processors and traders, financial services, retailing as well as environmental and social welfare organizations. All are united in the mission to transform the palm oil market into an environmentally and socially sustainable enterprise. Additional information is available online at www.rspo.org.
Once Again Nut Butter purchases its palm fruit oil through the company Ciranda. Palm fruit oil is used in our no-stir products.
Ciranda is the first major ingredient supplier in the United States to offer 100 percent certified sustainable Identity Preserved (IP) Organic palm oil, as certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
The RSPO-IP certification guarantees the traceability of each lot of palm oil back to the field of origin, and is the most stringent of four certifications offered by the RSPO. Ciranda’s palm oil is produced by Brazil-based Agropalma. In addition to carrying the RSPO certification, Agropalma is certified by IBD Brazil under its Organic and EcoSocial program. The company also recently received the highest rating of all palm oil producers for palm oil sustainability by the environmental group Greenpeace.