Consideration for the environment has been very important to Gourmet Garden and this is reflected in the design of the company’s headquarter building built in 2006, which houses the facility, laboratories and offices. The building boasts the biggest of its kind refrigeration plant, which is 50% more energy efficient than a typical refrigeration plant. Rain water is harvested from the roof top, stored in four rain water tanks and used for both the fire protection and within the facility. A 40m green belt surrounding the back of the site, equipped with a walkway and 8,000 native trees, was gifted to the community.
Genuine concern for the environment is reflected in decisions on all levels of the company. For example, Gourmet Garden is a partner of ecoBiz, a government program to improve efficient use of resources and waste reduction. In partnership with local organizations, Gourmet Garden enrolled 100% of the facility staff and almost all office staff in Certificate IV in Lean Manufacturing classes. This resulted in a number of immediate and long term improvements in efficiency and waste reduction. Currently, Gourmet Garden is in looking forward to another partnership with the same local government focused on waste minimization strategies.
These initiatives are driven by dedicated management, are being adopted by everyone in the company, creating a caring environment where everyone contributes their ideas.
Gourmet Garden has been a signatory of the National Packaging Covenant (NPC) since 2005. Many changes have been implemented as a result of this association and these are highlighted below.
- Increased product to packaging ratio year on year, over 5 years.
- Increased product to non-recyclable packaging ratio, year on year over 5 years.
- New single serve packs resulting in a reduction of non-recyclable packaging, with the product to non-recyclable packaging ratio increasing from 13:1 to 23:1.
- Reduction in the percent of waste sent to the landfill, from 88% in 2005 down to 68% in 2010.
- Increased percent of packaging reused internally, from 0% in 2005 to 25% in 2010.
- Purchasing recycled and/or environmentally friendly office products and some distribution packaging.
- Reuse of distribution cartons from the tube supplier resulting in one quarter of all packaging weight entering the supply chain being reused, rather than new.
- Out tubes are recyclable and the New Lightly Dried herbs come in click and stack bowls that are reusable or recyclable.