Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Green: Basis for Economic Growth in the 21st Century

Going green to aid economy

Organic-yogurt CEO touts benefits of environmentally, ethically run firms.

March 23 2011 - The head of a successful organic yogurt company on Tuesday delivered a message to the community: running a green business is not just ethically and environmentally responsible, it’s the basis for economic growth in the 21st century.

Gary Hirshberg, president and CEO of New Hampshire-based Stonyfield Farm and chairman of Climate Counts, addressed the audience in a packed Dorothy Dickson Darte Center for the Performing Arts at Wilkes University, explaining how Stonyfield grew from a seven-cow organic farming school in 1983 to the largest manufacturer of organic yogurt in the world.

Hirshberg said the Earth’s natural resources are being depleted at an alarming rate. At projected rates of consumption, “we would need five Earths to sustain us.”

Hirshberg also said two-thirds of Americans are overweight, costing about $147 billion in health care. He believes there’s a connection between increasing amounts of chemicals in food, living a sedentary lifestyle and an increasing cancer rate in the United States. “We have the means and knowledge to get us to a very different place,” he said.

In the 1980s, Hirshberg created a carbon footprint of his company showing how much carbon dioxide was produced at every level. He put together nine teams to reduce it. The net results, he said, included a 46-percent reduction in transportation costs equating to $12.4 million in savings between 2006 and 2010. {continued}

No comments:

Post a Comment