By Greg Stromberg
What's your company's definition of sustainability, and why is it important to you?
We believe it is a core must value by itself, that looks at reducing, respecting, preserving, protecting and replacing all of our natural resources where possible for all future generations. We believe sustainability is a state of mind/attitude that forces us to take actions through thoughtful design, choices and systems thinking. Values drive behavior and behavior drives our actions which should be for the common good of all, and not just for the few. Ideally that would mean zero consumption which would equal zero waste. Lean is a word we like to use think about in our design.
What are the most important sustainability issues your company deals with?
To ensure that we have more shared knowledge, education, and practice continuous improvement so that our choices and actions of what we consume respects/protects our delicate environment. We don’t want to cause any harm to our fragile ego system.
We think about how and where we source our water so as to not drain aquafers or sensitive areas. How we clean and purify our water, without creating more waste and without using more energy. We believe in collaborative global community problem solving, potential problem solving, decision making, shared learning and educational exchanges. We are always striving for zero waste & infinitely recyclable products.
Sustainable thinking is no longer just a "nice to have", it's increasingly seen as a competitive advantage. Tell us how sustainable thinking is helping move your company forward?
We use and promote packaging that is infinitely recyclable. We differentiate ourselves because we are thinking long-term instead of short term. We use the proceeds from the sale of our water to help ensure all children in the world have access to clean, safe, and healthy drinking water. When we package our drinking water, there is almost zero waste from where our contract packager sources the water, as it travels very short distances to the filler canning and bottle lines. When you look at today’s infrastructure of pipes that carry drinking water that require added chemicals long distances there is water loss, waste from the RO process and RO waste contamination. Contaminated water becomes unusable waste and pollutants.
Rock the Green, the concert, is all about going for zero waste. How has your company reduced waste across your operations? Has it paid off for you financially?
We are a virtual lean e-charity, and we try to use less (more Lean) of everything which includes all led lighting. We operate out of a very small in the home office to do our work. We don’t use fuel to drive to work. We use QR Codes, the internet to communicate digitally our purpose and to tell our story. We use very little paper in our advertising and when we do use it is recycled and reused. We rely on word of mouth and all of the digital social networks to promote our work and clean water projects. We only travel when necessary but rely on the digital Internet of things with a networked world to do our sales and marketing.
Surveys show that employees are happier and more productive when they're engaged in a company's sustainability strategies. How do you engage your staff to implement your sustainability plans?
We have zero tolerance for plastic bottles and use infinitely recyclable aluminum cans and bottles. They become new aluminum containers in the same packaging within 60 days. We tell everyone and show them the actual data.
By making it easy to recycle our packaging and banning all plastic bottles where possible. Our actions are speaking louder than our words. My children and grandchildren watch everything I do and say. They always ask me questions and challenge me when I don’t practice what I preach. We are all models to our children and young people.
In a nutshell, how will you be "rocking the green" in the coming five years?
Downsizing everything, solar & wind energy for my home, less consumption of everything which includes less packaging, less electricity, less water, using infinitely recyclable packaging like all aluminum containers. We will disrupt the plastic water bottle marketplace with an open source collaborative exchange. A new business model that will have a goal replacing all plastic water bottles with all Aluminum bottles/cans. Zero waste to landfills. Recycle our water at home.