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Ben & Jerry’s ice cream: Environmental policy report

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Energy use and conservation.
  3. Waste management.
  4. Value - led suppliers.
  5. Attitude towards climatic changes.
  6. Attitude towards general corporate social responsibility.
  7. Fair trade.
  8. Packaging.
  9. References.

Hailing from a single store in Vermont, created by two men making ice-cream, Ben & Jerry's has rapidly become a truly global company, employing 514 people in the US alone, and operating 550 small ?Scoop Shops' spread across the US and 23 other countries across the world. By their own admission, Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream Inc. see themselves as a ?values led business?, rather than by financial and business circumstances. The company aims to do more than just maximize profits as a business; and focuses ?to make the world a better place?. ( Ben & Jerry's would have the consumer believe that as a socially and ecologically responsible firm, its ?duty' is to respect the environment in which it resides and trades. This environmental report aims to discuss, analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of Ben and Jerry's sustainable practices. Also, the report will consider whether the company achieves its own directive of enhancing the world through socially responsible conduct.

[...] Their efforts to achieve this have consisted of reducing their use of operational resources such as transport, and instead opting to source the raw materials necessary for their ice creams from areas local to Ben & Jerry's' manufacturing plants. Moreover, Ben & Jerry's have attempted to source much of their European ice creams from a Dutch factory that only uses renewable energy sources. This factory is to date the only carbon neutral manufacturer in The Netherlands. Finally, Ben & Jerry's offset their predicted annual emissions by purchasing ?carbon credits' that enable the foundation called Gold Standard to invest money in environmental projects. [...]

[...] In doing so they are confronting a critical contemporary issue, as ?conservation not only saves money and prevents degradation of the environment; it helps prevent future crises.? (Gair, 2001.) Although the company has had criticisms from various sources, one in particular by local American press criticising the waste ice-cream that is fed to pigs in a local farm, Ben & Jerry's have managed to create an environmental policy that is of a competitively high standard. It is debatable whether feeding ice cream to pigs has any health effects on the animal, and on face value seems to be an effective method of utilising the waste produce. [...]

[...] Judging from the precedent information, Ben & Jerry's seems to be heavily engaged in sustainability and environmental maintenance. Nevertheless, the company must continue these endeavours on a long term basis, and also consider the effects from proposed initiatives on stakeholders not obvious on first thoughts. To convey this, one can consider the programme introduced in 1995 for the preservation of rainforests. The ?Rainforest Crunch Programme was initially introduced following the creation of a new product, the Rainforest Crunch Ice Cream, made with nuts coming from the Amazon Forest. [...]

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