Food processing

How She Leads: Diane Holdorf, Kellogg

Read the full interview at GreenBiz.

How She Leads is a regular GreenBiz feature spotlighting the career paths of women with influential roles in sustainable business. In this edition, GreenBiz Managing Editor Barbara Grady chats with Diane Holdorf, Kellogg’s chief sustainability officer and vice president of environmental stewardship, health and safety.

The sustainability challenge of the Kraft-Heinz merger

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Two weeks ago, Kraft Foods Group and H.J. Heinz Company agreed to merge to create a food and beverage monolith valued by some analysts at $49 billion. While the megamerger may cause some investors to rejoice at potential future earnings, it also might put corporate sustainability advocates on watch.

The newly formed food conglomerate will be named The Kraft Heinz Company — the third largest food and beverage company in North America and the fifth biggest in the world. The merger is backed by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, as well as the Brazilian private equity firm 3G Capital.

3G Capital made headlines in recent years for its acquisition of Anheuser-Busch in 2008, as well as acquiring a 70 percent stake in Burger King in 2010. The private equity firm is also known for its authoritarian approach to cost cutting by employing an accounting metric known as zero-based budgeting.

Zero-based budgeting requires employees to justify and analyze each expense they plan to make. The goal is to boost a company’s bottom line by reducing unnecessary waste. It previously was used by 3G Capital when it acquired Anheuser-Busch, relegating employee perks such as tickets to St. Louis Cardinals games and flying first class.

While this accounting technique may result in better margins, it’s worth wondering what will the shift might mean for corporate social responsibility executives expected to justify long-term sustainability initiatives that might not immediately add to the company’s bottom line.

The net-zero martini: How Bacardi’s uses biomass to distill gin

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

As increased emphasis on sustainability transforms the way businesses manage economic, environmental and social risks, individual companies are seeking out new ways to gain global competitive advantages and achieve long-term stakeholder value.

Bacardi, the world’s largest privately owned spirits company with some 200 brands in its portfolio, provides one example of how that process is playing out with is premium gin offering, Bombay Sapphire.

Beer Brewers Unite To Call For Action On Climate Change

Read the full story in the Huffington Post. And lift a real green beer to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

A group of 24 brewers from across the country have come together to cut greenhouse gas emissions from their operations and call for strong national action to address climate change.

The breweries, which include Smuttynose Brewing Company, Guinness and Allagash Brewing Company, have signed onto the Climate Declaration organized through the sustainable business group Ceres. The declaration pledges that each company will take its own action to reduce emissions from its business, and will also support political action at the national level.

Center for Dairy Research turns yogurt waste into new products

Read the full story from the University of Wisconsin.

With exploding consumer demand for Greek yogurt, production is up. That’s great for food companies’ bottom lines, but it also leaves them dealing with a lot more acid whey, a problematic byproduct of the Greek yogurt-making process.

Acid whey, if not properly disposed of, can cause environmental problems. Currently, companies typically pay to landspread it on farmers’ fields or dump it down the drain. Some plants are starting to send it to anaerobic digesters, where it’s fermented to produce methane.

Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are developing a better option — one that will transform this trash into treasure.

For Cleaner Water, Just Add Beer

Read the full story in CityLab.

Leave it to Colorado to dream up a greener beer: The city of Boulder is teaming up with Avery Brewing Company to use weak wort—a sugar-water brewing byproduct—to help treat municipal wastewater.

In a state with many breweries and some of the nation’s stricter clean-water regulations, it’s a winning approach that both city and brewery hope others will replicate.