We talked to Blue Diamond Grower’s director of sustainability about how (and why) more businesses should pursue green initiatives.
Director of Sustainability, Blue Diamond Growers
Why is it important for businesses to adopt more sustainable practices?
It has become cliched to say that we pursue sustainability because “it’s the right thing to do.” But sometimes cliches convey truth. Sustainability requires holistic thinking about our impacts on society and the planet, and how to continuously improve. The alternative is more short-sighted and self-focused.
Does sustainability make good business sense?
Absolutely. Particularly in the food and beverage space, I’ve watched consumer interest in the sustainability of food and agriculture increase significantly over the two decades of my career.
At Blue Diamond, we are investing in new avenues to reach consumers with the messages about how we have invested in water, carbon, and biodiversity in our member’s orchards. Even in uncertain economic times, the holistic thinking that a sustainability mindset brings to business is a strength. Teams begin to look for innovative ways to be more efficient, reduce waste, inspire customers and employees, and pursue resilient supply chains.
What is one thing others in your industry can focus on to make their businesses more sustainable?
Eighty-five percent of Blue Diamond member orchards are already using highly efficient micro-irrigation systems. Few other California crops have such a high rate of these systems. But we know we can do even better. Our sustainability program connects growers with a wide array of best practices to use those systems even more efficiently, whether it is internet-connected weather stations to forecast when irrigation is not needed, digital soil sensors, or even simple efficiency checks that can tell when a system has something going wrong. The benefits from these practices go beyond the orchard to neighbors and surrounding communities.