In a move that continues the company's full-court press on sustainability, Clif Bar has announced its entire line of energy bars will now contain at least 65 percent organic ingredients -- without passing on increased costs to retailers or wholesalers, the company has told SNEWS.
"Will it have an impact on our margins? Yes," said Dean Mayer, company spokesman. "But we are doing this because we fundamentally believe that moving to organic is the healthy and environmentally friendly way to go. That is what is driving this -- our company philosophy about nutrition and, more broadly, sustainability."
The next step will be for the entire line by spring 2003 to reach 70 percent organic ingredients, including organic roasted soybeans, organic rolled oats and organic soy flour, which will allow Clif Bar to seek organic certification for the line under the new National Organic Program (NOP).
But the push toward sustainability doesn't stop at organic bars (including the company's three new flavors introduced this month that already meet the NOP criteria -- Lemon Poppyseed, Black Cherry Almond and Peanut Toffee Buzz).
"We've defined our company's reason for being this way: to sustain our brands, sustain our business, sustain our community, sustain our planet and sustain our people," Mayer said.
In light of this, the company has:
- Eliminated all shrink-wrap from product.
- Implemented companywide recycling programs.
- Offset its entire energy consumption with energy credits that will fund the nation's first large-scale Native American wind farm.
- Chosen organic cotton for all of its "schwag" wear.
- Facilitated employee volunteerism on company time with a so-called "2080 volunteer program," where 2080 is equal to the hours of one full-time employee devoting an entire year to volunteer work.
- Set-up a low-cost home loan program for employees.
Plus, the company is involved in community groups, non-profits and other programs. It is the single largest supporter of The Breast Cancer Fund, supports the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) in promoting socially responsible mountain biking and trail preservation, provides money to the Access Fund to keep climbing areas open, and assists Leave No Trace in promoting responsible outdoor recreation.
SNEWS View: These are admirable programs and projects that not only set apart a company from its competitors but also give consumers that emotional tie that studies show will keep them coming back for more. Ultimately, giving back can also lead to greater company success.