Greyston Bakery, located thirty minutes north of New York City, is the primary supplier of the fudgy brownies found in Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Half Baked and their Fro-Yo companions. Greyston Bakery, which became a B-Corp in 2008 and New York state’s first Benefit Corporation in February of 2012, has long been known for their commitment to their employees. Their open-hiring policy, hiring employees regardless of work history, housing status and criminal and substance abuse background is unparalleled. They are also known for powering their bakery with their array of solar panels. Greyston is an innovative, social enterprise constantly working to triple their bottom line.
Most recently, Greyston Bakery employees installed a rooftop garden with plans of a green rooftop in the coming year.
“We’ll use the green rooftop to grow a vegetable garden and we’ll cook the veggies for employee lunches. It’s another great way to teach employees about positive eating habits,” said Sunitha Malieckal, Account Manager at Greyston. “As Greyston continues on the journey to becoming a world-class supplier, we are also learning to compost.”
Greyston’s first steps will be to reevaluate their manufacturing process, identifying ways they can reorganize machines and processes which may very easily eliminate brownie scraps. They are also proactively and creatively teaching their employees about different waste streams through relay competitions in their brownie plant.
“We gave each team a variety of items they use on a daily basis in our manufacturing plants and organized a relay competition. Employees ran to two bins, one labeled trash and the other recycling and had to decide how to properly dispose the items. We had done a staff wide training about our goals of ‘greening’ the brownie plant and how important it is to separate the waste stream in order to accomplish these goals. The relay competitions were a lot of fun and a great way to instill habits of recycling.”
Malieckal is excited about Greyston’s commitment to a composting plan. With New York City’s composting pick-up plan scheduled to begin in early 2014, Greyston will have no problems turning their fudgy-rich brownie scraps into nutrient-rich fertilizer- taking them one step further into their goals of tripling their bottom line.