Green Franchise Businesses - Industry Report 2010
The following profiles give a detailed look at two green franchises that have built their business around environmental awareness. With their many innovative ideas and practices, these franchises are leaders in relation to green policies and practices.
Ben and Jerry’s Profile
Ben and Jerry’s was created in 1978 by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield. With a $12,000 investment ($4,000 of it borrowed), Ben and Jerry opened the first Ben & Jerry's Homemade ice cream scoop shop in a renovated gas station. One of the main trademarks of Ben and Jerry’s since its conception has been the socially conscious and environmentally friendly way in which it was run. Even in 2000 when Unilever and Ben and Jerry’s joined forces, they maintained their social mission through an independent Board of Directors, whose main focus was providing leadership for Ben & Jerry’s social and environmental mission and brand integrity. There are now over 800 Ben and Jerry’s franchises around the world.
The following are a few examples of projects that Ben and Jerry’s have pioneered in an effort to continue to reduce their negative impact on the environment and also to help others realize that can also make a difference by their actions.
A number of years ago Ben and Jerry’s established the Lick Global Warming campaign in an effort to teach people how to reduce their own carbon footprint and also to put pressure on Congress to take action against global warming.
Ben and Jerry’s phased in Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paperboard for their U.S. pint containers in 2009. The FSC certification means that the paperboard comes from forests that are managed for the protection of wildlife habitat, maintenance of biodiversity, avoidance of genetically modified tree species, and protection of traditional and civil rights, among other Rainforest Alliance criteria for healthy forests.
When Ben and Jerry’s first started, the waste produced from their stores went to a manure pit, then it went to a composting facility, and now it’s sent to a Methane Bio-digester. The waste is put through a biological process that creates methane energy for the farmer.
Paul Rice, President and CEO of TransFair USA, says,
“Ben & Jerry’s has been a model for socially responsible business for 32 years, proving that being responsible and sustainable are good for business. By converting their ingredients to Fair Trade, Ben & Jerry’s will help galvanize its suppliers to join the Fair Trade movement.”
Ben and Jerry’s introduced their first fair trade ingredients in 2005 and will be 100% fair trade by 2013. This means that all of their “global flavor portfolio” will be composed of Fair Trade Certified™ ingredients, such as cocoa, vanilla, fruits, nuts, etc.
Company co-founder Jerry Greenfield said:
“Fair Trade is about making sure people get their fair share of the pie”
Cage-free and free-range eggs
In 2009, Ben and Jerry’s sourced 83 percent of the eggs used in U.S. production from cage-free farms, up from 30 percent the previous year. Ben and Jerry’s have been using eggs from free-range hens for all of their European production since 2004. The goal is to use only Certified Humane cage-free eggs in the U.S. by the end of 2010.
Clean Green Freezers
In the United States today most small freezers use hydrofluorocarbon gases (HFCs) to generate cooling. HFCs work well in freezers, but it is a highly potent greenhouse gas. Ben and Jerry’s have introduced new freezers which use alternative refrigerants, such as hydrocarbon (HC) refrigerants, that, unlike current freezer gases, do not contribute to global warming or the deterioration of the earth’s ozone layer if released into the atmosphere. HCs are just as effective at cooling a freezer as HFCs yet are 10% more energy efficient. Household freezers and small commercial freezers outside the US have successfully used these hydrocarbon-based refrigerants for the last few years
Pizza Fusion's Profile
Pizza Fusion was created in February of 2006 by Michael Gordon and Vaughan Lazar. Based in Fort Lauderdale, FL, the all-natural pizza restaurant chain offers fresh, natural, and healthier foods in eco-friendly, LEED13 certified locations worldwide. While their pizza business does not directly help the environment every aspect of their business is as environmentally responsible as possible. Pizza Fusion’s mission is to uphold the highest level of integrity in all they do, from the quality and origin of their food to their care for the health of their customers and the environment. The Pizza Fusion slogan is:
“Saving the Earth, One Pizza at a Time.”
Pizza Fusion support sustainable business by seeking out environmentally conscious vendors and suppliers to partner with. They are committed to environmental education of the general public in order to teach them the importance of sustainable living through ecological community service, consumer education and environmental mentoring. Pizza Fusion has also been involved in lobbying for political action to support a more sustainable future.
Pizza Fusion has proved to be a popular concept. For the 12 months ending on June 30th, 2010, system-wide sales increased to nearly $11 million, an increase of 46% over the prior 12-month period, and same store sales increased by approximately 11%14.
Besides the fact that the pizzas are 100% organic, all Pizza Fusion restaurants are LEED certified. This means that each restaurant has been built to green standards. The restaurants also feature eco-friendly building elements such as Energy Star certified appliances, non-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood cabinetry, smart lighting systems, and low flow faucets.
Pizza Fusion's environmental efforts include using only eco-friendly cleaners to sanitize its stores, providing organic cotton uniforms to employees and constructing restaurants with renewable, recycled and reusable products.
Pizza Fusion serves food in plastic-like containers made from 100% corn starch that decompose in landfills in only 50 days. They also use spudware utensils that are made 100% from potatoes and reward customers with discounts if they return their pizza boxes to recycle them.
Pizza Fusion host a free organic kids class every third Thursday of the month that educates children on the importance of eating organic and recycling.
Some other examples of Pizza Fusion’s environmental initiatives include:
- Delivering food in company owned hybrid vehicles
- Offsetting 100% of energy usage with the purchase of renewable wind energy certificates
- Using 100% post consumer toilet paper and paper towels in all bathrooms
- Web site is hosted by a "green web hosting" service provider that's powered by renewable energy
- Donate money to environmental causes in and around our communities.
13 Please refer to appendix for definition
14 Pizza Fusion Press Release; Pizza Fusion Restaurant Franchise Shines Even in a Down Economy; 07/21/2010/