Sustainability Report 2013
Table of Contents Letter from Scott Organics Produce Sustainable Seafood Clean Energy Save the Dandelions Terrapass Your Gas Car Chargers Solid Waste Reduction Encouraging Re-Use Community Involvement Partnerships We Love to Learn! Employee Benefits
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Letter From Scott I recently came across this product and was incredibly relieved to finally find a salt that hasn’t been genetically modified (although, the “pinkness” of this salt makes me wonder if it has been spliced with the genes of salmon)! This would be funny if this product label were a spoof, but it is real. There are people in the world who are ignorant, and unfortunately some exist within our industry. Ignorance often leads to fear- and sometimes fear leads to irrational hysteria. If you think this example of salt is extreme, it isn’t. There are many products now that are unnecessarily labeled as “non-GMO.” An informed person would know that only corn, soy, canola, sugar beets, zucchini and yellow squash, alfalfa, and papaya are grown for food in the US as GMO. Yet, we are now seeing consumers demand that products that couldn’t possibly be GMO are tested and labeled as non-GMO. Manufacturers are pandering to this and slapping the non-GMO label on everything from lentil pasta to cranberry juice to seaweed. And rather than work to educate consumers on this issue, retailers are demanding that manufacturers of certified organic products also get labeled as non-GMO, even though they know that certified organic = certified GMO-free. This unnecessary labeling is creating consumer confusion and helping to fan the flames of hysteria.
Take, for example, this not-very-unusual email I received from a customer recently. He believes that organic products cannot be trusted and that GMO-free is top priority, even though GMO-free products can be grown with a plethora of toxic chemicals and organic products are already GMO-free: I buy the following bulk grains from your store: Organic rolled Oats, Organic steel-cut Oats, Organic Amaranth, Organic Quinoa, Organic Mung beans, Organic Black-eyed peas. Can you email me contact details of Manufacturers of above please? I will directly contact them to get verified by NON-GMO project. There is a US law which prohibits GMO content in USDA Organic labeled products. But it is very naive to assume that this law is strictly followed. I am paying top dollars for Organic products and I want verified NON-GMO products.” Of the bulk items this customer is concerned about, NONE of them exist as GMOs. We are most dedicated to organic farming practices. If a manufacturer’s product is certified organic, it gets top priority from us, so we have been phasing out many natural products when there are organic alternatives. Organic products get placed prominently on end caps and generally promoted with more shelf space and promotions. MOM’s realizes that certified organic products are far superior to non-organic, GMO-free products. Rather than appease the lowest common denominator which demands GMO-free labeling for products that couldn’t possibly be GMO, we work to educate consumers that an organic product is a non-GMO product, but without the chemicals.
Organics MOM’s Organic Market is committed to organics. We only stock 100% certified organic produce. If an item is not available certified organic, we do not stock it.
Benefits of Supporting Organics: •Improved soil health •Better air & water quality •Increased biodiversity •Smaller carbon footprint •Embedded energy & nonrenewable resource savings
Raw meat: 93% Organic
Produce: 100% Organic
Milk: 95% Organic
Eggs: 75% Organic Bulk Items: 75% Organic
Supplements: 18% Organic Body Care: 25% Organic
MOM’s recently partnered with Old Dominion Eco Farm: • Available year round: greenhouse grown • Facility was formerly an abandoned greenhouse outside of Warrenton, VA • Well water is cycled through the greenhouse many times to maximize nutrients and minimize water waste
Sustainable Seafood MOM’s only sells sustainable seafood based on “Best Choice” recommendations from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch. In 2008, MOM’s became the first grocery store to ONLY sell greenlabeled, 100% sustainable seafood.
Items containing fish oil or derivatives in our Wellness department must also meet our sustainable seafood requirements.
All MOM’s stores are 100% wind-powered! In the past year, MOM’s of Waldorf Solar Array produced 72,299 kWh of energy, offsetting about 15% of the store’s energy needs. That’s enough power to run all four of our cash registers! 9
Save the Dandelions In March 2014 MOM’s launched “Save the Dandelions” to reduce the use of lawn chemicals and bring awareness to their impact on the Chesapeake Watershed.
We collected one ton of unused lawn chemicals from customers for responsible disposal through Clean Harbors.
Terrapass Your Gas MOM’s purchases carbon credits from Terrapass in direct proportion to the emissions released from our customers’ shopping trips.
In The Past Year MOM’s Offset:
10,247.75 metric tons of CO2e
equivalent to eliminating the annual greenhouse emissions from 2,157 passenger vehicles
Terrapass uses funds received from MOM’s to sponsor leading-edge clean energy and efficiency projects such as:
dairy farm landfill gas methane digesters capture
coal mine methane capture 11
We provide free electric car charging at most of our store locations. 12
Solid Waste Reduction 11% landfill
In The Past Year We Recycled: 19,930 lbs of Plastic Bags/ Film
6,000 Light Bulbs
2,000 Cell Phones
342,000 lbs of Commingled Materials
Encouraging Re-Use In 2010, MOM’s banned the sale of bottled water to eliminate the unnecessary plastic waste that is clogging our oceans at alarming rates. As a courtesy to our customers, we offer free personal water bottle fill-ups at our reverse-osmosis water dispensers and water fountains and provide one free gallon of filtered water to each of our customers per day. MOM’s sells a wide variety of items in bulk- customers can bring their own container and have the tare weight taken at our registers prior to filling up on bulk goods. This reduces the need for single-use compostable bags. MOM’s sells Trickling Springs Milk in reusable glass containers to reduce waste. One glass bottle can be reused up to 40 times, saving hundreds of thousands of bottles of plastic from being used.
On average, Trickling Springs gets about 30% of the glass bottles back from their customers
MOM’s customers return their bottles over 70% of the time!
Community Involvement Every year MOMâ€™s is a major sponsor of Green Festival, DC. The Green Festival is committed to helping folks find solutions to make our families and communities healthier â€“ socially, economically and environmentally. Green Festival is the largest and longest-running sustainability event in the country.
MOMâ€™s hosts store tours for local schools to teach kids about organic produce, renewable energy, composting, recycling and more!
Partnerships MOMâ€™s partners with organizations such as:
Alice Ferguson Foundation connects people with
nature, sustainable agricultural practices and cultural heritage through watershed stewardship and advocacy. • MOM’s hosts a 5% donation of day’s sales once a year to support the Alice Ferguson Foundation’s annual Potomac Watershed Cleanup.
The Sustainable Food Trade Association is a nonprofit trade association that represents mission based organic food companies that share our commitment to sustainability and our willingness to strive for continuous improvement through the use of transparent benchmarks. • MOM’s is a major sponsor, serves on the Metrics Review Committee and provides expertise in sustainable business practices via SFTA hosted webinars.
We Love to Learn!
MOMâ€™s employees receive over 100+ hours of training every year and that number is growing! Through book trainings, field trips and guest speakers our employees knowledge of Our Purpose expands.
Employee Benefits MOM’s offers employees:
• a 30% discount on all products • a free organic lunch everyday from our Naked Lunch cafe
After one year, an employee receives Green Benefits:
• Green Gift Bag with energy saving items like a programmable thermostat, a motion sensor light switch and LED light bulbs • 20% off Energy Star Appliances • 20% off the purchase price of Home Water Filtration System • $3,000 bonus towards a hybrid or $5,000 towards an electric car
We are a community of thoughtful, progressive, hard working people. We are diverse. We strive to understand and learn from our differences. We respect unusual ideas. We value teamwork and take pride in the result of our efforts.
MOM's Purpose is to protect and restore the environment. MOM's is family owned and operated since 1987.