In 2005, we realized the amount of waste we were consistently generating wasn’t ethical, economical, or efficient: we had 2,174.77 tons of waste generated from our operations. We were paying to ship most of that waste to landfills. We had to ask ourselves if this was just the cost of doing business, or if there was a way to cut cost and reduce our environmental impact.
Throughout the years, Piazza Produce has worked tirelessly toward the goal of becoming a leader for sustainability in our community. By involving everyone in our company, we’ve improved our waste diversion practices and continue to evolve and improve our sustainability efforts.
We’re primarily a produce company. We sell products that are grown in the soil, and, for the most part, will decompose if they’re not eaten in a timely fashion. Our journey to become a more sustainable company started with the various packaging materials generated in our distribution center. As we drilled down further into our waste stream, we found additional items to recycle. Our final barrier was the incorporation of a commercial composting program. Once our commercial compost permit was obtained from IDEM, we started with obvious things like fruits and vegetables and slowly grew our compostable diversion rates.
Today, we’re recycling packaging materials, electronics, office materials, metals, and anything else that we can. We Reuse, Reduce, Recycle, or Compost over 95% of what we at one time considered waste. As time passed, and we saw the benefits of being a sustainable company such as reducing our operational expenses while increasing our Recycling revenues, we continued to find new ways to reduce the amount of waste we were generating.
The best thing about Reducing, Reusing, Recycling, Refurbishing, Refinishing, and Composting waste is that every employee is involved. Whether it’s putting material into the right compost barrels or sorting different types of cardboard, every would-be source of waste at Piazza Produce is accounted for. Everyone employed by Piazza Produce is considered a member “The Green Team”.
Since 2005, we’ve made steady progress every year. We’ve been, quite literally, shedding pounds of waste, becoming a leaner and more efficient company overall. This hasn’t been easy or immediate, but it is worthwhile. We have consistently reduced the amount of waste we put out into the world, all while supporting “green economy” jobs in our community.
Piazza is a member of the Indiana Recycling Coalition and is a founding member of the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council. Our sustainability efforts and metrics are tracked and verified in house and through Heritage Interactive Services to ensure accuracy. We have built sustainability into our company, and maintain the philosophy to always evolve and search for better practices.
U.S. Zero Waste Business Council Certified Gold Level Zero Waste Facility
Go Green Plus Certification
Green Business Bureau Platinum Certification
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard's Sustainability Award in the area of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Heritage Interactive Services, LLC "A World of Difference" for achieving Zero Landfill
Food Logistics Top Green Provider Award
RecycleForce 3rd Annual Corporate Challenge Award for electronics recycling
For more information about Piazza Produce’s Sustainability success, please contact our facilities manager at email@example.com.