ARLINGTON, V.A., July 15, 2021 – Gerber, the early childhood nutrition leader, today announced its Climate Forward Nutrition1 ambition to pioneer on-farm research and invest in regenerative agriculture techniques to ensure the ingredients for our nutritious food for baby are produced in a way that increases biodiversity and soil health, and reduces water usage. As part of this ambition, Gerber has also committed to carbon neutrality across its baby food portfolio by 2035 through collaboration with a third-party carbon neutral certifier, with 100% of its Organic portfolio and Natural pouches and glass jars set to be carbon neutral in 2022. Gerber is the first U.S. company to announce its commitment to produce carbon neutral baby food products, representing the most ambitious climate commitment in the industry, and the integration of Gerber’s long-standing sustainable practices and new innovations that will reduce the company’s greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.
“For generations, Gerber has been committed to doing anything for baby, including taking action to help protect the planet, so babies can grow and thrive for years to come,” said Tarun Malkani, President and CEO at Gerber. “The commitment we make today is the start of the next chapter in elevating the choices we give parents who are seeking food that is good for baby and good for the planet, harnessing the next generation of regenerative farming and sustainable business practices. Our commitment to carbon neutrality is an important step in our climate journey, which will continue beyond 2035.”
Gerber is providing the first ever carbon neutral baby food donation, contributing $100,000 worth of products to families served by the Feeding America® network to prioritize access to both nutritious and climate conscious baby food for communities facing hunger. As its longtime partner for addressing food insecurity, Gerber has partnered with Feeding America since 1988, investing more than $2.8M in 2020.
“Nutritious food is critical to a child’s development. A potential 13 million children are at risk of being food insecure this year, a number that has been exacerbated by the pandemic,” said Blake Thompson, Chief Supply Chain Officer at Feeding America. “Feeding America is proud to partner with Gerber to help provide nutrient-dense food to children and families when they need it most.”
Gerber will reach carbon neutrality by implementing practices across several priority areas: regenerative agriculture, packaging, manufacturing and supply chain management, and recipe design, and by investing in high quality offsetting projects.
Key initiatives in Gerber’s sustainability and carbon neutrality roadmap include:
Creating fruit and vegetable research farm demonstration plots in Western Michigan where Gerber partners with the nonprofit Rodale Institute and Michigan State University to conduct unprecedented research in innovative technologies and advanced regenerative organic farming practices focused on replenishing soils, increasing biodiversity and evaluating the potential for nutritional benefits.
Optimizing energy use and sourcing 100% renewable electricity for our own manufacturing facilities and distribution centers by 2025.
Progressing our ambition to make 100% of our packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025 and continuing to reduce or eliminate unnecessary packaging material where possible.
Advancing continuous improvement with Gerber farmers, or “Gerber Growers,” and documenting adoption of regenerative farming practices through data verified by Sustainable Environmental Consultants’ EcoPractices® platform.
Assessing environmental impact as part of all new product innovations and introducing more products with plant-based protein across Gerber’s Baby Food portfolio.
Planting one million trees in partnership with the National Forest Foundation and One Tree Planted in U.S. National Forests across 10 states.
“Climate change affects us all – especially the very young – and we are proud to partner with Gerber to help realize their climate goals,” said Franziska Sinner, Head of Corporate Sustainability at South Pole, the leading carbon project and climate solutions provider, which conducted a baseline carbon footprint assessment for the brand and suggested ways to lower the organization’s emissions. “Gerber’s commitment to implementing sustainable practices throughout the product lifecycle – from farm to table via low carbon supply chains – is visionary and has the power to inspire bold environmental action from other organizations.”
To learn more, please visit: mygerber.com/ClimateJourney.
Gerber Products Company was founded in 1928 in Fremont, Mich. Gerber joined the Nestlé family on September 1, 2007. Gerber is a leader in early childhood nutrition. At Gerber, research informs everything we do – from the products we make, the nutrition education we deliver and the services we offer. Gerber provides resources from the Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS) for health care professionals at Medical.Gerber.com/FITS and for parents at Gerber.com. Gerber is proud to have served families for nearly 100 years. Over the last 12 years, the company has provided nearly three billion purees, snacks and cereals to babies around the world.
About Feeding America
Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 40 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry.
About Rodale Institute
Rodale Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to growing the organic movement through rigorous research, farmer training, and consumer education. Widely recognized as a founder of the modern organic movement, Rodale Institute has been a global leader in regenerative organic agriculture for over 70 years. The Rodale Institute is headquartered on a 333-acre certified organic farm in Kutztown, Pennsylvania.
About Michigan State University
The nation’s pioneer land-grant university, Michigan State University is one of the top research universities in the world. Home to nationally ranked and recognized academic, residential college, and service-learning programs, MSU is a diverse community of dedicated students and scholars, scientists and visionary leaders in agriculture and food production.
About South Pole
South Pole, recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Social Enterprise, has been at the forefront of decarbonization since 2006. With its global Climate Solutions platform, South Pole develops and implements comprehensive strategies that turn climate action into long-term business opportunities for companies, governments and organizations around the world. South Pole is also a leading project developer and has provided nearly 1,000 projects in over 50 countries with climate finance to reduce over a gigaton of CO2 emissions that meet the highest industry standards for certifying reductions. These projects also provide social benefits to less privileged communities which are particularly vulnerable to climate change.
Established in 2008, Sustainable Environmental Consultants, powered by EcoPractices®, is part of Wright Services Corp. employee- owned family of companies. Since their inception they have endeavored to be a leader in providing innovative solutions to better the planet through their three divisions of sustainability risk management, agricultural compliance and engineering, and erosion control. They provide a full range of environmental services needed by food companies and their agricultural supply systems.
1 Climate Forward Nutrition is Gerber’s commitment to incorporate practices and technology to limit and eliminate carbon emissions. These efforts will take place on the farms where Gerber fruits and vegetable are grown and carry through the brand’s manufacturing, packaging and transportation processes to ensure babies everywhere get the nutrition they need to thrive while helping to protect the planet. Gerber will also be partnering with a third-party to certify that Gerber’s baby food products are carbon neutral by 2022 and 2035.