NEWS IN A NUTSHELL Blue Diamond Sustainability Program Blue Diamond is developing a formal sustainability program to address customer and consumer inquiries on how Blue Diamond is addressing sustainable principles both in the field and in the facilities. This inaugural article outlines the general definition of sustainability and what it means for Blue Diamond. In subsequent issues, we will focus on different aspects of the program in greater detail. Over 90 percent of the world’s largest corporations today report on their sustainability performance using industry standard frameworks and reporting has become part of normal business practice. (Forbes, The Future of Corporate Responsibility June 2018). In general, sustainability is the intersection of economic, social, and environmental elements that address meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Other terms used for sustainability in business include Corporate Sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Responsible Sourcing. Blue Diamond Program The Blue Diamond Sustainability Program is focusing on all main aspects of the business, including grower practices; facility use of energy and water, and waste generation; packaging; product distribution footprint; employee health and safety; and philanthropy. Value to the Co-op Warren Cohen, Blue Diamond’s vice president of sales, knows first-hand the importance of a corporate sustainability program. “As consumer demand for transparency grows, global food manufacturers are looking to their suppliers to establish sustainability programs. Providing this type of information and data can be a prerequisite for doing business and allows us to differentiate our company by shaping the Blue Diamond story for our consumers. Key ingredient customers already recognize the value in working with Blue Diamond by contracting with us for their almond requirements, and the investment Blue Diamond and its grower-owners make in developing a sustainability program will enhance our partnerships and allow for premium grower return.” For an excellent primer on the importance of sustainability reporting and viewpoints from other growers and cooperatives, watch the sustainability panel presentation from the 2017 Annual Meeting on YouTube (search for “ Blue Diamond Sustainability”). Corporate Sustainability is the continuing commitment by businesses to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large. —World Business Council For Sustainable Development 1 2 A L M O N D F A C T S