garten sustainability and impact
Based on our manifesto on the sustainable impacts of our business, we have aligned our operations to key environmental, social and governance priorities that are embedded into every decision made internally or in relation to our stakeholders, and the global community.
Highlighting Our Sustainability Initiatives
When it comes to the environment, we have adopted a four-pronged approach for determining what tactics and activities would be most relevant and practicable for us as an organization as we continue down the pathway to net zero. We began the annual calculation of our emissions across scopes 1, 2, and 3 in 2021 and continue to build our capacity to adequately account for all our emissions and address their impact with the best combination of the pathway strategies below.
Elimination is made possible through our transformation to an asset-light business model, garten has eliminated our scope 1 emissions to 0 due to the utilization of vendor partners who directly manage agricultural production, manufacturing, and distribution through their efficient means of operations. Eliminating our Scope 1 emissions has allowed us to leverage existing production activity in the food wellness market to build out our business model while helping existing farmers, producers, packaging, and logistics companies reach a wider audience by optimizing the chain of distribution, and the engagement between vendors and our clients.
reductions & substitutions
Reduction and substitutions are used in our strategy to manage our energy use as an urban electricity consumer. We ensure all our employees and leaders are aware of their energy use decisions and provide the training they need to understand what the energy-efficient options are. garten has succeeded in keeping energy use across our 6 locations lower than the average emission rate of tonnes of CO2 for companies of similar size (our energy use was estimated at 184.78 tonnes of CO2 in 2021). We have achieved this by using only energy-efficient equipment—as long as the option is available—as well as choosing renewable energy-based dependent utility vendors. As an even more dominant part of our strategy and business model, plant-based options are favored across all our food offerings for both their health benefits and the reduced impact on the environment that comes with substituting plants for heavily processed meats and animal products. Donation of excess food has also replaced discarding in most cases to support additional emission savings.
Compensation is key to our scope 3 emission strategy at this point as we continue to develop our capacity to adequately track these emissions and work with our partners to embed more strategies based on elimination, reduction, and substitution. In the meantime, we are committed to identifying these emissions, accounting for their impact, and brainstorming board-approved activities that will have the most relevant positive effect directed at neutralizing the negative effects. In 2021, the identified indirect emissions along our value chain were estimated at 4750.35 tonnes of CO2, including the bulk of emissions from purchased goods and services (4365 tonnes), 186.12 tonnes as a result of business travel, and 19.17 tonnes from transportation and distribution. By choosing vendors with the lowest emissions, and clear plans to reduce these emissions, we are working towards major reductions in these numbers in the coming years. In addition, our promotion of remote work and the 4-day work-week is in anticipation of the continued effects of reduced business travel as virtual channels are optimized. Activities such as planting trees as part of our employee volunteering and bonding drives are some of the main ways we work to compensate for emissions we cannot currently control.
Highlighting Our Workforce Initiatives
It is no secret today that keeping employees healthy and happy results in a workforce that is more productive and engaged. The face of a company at any level can only be defined by the collective consciousness of those who work within it and it is impossible to remain successful without an engaged workforce. Employee wellness is a priority at garten and we believe that this is as pertinent to the company itself as it is to the individuals who expect to be treated with respect as they dedicate up to 50% of their lives to company outcomes and goals. To spread the gospel of nutrition as the foundational block for achieving total wellness and in turn maximizing productivity, our employees are the first disciples in our mission to spread the goodness of workplace nutrition and we judge our success as a company based on the wellness and satisfaction levels within our own ranks.
Work Culture at garten
Our work culture is guided by the F.O.R.C.E. principle which promotes Family & Fun, Openness, Results, Curiosity, and Empowerment. The idea of food as a force for bonding is the idea that inspires our core management principles. We are driven by the desire to create a workplace that is close to the heart, thrives on real and authentic interactions, is always guided by a mission rooted in positive outcomes for people and the environment, encourages constant learning, and prioritizes rewarding work that never pushes the limits of our individual capacities.
A number of innovative workplace initiatives have become cornerstones of the life of a garten ambassador.
Meditation Breaks & Yoga
“Flexibility with maximum rest equals maximum productivity” – Michael Heinrich
A stress-free workplace is hard to achieve but getting as close to this as possible pays and garten is on a constant journey to bring our employees closer to achieving this ideal. A number of activities have been embedded into the day-to-day traditions at our company to promote this lifestyle including. Buoyed by this less is more approach, employees are encouraged to incorporate and normalize rest and meditation as part of their daily schedules and see this as an energy-boosting philosophy that enables each employee to come back to work after the break with more ideas, more zeal for work and overall better performance.
Pioneering the 4-day work (life) week
garten officially moved to a four-day workweek in June 2022, joining a select group of companies that have taken the lead in optimizing the workweek to balance productivity and personal life.
Traditional 9 to 5 hours have also been eliminated to allow for flexibility in work plans as studies have shown that optimal productivity hours differ for different types of workers and leaning into these differences has positive effects both for the total wellness of the employee and cumulative gains in work productivity that drive a company’s growth. The results of this new life week have proven positive based on initial tests in 2020 that showed greater employee satisfaction and significant increases in productivity.
garten takes our F.O.R.C.E. culture online in different ways, including many active Slack channels that get our employees to bond over a lot more than work. These channels bring employees together to share tips, stories, and laughs. Highlights include our Love Shout Out channel where ambassadors recognize & celebrate each other’s achievements and create positive reinforcement, the Coffee Connect channel where garten’s people at all levels (including management) are paired for 30-minute coffee chats and dad-jokes where our Family & Fun culture gets in touch with its humorous side.