Our Environmental and Social Practices

We’re a SMALL family-owned company taking LARGE steps to achieve a TINY footprint and ZERO waste.

Local Focus

We deliver locally—up to 1,000 lbs at a time—to Eugene area stores with our two cargo tri-cycles. In 2012 we delivered over 250,000 lbs by bike!
  • We chose our current location to allow efficient delivery to our in-town customers.

We seek out and contract with local and regional farmers to grow for us, and help farms sell their goods. Whenever possible we purchase close to the source and buy products locally when available.

  • We develop markets for locally grown products.
  • We promote usage of local ingredients by developing local supplies.
  • We develop products featuring local and regional ingredients.
We promote community and support small businesses.
  • We distribute products for small companies that are local, organic, and share similar values.
  • Our Incubator Kitchen fosters and supports small food businesses in our area, facilitating innovative and healthy products for our community.
  • We’re pioneering Distributor Supported Agriculture (DSA), financially supporting farmers and sharing their risk.
  • HW owner, Charlie Tilt co-founded the Willamette Valley Sustainable Food Alliance and HW employees have acted as officers on the board of directors.
  • We collaborated with a local farm to establish Camas Country Mill, a grain mill for Oregon-grown crops.
We contribute money and goods to local organizations whose mission and focus is aligned with ours.

Ecological Choices

We wash and reuse glass and plastic containers through a bold and innovative return policy, and encourage others to do the same.
  • Our bulk liquids are delivered in reusable food grade deposit return containers. With a 83% return rate, our customers help us save approximately 18,000 lbs. of plastic from the landfill each year. (This is significant because the recycling of this type of plastic is low in our area.)
We, and all other tenants in our building, practice zero waste policy. We estimate our HW landfill waste to be less than 650 lbs per year. (The EPA lists an average American individual produces 1,600 lbs of landfill waste per year.) We work to improve packaging through more sustainable materials (recycled, compostable, recyclable, reusable)
  • To avoid products made with GMO corn, our biodegradable bags are made of wood pulp from sustainably harvested wood.
  • We use reusable buckets when we can.

Our heating and cooling systems are designed for energy conservation, and include high-efficiency heat pumps and a geothermal ground source unit. A solar water system preheats our water (with a tankless gas-fired back-up).

We accumulate waste oil from returns to make into biodiesel.

We meet 100% of our electrical load with EWEB Green Power and our 27KW rooftop solar electric system.

Office equipment is plugged into power strips which are turned off when not in use to eliminate “phantom loads.”

We utilize day-lighting, LED and the newest fluorescent lighting to minimize energy use for lighting.

We use non-toxic and low- (or no-) VOC finishes in our office environment.

We use bio-degradable soap for all our needs.

We do not use bleach. Instead, we invest in the more expensive, environmentally benign peracetic acid for sanitizing.

To reduce paper use, we print invoices on half-sheet rather than full-page 100% recycled paper.

We aim to reuse everything. Mailing envelopes, delivery boxes, plastic bags (in-house only; excess are recycled not tossed), glass jars and jugs; when feasible, 25# paper bags are refilled with similar product and re-sewn.

We offer encouragement for employees to bike or carpool to work and eat trash-free lunches, and financial acknowledgment for those who do.

Relationships

We believe that healthy relationships, personal accountability and good communication are a priority for a healthy environment. We have been in business for 40 years and many of our suppliers and growers have been selling to us for more than 20 years. With product sourcing we focus on:
  • Organic, non-GMO, ethically sourced, fairly traded ingredients.
  • Procurement activities that help people and the planet. Before purchasing, we consider transportation, packaging, etc.
  • Refusing to purchase products that are damaging to people (including indigenous cultures), flora, and fauna.
We are an active member of the Food Trade Sustainability Leadership program which requires an extensive audit of current practices.

HW is responsible for the commercial tenant spaces in our building. Our tenants are aligned with our values.

We are in this for the long term, for ourselves and for our children.

At Hummingbird, every relationship counts.

 

For questions or to order by phone, call us: (541) 686-0921