Sustainability is a universal issue that all industries should contribute toward. Becoming an eco-friendly bakery can become your first step toward a better future.
By adopting sustainable practices, bakeries can meet their needs and profit goals without hindering future generations from meeting their needs. It’s a business practice that looks beyond your own success, focusing on the welfare of the entire planet and future generations.
Learn eight eco-friendly bakery practices to begin your journey toward sustainability.
- Use organic, locally sourced foods to reduce your impact on the earth and reduce fossil fuel use.
- Recyclable packaging and higher quality control can reduce your waste.
- Adjusting your production methods and using more environmentally friendly equipment minimizes your energy usage.
Why Is Being Eco-Friendly Important in 2023?
Sustainability has been at the forefront of business issues in recent years as more people realize the full impact of unsustainable practices on current and future generations. Sustainable and eco-friendly practices have many benefits, including:
- Conserving energy
- Creating a healthier environment
- Caring for the planet
- Improving people’s health
For sustainability to be successful, all businesses must work together. Bakeries use a large amount of energy and packaging while also creating significant amounts of food waste. However, there are alternative options that allow bakeries to maintain their quality and production with a fraction of the environmental impact.
8 Ways to Make Your Bakery More Eco-Friendly
Explore eight ways to improve your bakery’s sustainability and environmental impact.
1. Use Eco-Friendly Packaging
When you serve cupcakes in paper, offer cookies in boxes, and sell bread in bags, customers will throw away that packaging. Additionally, customers use utensils, cups, and napkins from your bakery, which also end up in the trash. While you can’t eliminate packaging, you can control your packaging type and quantity to reduce waste.
Switching from plastic and coated cardboard to recyclable cardboard and paper allows consumers to recycle the packaging. Additionally, even if this sustainable packaging ends up in a landfill, it will decompose much faster than traditional packaging.
Recycled packaging also uses materials with a minimal environmental footprint. For example, standard paper packaging often relies on trees that take years to grow. On the other hand, recycled packaging reuses materials from packaging or uses plant-based materials that grow back quickly and require less energy to produce.
2. Avoid Single-Use Plastics
The baking process uses several single-use plastics and products, such as disposable gloves and baking paper. These all add up over time, increasing your environmental impact.
Switching to reusable products or biodegradable options allows you to complete the same processes, stay safe, and keep the area clean with minimal environmental impact. For example, HanzOn produces gloves that decompose within 180 days in a compost.
3. Minimize Waste
You can also lessen your sustainable bakery’s environmental impact by reducing and controlling food waste.
Use these strategies to address food waste in your bakery:
- Improve quality control so there are fewer unusable products to throw away.
- Create smaller portion options so customers can purchase amounts they can finish to avoid them throwing extras away.
- Donate leftover and unsold food to schools, homeless shelters, and charities before it goes bad.
- Repurpose unsold food.
4. Sustainably Source Your Ingredients
Sustainably sourced ingredients consider all your suppliers’ social, ethical, and environmental impacts. Some questions to consider include:
- Does the company use ethical work practices?
- Are the products ethically sourced?
- What is the company’s environmental impact?
Locally sourcing your ingredients and supplies supports your community’s economy. Local businesses are also easier to explore and learn about their practices to ensure they align with your sustainability goals.
5. Use More Organic Ingredients
Plant-based ingredients are growing in popularity because of their health benefits and positive impact on the environment. Replacing traditional ingredients with plant-based alternatives can make your food options more accommodating for people with specific dietary restrictions.
Organic foods also have a smaller impact on the environment. Farmers growing organic food use fewer chemicals and artificial products in their supplies, which can hurt the environment.
6. Reduce Your Water Usage
Bakeries use a large amount of water for baking and cleaning. However, much of this water is unnecessary. Additionally, too much water on equipment can cause pathogen build-up, which causes safety hazards leading to food waste and health concerns.
Reducing water usage starts with addressing all the small actions that add up. For instance, consider cleaning spills without a rag and water. You can also use tools with lower gallon-per-minute nozzles to reduce water waste during sanitation. Incorporating scraping and dry steam in your cleaning process can also help reduce water consumption by 95%.
7. Reduce Transportation Mileage
Transportation is crucial to your business, whether transporting products to customers or receiving shipments from suppliers. The mileage from these trips adds to carbon emissions.
Addressing your transportation output requires a two-pronged approach. First, streamline transportation to reduce frequency and distance. Ordering multiple ingredients from the same supplier reduces the trips to your bakery. You can also order from suppliers closer to your bakery to cut down on travel.
Second, reconsider how you transport your goods. Switching to electric or more gas-efficient vehicles can considerably reduce your environmental impact.
8. Reducing Energy Emissions
Can you reduce your dependence on fossil fuels and energy consumption without impacting your bakery production?
Switching to renewable energy sources like solar power can help your bakery become more sustainable while still meeting your production goals.
You can also reevaluate energy-using practices to find more efficient alternatives. For example, a larger oven can bake more items with less energy.
Discover More Sustainable Production and Packaging Solutions
Expand your knowledge of sustainable options for your bakery by attending the annual Artisan Bakery Expo East. This event offers a chance to network with suppliers and find eco-friendly ingredients and packaging options.
The expo is scheduled for October 1-2, 2023, at the Atlantic City Convention Center, New Jersey.
Learn more about attending the event.