Milo’s Tea Company

Bessemer, Alabama
Certification Level: 
Percent of Overall Diversion Achieved: 
Facility Size: 
160,000 square feet
Type of Operation: 
Beverage manufacturing
Project Overview: 

Milo’s is focused on making a difference for both our team members and the communities we serve through our Milo’s Makes a Difference program. This program has three components – making Milo’s a Great Place to Work, being a national leader in Sustainability and Giving Back to the communities we serve. Vigorously pursuing our goal of being a national leader in Sustainability, Milo’s has become a TRUE Zero Waste certified manufacturer, dramatically reducing our water consumption, sourcing 23% renewable power and reducing our packaging.

Milo’s sustainability program includes a comprehensive recycling program, training, recordation and much more.  We committed to celebrating World Environment Day to further educate our associates on our sustainability programming, the importance of environmental protection and celebrate the accomplishments that our team has achieved for our environment. Perhaps the most important achievement in our sustainability efforts is our 98.2% waste diversion rate. We have funded scientific and academic research into the uses of spent tea since we produce 10-12 tons a day. We used this research to convert an item we were paying to send to the landfill into an income item, now selling this material to Scott’s in Vance, Alabama where they use it in their potting soil. Our Sustainability program includes aggressive water reduction efforts, packaging reduction, expansion of renewable energy and sourcing programming that ensures our suppliers values match ours.

Waste reduction is a key component of our Sustainability efforts. We began our aggressive approach to reducing trash and increase our recycling in 2017. In 2018, we went from 2 collections per week to one pick up every month. Our diversion from the landfill increased from 76.1% in 2017 to 98.2% in 2018. This was possible by educating our associates on the importance of recycling and making sustainability a corporate goal. We can now proudly report that 99% of what is brought into our plant in the form of raw materials and packaging is recycled. In production, we eliminated the use of glue which saves more than $250k per year and furthers our sustainability efforts. Milo’s has reduced our paper usage in 2018 by 57% and paper expenses; this was accomplished by having gone entirely paperless in our payroll department, conducting processes electronically as often as possible, and programmed each computer to print double sided.

"One of Milo’s core values is Responsibility, which encompasses both corporate stewardship and environmental responsibility. We want to be recognized as a leader in sustainability in Alabama and, soon, throughout the nation. To reach this goal, our journey began with Zero Waste certification. Certification required the commitment, innovation and determination of our entire team to implement processes to eliminate unsustainable choices and divert waste from the landfill to create a healthy environment for future generations. The many changes that we have made during the certification process have been transformative for everyone involved as we all wholeheartedly embraced the zero waste definition: Zero waste is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary, to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others.” - Carl Evans, VP of Operations and Sustainability Champion, Milo’s Tea Company