Milo's Tea Company

Location: 
Bessemer, AL, United States
Certification Level: 
Platinum
Percent of Overall Diversion Achieved: 
96.4%
Facility Size: 
160k sq. ft.
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 – putting People First, 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 Zero Waste manufacturer, dramatically reduced our water consumption, sourced 23% renewable power, and reduced our packaging.

Milo’s sustainability program includes a comprehensive recycling program, training, recordation, and much more. We committed to celebrating World Environment Day and/or Earth Day annually 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 96.4% waste diversion rate. We have funded scientific and academic research into the uses of spent tea since we produce 12 - 16 tons per day. 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 increasing our recycling in 2017. In 2018, we went from 2 collections per week to one pick up every month. Our diversion from the landfill has increased 20% on average, since 2017 at 76.1%. 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. In 2019 we saved 5.76M gallons of water due to improving water efficiency in operations, partnering with organizations, and providing opportunities for employees to become civic ambassadors. Milo’s also reduced our paper usage and expenses in 2018 by 57%, and this number continues to climb. 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," explained Carl Evans, VP of Operations and Sustainability Champion at Milo's Tea Company. "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