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Blue Diamond first business in county to earn ‘green’ certification – The Turlock Journal

Locals who enjoy Blue Diamond products can rest assured that their favorite almonds are one of the most sustainably-processed commodities in the county following the organization’s recent recognition as Green Business Certified. 

Following a comprehensive certification process, the Blue Diamond Growers facility in Salida recently earned the prestigious distinction and is the first business in Stanislaus County to be recognized by the California Green Business Network, Stanislaus County, for demonstrating sustainability as a top business priority.

“Blue Diamond has a long 110-year history as an almond cooperative, and within that history has been a commitment to sustainability across all our facilities — Sacramento, Salida and Turlock,” said Blue Diamond’s Senior Vice President, Global Supply, Brian Barczak. “As we look toward the future, our investment in sustainability strengthens our relationship with our customers and consumers, provides benefits to our local communities, and lays the groundwork for the continuation of our legacy as a cooperative.  This recognition means a great deal to us as it shows that we are doing our part to build a healthier and more sustainable future for our local communities.”

The Green Business Certified recognition goes to companies that achieve a verified set of standards, including reducing water use, conserving energy, preventing pollution, increasing recycling, avoiding waste, encouraging alternative transportation, and partnering with other local vendors.

According to Dennis Bettencourt, Salida Site Leader, Blue Diamond doesn’t cut any corners when it comes to conservation and sustainability, from all 600 employees utilizing reusable coffee cups to several lighting and capital projects on site meant to help the cause. The Salida site even captures condensation from the facility’s pasteurization systems to reuse as recycled water and has separate waste streams for cardboard, metal, plastic and more.

“We’ve been able to divert more than 18 tons from landfills to more optimal uses,” Bettencourt said.

Blue Diamond’s sustainability team is working to get all three sites Green Business Certified, and Turlock should receive the recognition in the coming months, Bettencourt said. The Turlock facility recently completed phase two of its three-phase, 15-year project that began when Blue Diamond purchased 88 acres at the intersection of North Washington and Fulkerth Road in late 2011. 

This latest Blue Diamond Growers honor comes on the heels of growth and positive milestones at the Salida facility. In 2020, a multi-year construction plan was completed including the addition of a 50-million-pound-capacity Brown Almond Bulk Warehouse. The new warehouse is the second facility of similar capacity recently built at the site. Also in 2020, the Salida facility achieved its fifth consecutive year – representing five million work hours – of no lost-time accidents. 

“We are proud that Blue Diamond’s priority on sustainability is being recognized and wish to thank the Modesto Chamber of Commerce – California Green Business Network, Stanislaus County for their efforts to advance the importance of sustainability in our community,” said Bettencourt. “We are honored by this recognition, as well as motivated to continue providing Blue Diamond almonds to the world in a way that honors, respects and preserves the planet and the natural resources that mean so much to all of us.”