Was pleasantly surprised by the overall devotion to sustainability that this company has. While the company does advertise themselves as a sustainable company it seems as though they undersell their commitment as well as their effectiveness and progress as far as overall environmental friendliness. As far as individually packaged snack bars go this is a great choice.
While there are a variety of flavors containing a variety of ingredients but their traditional bars contain organic brown rice syrup, organix rolled oats, soy protein isolate, organic cane syrup and sugar, organic roasted soybeans, rice flour, organic oat fiber, organic soy powder, cocoa butter, soy flour, soy lecithin, mixed tocopherols, and is fortified with vitamins and minerals such as dicalcium phosphate, magnesium oxide, and beta carotene. The use of derivates and non whole ingredients means that there is a great deal of indirect manufacturing going into the creation of their product. The use of organic ingredients is noticed but overall insufficient especially when compared to their other practices.
The bars are made using baking lines, employees adding ingredients such as chocolate by hand. They are cooled, packaged by machines, loaded onto palettes then shipped. While they use machines that are considered very environmentally friendly the use of machines does create undesirable electronic waste. While this is less than ideal these machines are powered using solar power (supplies ⅓ of the factories energy). Their on-demand conveyors, reflective roof, and water source heat pump help the bakeries to use twenty percent less energy than other bakeries. There are also many supports for the employees, such as an outdoor space for gatherings, sunlit office areas, high quality break rooms. The company seems to be content with the environmental friendliness of the factories, and with low food waste, a strong connection to their communities and employees, and constantly looking for ways to innovate and improve they deserve to be. While manufacturing is inherently unsustainable Cliff Bars transparency and constant improvements leads me to believe that they are doing everything in their power, regardless of cost, to be as sustainable as possible.
The factories were built with sustainability in mind, clear from their architecture, use of outdoor space for environmental reinvigoration, as well as charging stations to incentivize the use of electric vehicles by their employees. The constant upgrades to their factories lead to a great deal of construction waste and it is unclear whether the improvements have results equitable to the downsides in regards to overall sustainability.