From regenerative ag to climate neutrality, the snack brands working to up the sustainability ante

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Clif Kids and Aloha have both achieved climate neutral certification, while Kind is drilling down on regenerative agriculture for 'kinder' almonds. Pic: GettyImages/StockPlanets
Clif Kids and Aloha have both achieved climate neutral certification, while Kind is drilling down on regenerative agriculture for 'kinder' almonds. Pic: GettyImages/StockPlanets

Related tags Clif Bar & Company Aloha Kind snacks regenerative agriculture climate neutral certification ofi Almonds Climate change plant-based

When asked if they care about buying environmentally and ethically sustainable snacks, the overwhelming consumer response is ‘yes’. Sustainability practices are increasingly driving purchase decisions, but more importantly, are beginning to influence brand perception and advocacy, which will undoubtedly affect performance over the longer term.

Producers can no longer afford to ignore the importance that consumers place on the environmental impact of their snacks, which is why Clif Bar & Company and Aloha joined the growing ranks of companies that are taking responsibility to change the climate status quo.

It is also why Kind Snacks is aiming to source 100% of its almonds from orchards leveraging regenerative practices on a mass-balance basis by 2030. The Kind Almond Acres Initiative is a living, learning lab that gives consumers the opportunity to join Kind on its journey towards making almonds as sustainable as they are delicious.

Climate neutral certification

CLIF Kid x Climate Neutral

Clif Kid is the first kids’ snack bar brand to achieve this certification, continuing the brand’s commitment to reducing its environmental footprint from field to final product. Similarly, Aloha is the first plant-based protein bar to become Climate Neutral Certified, furthering its commitment to lead by example.

Carbon labelling has become increasingly vital for brands to demonstrate accountability, provide education about greenhouse gas emissions and earn consumer trust.

“At Clif Bar, we’re inspired by the challenge of running a business that strives to help create a healthier, more sustainable world,”​ said Sarah Beaubien, senior director of Impact & Sustainability, Clif Bar.

“This achievement for our Clif Kid brand further reinforces our commitment to climate action by working to address our greenhouse gas emissions both now and into the future. We are proud to feature Climate Neutral Certification on the Clif Kid packaging to help our consumers make informed choices for their kids and the planet.”

“Clif Kid believes that kids thrive when they can play outdoors, and that we need to provide a healthy planet for them to play on and to grow the food to fuel that play.”

Aloha climate neutral

Aloha achieved this certification by measuring its 2022 greenhouse gas emissions footprint, implementing emissions reduction plans and investing in carbon credits to compensate for that footprint.

“As a plant-based company and certified B Corporation, we believe we have a responsibility to take care of the planet and understand that true impact comes from how we operate across every aspect of our business,”​ said Brand Charron, Aloha CEO.

“That's why we are committed to continuously learning, evolving and taking the actions required to be Climate Neutral Certified, leading with our food, our mission, and our people so we can drive meaningful and sustainable change within the category.”

To earn the coveted standard, producers need to measure their annual greenhouse gas emissions and then take action to reduce and compensate for all remaining emissions through time-bound reduction action plans to improve supply chain logistics, reduce fossil fuel use to improve air quality, and increase renewable energy usage.

“Clif Kid is a part of so many families’ day to day adventures. Unfortunately, so is climate change,”​ said Austin Whitman, CEO of Climate Neutral.

“It’s compelling to see Cif Kid recognise that connection, by making the climate a focus of their brand and products. We know their team has been focused on sustainability for decades, and we are delighted to be a part of this exciting next step as the Clif Kid team demonstrates immediate climate action is both possible and critically important.”

Whitman also extended his compliments to Aloha.

“They join a growing community of brands that collaborate and learn from one another as they seek to transform their businesses,”​ said Whitman.

“With its focus on healthy products, Aloha has a perfect opportunity to help consumers understand that their purchases impact both individual and planetary health.”

The certification is a natural progression for Aloha and follows the launch of a special edition impact product last month. The Kona Bar underscores the company’s commitment to investing in sustainable farming and agricultural practices, with its three partner farms in Hawaiʻi serving as prime examples of what the future of farming should look like.

The Kona Bar is also the world’s first commercially available food product made with ultra-sustainable Ponova oil​ from Pongamia trees, a climate-resilient, super-tree that revitalises the land and communities where it’s grown.

Aloha donates 10% of all proceeds from the bar to Kupu, a nonprofit that invests in Hawaiʻi’s youth through land stewardship and hands-on environmental education.

The employee-owned company also invests in third-party verified carbon offset projects that support the protections of forests and the deployment of renewable wind energy technologies, such as the Vaspet Wind Power Project and North Maine Woods Forestry Project.

Aloha’s journey demonstrates how small, innovative companies have the power to make meaningful contributions all while balancing purpose with profit.

Clif Kid – part of the Mondelēz International portfolio – is also working to show families how to reduce their climate impact by incorporating small but important actions into their daily lives.

Climate Kids is a programme of the Climate Science Alliance that educates youth on climate change through science, art and storytelling. The Climate Science Alliance works to safeguard natural and human communities in the face of a changing climate by increasing awareness of climate change impacts, promoting solutions and facilitating actions.

For Earth Month, it has partnered with Climate Kids and also tapped long time athlete partner and eco-activist Tommy Caldwell to promote conversations around climate-hope and eco-action for families.

“As an athlete who is very passionate about the environment, and as a parent, it’s important to me that brands like Clif Kid demonstrate a clear commitment to bettering our planet,”​ said Caldwell.

“I’m proud to support Clif Kid in helping educate families this Earth Month on ways to be more environmentally focused and instil a sense of ‘climate hope’ within the home. It’s my belief that a child who develops a passion for the planet at an early age will carry that with them for the rest of their life.”

A kinder way to grow almonds

The Kind Almond Acres Initiative

Another snack bar producer to up the sustainability ante is Kind. Sourcing 1-2% of the world’s almonds for its popular snacks, the producer has pledged to exclusively source almonds from farms leveraging regenerative agriculture practices by 2030, building on its announcement last year of progress made to source 100% of its almonds from bee-friendly farms by 2025.

Kind’s Almond Acres Initiative is a three-year regenerative agriculture pilot project taking place on 500 acres of ofi’s almond orchards in Madera County, California, where 80% of the world’s almonds are grown.

“ofi’s partnership with Kind represents a massive joint effort in regenerative agriculture,”​ said Zac Ellis, senior director of Agronomy, olam food ingredients (ofi).

“We are learning how to pair innovative sustainable technology with traditional farming practices, so we can find a combination that creates a positive change for the planet. “Efforts like these leverage our global expertise to build a more sustainable way of farming almonds.”

In partnership with the California Water Action Collaborative, UC Davis and ofi to track key metrics, Kind will test a mix of new technologies with best practices: namely, cover crops, whole orchard recycling, compost and biochar, off-ground harvesting, and subsurface irrigation.

Throughout the project, Kind hopes to gather the data and learnings needed to find the best combination of practices that will provide measurable benefits to the soil, the farm as a whole and the planet. The learnings from this pilot will help set environmental targets and help inform how Kind will reach its goal by 2030.

In tandem, Kind is investing in the next generation of sustainable change agents and is awarding eight ‘Kind to the planet’ scholarships to undergrad students at UC Merced – an HSI (Hispanic-serving Institution) and purportedly one of the most sustainable universities in the US.

Black Hispanic students DMEPhotography
Pic: GettyImages

“This will tremendously help our students, many of which are first-generation students, and continue to give back to our planet by investing in the future generation that’s going to change the world,”​ said Monica Sozinho, director of Corporate Relations at UC Merced.

“It means a lot to our students to see a brand like KIND invest in our local community and for an initiative that they care deeply about – helping the planet.”

Like Clif Kid, Kind is inviting consumers to join its regenerative agriculture journey on Snapchat’s first-ever lens dedicated to regenerative agriculture in almonds. This experience will take Snapchat users on a virtual visit to Kind’s Almond Acres Initiative to learn more about regenerative agriculture.

It has also launched an interactive Almond Acres landing page on its website, which will transparently showcase the progress and results of the initiative.

“We know that regenerative agriculture can be challenging to understand. We know our consumers want to engage in learning how to be kinder to our planet, and that is why we’re welcoming everyone into the living, learning lab that is the Kind Almond Acres Initiative,” said Kelly Solomon, chief marketing officer at Kind.

“We believe it is our responsibility to lead the almond industry towards a kinder way to grow almonds, and we are so proud and excited to be the brand paving the way.”

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Can your red beet ENDURE the heat?

Can your red beet ENDURE the heat?

Content provided by Givaudan | 22-May-2024 | Product Brochure

Endure Beetroot is patent pending vegan, kosher, and simple label red option with improved heat stability in cakes and other bakery applications that can...

Increasingly, sustainability is linked to value

Increasingly, sustainability is linked to value

Content provided by Corbion | 08-May-2024 | Insight Guide

Today, it’s not enough for products to be good for you. Consumers — especially Millennials and Gen Z-ers — not only want bakery products that are good...

Related suppliers

Follow us


View more