Environmental policy

Environmental Policy

The Coop will strive to support the best products and practices in regard to the health, safety, and preservation of humans, animals, and the overall biosphere that it can achieve. 

This is said with a clear understanding that the Coop includes people from widely varying cultures, needs, and economic capabilities, which must be accommodated. 

Policy on Products

The Coop will:

Maximize provision of foods and cosmetics which are organically and/or regionally grown, cruelty-free and otherwise environmentally benign, although items already carried which do not meet these criteria will continue to be sold. 

Sell no products that are irradiated or contain irradiated ingredients. 

Sell no products that are genetically engineered or contain products of genetic engineering, except that sales of genetically engineered products shall not be discontinued unless there is a similarly priced equivalent product that is not genetically engineered. Genetically engineered products for which there are adequate substitutes as described above shall be replaced as quickly as possible by the substitute product. The Coop staff, in cooperation with the Environmental Committee, shall work to identify substitute products where none has yet been identified. At this time, as genetically engineered products or products containing genetically engineered inputs are not labeled as such, for the purpose of this policy, products shall be considered to be genetically engineered if they contain non-organically produced ingredients that are known to be commercially available in genetically engineered form, or that are known to be produced with commercially available genetically engineered inputs. 

Carry only food on which ingredients are listed

Environmental Committee members will also informally monitor new products that appear on the shelves, and when questions arise, discuss them with the Coordinators. 

Assessment of products shall be based upon but not limited to the following criteria:

Avoiding toxic substances, whether in a product's ingredients, production process, or use and disposal, particularly (but not limited to) avoiding use of products made with chlorine bleach and petroleum products. 

Minimizing disposable products, by seeking durable alternatives and/or alternatives which have recycled content. 

Achieving environmentally sound packaging, by avoiding products with excessive packaging and with packaging manufactured with chlorine bleach , toxic inks, or petroleum products and encouraging the ordering of products with recyclable packaging or packaging with recycled content. 

Reducing energy use in transportation, by seeking comparable, locally grown products ( and where appropriate, locally produced products) to replace those transported cross country or from other countries. 

Avoiding animal testing by seeking products which have not been tested on animals. 

Avoiding products which are irradiated or genetically engineered or which contain irradiated or genetically engineered ingredients. 

In making recommendations, the Environmental Committee shall also take into account these non-environmental factors:

The need to keep the number of distributors to a minimum 
Availability of shelf space and how many similar items the Coop carries 
Affordability of alternatives 

Policy on Practices

Coop policy will include the following:

organic produce is available  we will not carry the non-organically grown item. 

When price and quality of two items are comparable and both make environmental claims, the Coop will carry only the environmentally superior product. 

The Coop, through the Environmental Committee, will conduct periodic waste, energy and water use audits and will seek pro bono technical assistance from the membership to do so. The results of this audit process will inform the Coordinators and Members about whether practices in each of these areas could be improved and what would be required to do so. 

The Coop will use recycled paper products in both the office and store, including but not limited to : copy paper, computer paper, envelopes, ruled pads,  etc. Every effort will be made to use products which contain a high percentage of post-consumer recycled content, and which are not chlorine-bleached. 

The Coop will expand its present office-waste recycling program and cardboard recycling program to include a source separated recycling program for all waste generated within the Coop (recognizing that there may not always be feasible markets for all materials). 

The Coop, through the Environmental Committee will make every effort to educate members on environmental concerns through Gazette articles and reprinted handouts, fact sheets, orientation sheets, displays, lectures, and workshops. 

The Environmental Committee shall send a letter to the manufacturer and supplier of any product that the Coop decides to remove, stating our actions and reasons. 

Policy Revisions

This policy will be regularly reviewed and revised based on input from all Coop constituencies, on experience in implementing the policy, and on new information and changing environmental realities. 

Utah Co Op 
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