Los Angeles-based POM Wonderful, grower and producer of fresh pomegranates and pomegranate juice in the United States, announced it is furthering its commitment to a sustainable future with the transition to 100% recycled plastic (rPET) bottles and shifting more than 90% of its electricity needs to renewable energy.
Throughout North America, starting in May, all 16-ounce bottles of POM Wonderful juices —100% Pomegranate Juice, Pomegranate Blueberry 100% Juice and Pomegranate Cherry 100% Juice — will be bottled in 100% rPET, the company says. The new bottles will feature a “100% Recycled Plastic” logo.
This commitment is just the beginning of the company’s overall strategy to reduce single-use plastic and transitions more than 11 million bottles to 100% rPET annually as the brand approaches its 20th anniversary this fall, it says.
As part of POM Wonderful’s ongoing sustainability journey, the company completed work on a solar farm at its processing plant in Del Rey, California. This project, which will be operational in June, is expected to deliver more than 90% of the company's electricity needs by 2023, according to the company.
These initiatives are part of the company’s larger sustainability road map to reduce its carbon footprint and build a more sustainable future through responsible agriculture and farming, energy, waste, packaging and emissions, it says.
“As an agricultural company at heart, we know that sustainability is critical to our future. That’s why it’s important that we make environmental sustainability a core principle of our work, and conserve natural resources to minimize our company’s impact on the environment,” said Derrick Miller, president, POM Wonderful, in a statement. “As we celebrate the transition to rPET and renewable energy, we continue to look for new ways to minimize our impact, serve as community stewards, and enhance sustainability across every part of our business.”
In 2020, POM Wonderful launched an innovation challenge, offering $1 million in funding and development resources to innovators who could develop an economical and environmentally friendly pilot-ready solution for the 50,000 tons of pomegranate husks generated each year by the company. In 2021, two winners were announced: BCD Bioscience and Enagon. As a direct result of this funding, BCD Bioscience is discovering ways to harness new value from pomegranate husks, and Enagon is working on upcycling the husks to transform them into new and nutritious ingredients, the company says.
To date, The Wonderful Co. and owners Stewart and Lynda Resnick have invested more than $1.3 billion in environmental sustainability initiatives to help fight climate change, it says. This billion-dollar commitment includes a $750 million gift from the Resnicks to Caltech in support of the school’s environmental sustainability research, it adds.