(photo credits: MegaFood)
Learn about Leading MWM NH Company Stonyfield's Commitment to Sustainability and the Value of Impact Assessments
Measure What Matters New Hampshire offers a clear and practical assessment tool NH businesses can use to benchmark their sustainability initiatives. This new program additionally offers members of the NHBSR community the opportunity to work with trained UNH student consultants to better develop their own sustainability programs. MWM NH participants will also have access to a members only Sustainable Resource Network and an accompanying series of specially tailored workshops.
Our world is in nutritional crisis. We have widespread food insecurity in many parts of the world and, of the food that is readily available, we are seeing a decline in its nutritional content due to large-scale conventional agriculture and climate change. This grim reality affects us all.
Founded in New Hampshire in 1973, MegaFood seeks to nourish a world in nutritional crisis, its people and communities, through whole food supplements and vitamins. In addition to providing a product that can bridge personal nutritional gaps, MegaFood is a dedicated advocate and supporter of regenerative agriculture, which, among other things, replenishes healthy soils and draws carbon back into the ground reducing the effects of climate change. Ashley Larochelle, Vision Activation Manager at MegaFood explains, "We have about a 60-year time clock where we won't be able to grow food anymore on planet earth unless we change the way we do things. This shift needs to happen rapidly and on a big scale and MegaFood is deeply invested in leading this change."
A significant component of MegaFood's commitment to sustainability, the B Impact Assessment allowed the company to prove what they were doing helped people and the planet and see where they needed to invest more time and effort. Ashley, who started out as an Executive Assistant without any background in sustainability lead MegaFood's effort to complete their assessment. This task, Ashley states, "does not need to be driven by someone who has an extensive background in sustainability or measurement metrics. Someone who has a high-level view of the organization (and understands who does what) like an Executive Assistant, Receptionist or Project Manager would be perfect for the role." Regarding getting the rest of the company on board, Ashley remarks, "Our CEO Robert Craven was super easy! Because MegaFood is very mission based already, completing the formal assessment was an obvious next step to leveling us up against the best of the best companies, including our competitors. B Corp Certification is a major differentiator. Today's consumers (and millennial workforce) demand a level of transparency and social commitment and our Impact Assessment helped us achieve and convey our impact."
One of the areas most valuable to MegaFood on the assessment was it focus on workforce practices, as it helped the company set and achieve its goalpost for paying living wages. Though MegaFood had always paid very competitively and significantly higher than federal minimum wage requirements, taking the assessment helped guide the company in its 2018 goal to pay above 25% the living wage and strive for that even higher in the future. This improvement has been beneficial company-wide. "Treating employees well has made it easier to fill job openings at MegaFood," says Ashley, "People work harder and stay with the company longer because they believe in our mission."
Now on our Measure What Matters NH Committee, Ashley wants to help others improve the impacts their companies have on the world. One concept Ashley finds particularly compelling is that of All Ships Rise. "MegaFood continues to be based here in NH and that's great," she explains, "but one of our reasons to grow sustainability initiatives in general is to teach and inspire other companies to be and do better. I want to be available to help people work through the issues and concerns they may have as they work to improve their sustainability initiatives. Together, being the best that we can be, will ultimately serve us all."
Reach out to Ashley about MegaFood or Measure What Matters New Hampshire at Ashley.Larochelle@megafood.com