In starting Hot Date Kitchen, our goal was to create a truly sustainable food company. Creating a sustainable food company is a pretty tall order. Our food system is not design to be sustainable. In most cases, it is designed to be efficient and cheap, which can be a great thing, but it can also be detrimental to our ecosystems, our water and land resources, and our vulnerable communities, all while at the same time contributing to climate change and making us less resilient to its impacts.
We are by no means perfect, but we are intentional and considerate about each decision we make, and constantly reevaluate to make ourselves a better and more sustainable company. We use the following four areas as guidelines on how to intentionally how operate and grow.
Ingredient Choice: This pertains to which ingredients we chose to use when developing our products. For example in Hot Dates, we chose to use sunflower butter in lieu of almond butter because sunflower butter requires no irrigated water for growing (compared to 400 gallons per lb of almond butter). We also specifically chose ingredients that didn't need to be refrigerated.
Ingredient Sourcing: Where you source can be almost as important as the ingredients themselves. We look for suppliers with strong sustainability practices and work to source locally and from small produces whenever possible.
Facility Operations: This pertains to our practices at our production facility. We are conscientious about our energy usage, and are sticklers about proper recycling and composting.
Distribution: This pertains to our packaging, shipping, and choice of retail partners.
Our 2021 Commitments
As part of our Climate Neutral certification, we laid out the commitments for this year to reduce our climate impact.
Compostable Packaging - We are exploring and plan to transition to compostable pouches.
Renewable Energy Purchasing - We plan to purchase 100% clean energy for our Somerville, MA facility.
Hybrid Delivery Vehicle - One of the benefits of distributing through local stores is being able to walk or bike deliveries. However, that is not always possible and so we plan to purchase a hybrid vehicle for longer distance delivery trips.
WE'RE CLIMATE NEUTRAL
We are a Climate-Neutral certified brand. One of the hardest parts of working on Hot Date Kitchen is reckoning with the truth that running and growing a food company often means creating more greenhouse gas emissions. Simple things like the production and transportation of our ingredients, packaging, and kitchen equipment have an environmental impact. While there is no perfect solution to this problem, we’ve put significant effort and resources into tracking and measuring our environmental impact through our entire supply chain. We continue to take significant efforts to reduce our impact wherever possible, and invest in well-vetted certified carbon offsets to offset what we can’t reduce.