New Member Highlight: Clif Bar - A Different Kind of Company

New Member Highlight: Clif Bar - A Different Kind of Company
August 30, 2018
Posted by:
Kelley Martin

Clif Bar & Company, a leader in organic energy food for athletes and active people, strives to run a different kind of company – one based not on profit alone but on five bottom lines the company calls its “Five Aspirations.” Those Aspirations - sustaining the company’s business, brands, people, community, and the planet - serve as the guiding principles for every decision Clif Bar makes. For its people, this means sharing ownership of the company and creating an inspiring workplace. It also means building a sustainable business and supporting the communities where Clif Bar lives, works, and plays. Clif Bar is based in Emeryville, California with bakeries in Twin Falls, Idaho and Indianapolis, Indiana.Environmental sustainability comes to life at Clif Bar through four focus areas: Sustainable Food and Agriculture, Clean Energy and Climate Action, Zero Waste, and Natural Resource Conservation.


Highlights from the work in these areas include:Sustainable Food & Agriculture

  • Over a dozen Clif brands are certified organic or “made with organic”, including CLIF BAR, LUNA, CLIF Kid Zbar and CLIF BLOKS energy chews.
  • 888 million pounds of organic ingredients purchased since 2003; 77% of all ingredients used are certified organic and/or sustainable with a goal to reach 80% by 2020.
  • Largest private funder in organic research in the U.S. and committed to endowing five chairs in organic research in public, land-grant universities with two established at University of Wisconsin and Washington State.

Clean Energy & Climate Action

  • 100% green power for electricity used at all facilities with approximately 80% of the electricity at Clif headquarters generated by a 500-kW rooftop solar array.
  • Supply chain partners are provided with free consulting through Clif Bar’s 50/50 by 2020 program to help suppliers transition to green power for the electricity used to make Clif Bar’s ingredients, packaging, products and services.
  • Climate neutral business operations since 2003 and over a decade advocating for strong climate policy with partners like Ceres and Protect Our Winters.

Zero Waste

  • Moving towards zero waste at Clif Bar headquarters, bakeries and distribution centers with a 2020 goal of 90 percent or more waste diversion from landfills and incineration. The company achieved 89 percent waste diversion in 2017.
  • 100% recycled paperboard caddies and a 10% packaging reduction of Clif Bar’s wrapper in 2016 has avoided 500,000 lbs. of film to date.

Natural Resource Conservation

  • Long-term partnerships to support groups like the Conservation Alliance, Surfrider, Winter Wildlands Alliance and other nonprofits to Protect the Places we Play.
  • Over 135,000 trees planted in partnership with American Forests and other non-profit partners.

Employee Engagement

  • Sustainability benefit program provides financial support for employees to purchase of fuel efficient hybrids or electric vehicles (over 430 purchased to date), commuter bikes, and energy-saving home improvements.
  • Employees are provided the opportunity to volunteer on company time. In 2017 employees donated 19,847 hours of community service.

Clif Bar is excited to be a part of the GSA and working with alliance members toward shared goals and vision for a healthy, sustainable future. To learn more about Clif Bar’s Sustainability Journey and the company’s Five Aspiration Business Model, visit