What is a B Corporation?
Elephants Delicatessen has long been a leader in sustainable business practices and is proud to be a certified B Corporation. This certification means that Elephants voluntarily meets a higher standard of transparency, accountability, and performance, using the power of business to solve social and economic problems. We became a B Corp because it officially validates the vision and practices we’ve had since we started in 1979.
As our operation has grown over the years, so has our impact on the community around us. With this in mind, Elephants Delicatessen’s mission has expanded to include a commitment to environmental stewardship through waste, resource, and emissions reductions, and helping alleviate food insecurity in the greater Portland area.
See our B Corp scorecard.
Sustainable Policies and Practices:
- As a Green Source consumer, we purchase 100% of our electricity from renewable resources, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. We also purchase offset credits through the Blue Sky program.
- Our continuing support of the movement towards 100% renewable wind power led to special recognition by PGE for our outstanding leadership in renewable energy use.
- We champion how our region is making a transition to a low-carbon economy via local businesses by signing and supporting the Oregon Climate Declaration.
A Local Commitment
- Our special relationship with Duck Delivery Produce enables us to purchase local and sustainable produce from a Food Alliance Certified Distributor.
- We have a growing list of local, regional, national, and international sustainable and artisan companies that we support and purchase amazing products from – check out our list of purveyors and partners!
- Over 90% of our significant suppliers are located within 200 miles of Portland, keeping money and employment in the Pacific Northwest.
- Over 65% of our significant suppliers are independently owned businesses.
- About 30% of our production and supplies originate in low-income communities.
Managing Waste Responsibly
- A pioneering member of the Portland Composts! program, we prevent over 1000 pounds of food waste from entering our landfills each week.
- As a Metro Recycle Works participant, we recycle cooking oil, fat renderings, ink cartridges, magazines, cardboard, plastic, tin, packing peanuts, bubble wrap, Styrofoam, aluminum, and glass.
- Our fluorescent light bulbs are recycled at Pacific Lighting and we recycle batteries.
- Our paper waste is shredded and baled before being sent to Georgia Pacific to be recycled in the production of new paper product
- We participate in the City of Portland’s No Idling program, which reduces benzene levels in the air by discouraging delivery vehicles from idling while parked.
- Our delivery vehicles run on B20 diesel fuel, which incorporates 20% bio-diesel.
- We provide dedicated and secure bike parking, subsidize bus passes for all employees, and create production schedules that accommodate staff who choose Tri-Met for their commute.
- Our Nissan Leaf, a 100% Electric Zero Emissions Vehicle, and our custom bike trailer help us deliver our sack lunch and catering services.
Recycled and Alternative Materials
- We use recycled/recyclable packaging for our packaging and service ware (utensils, bags, plates, coffee cups, salad containers, napkins, lunch boxes, etc) wherever possible.
- We print menus and in-house materials on recycled copy paper, and only as needed.
- Fliers and other marketing materials are printed locally by companies that use soy-based inks.
- We purchase energy-efficient food service equipment approved by the Energy Trust of Oregon.
- Our ware-washing and janitorial processes include eco-friendly soaps and detergents, and our dish sprayers are low-flow which reduce the volume of water used in this task.
Supporting the Portland community
- We make donations of extra food to organizations such as Urban Gleaners, Lift Urban Portland, REACH Community Development, and Rose Haven.
- Part of our dedication to the Portland community involves giving back, both through volunteerism and donations. Our staff are involved with many local organizations, and Elephants Delicatessen donates to non-profits and community events throughout the year.
- Sustainable Business Oregon’s Innovation Award for Small Businesses 2010.
- Energy Star Award for Small Business, 2009.
- 2009 The City of Portland’s Climate Champion Award. (We were the third Portland-area business to receive this award.)
- The Oregonian’s Oregon’s Top Workplaces, 2015 and 2019.
- Oregon Business magazine‘s “100 Best Green Companies” award, 2011 and 2017.
- B Corporation Best for the World Changemakers Honoree, 2018 and 2019.
- Real Leaders Top 100 Impact Companies, 2019
- National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, 2020 Restaurant Neighbor Award