Thinking green is part of the OK Produce rich history and our forward thinking roots back to the beginning. We realized long ago that in order for our earth to continue to provide its bounty of fruits and vegetables, we would need to respect and care for it. This respect has grown from supplying the fruits of Mother Nature from Day One – to launching a comprehensive green program in 2001. Today green is a vital part of our culture at OK Produce

Just like a banana, most fruits and vegetables start out green before they mature into a burst of vibrant colors. We understand that there is a direct connection between caring for our environment and the quality of fruits and vegetables that end up in the grocery aisle. Maintaining the earth is the most important aspect of producing great tasting fruits and vegetables.
Solar
In 2003, OK Produce installed a 231 Kilowatt Solar Photovoltaic system on our roof. At the time, it was the first and largest private solar system in the Central San Joaquin Valley. Our goal in 2002 was to not only solar power OK Produce, but to educate and encourage others to solar power the Central Valley. Today, that dream has become a reality as solar power in the Central Valley has become one of the quickest growth areas industry.

Over the system’s life, the solar PV system at OK Produce creates the equivalence of:
  • Not driving 556 cars on CA highways or
  • Not driving 6,945,015 miles or
  • Planting 810 trees or
  • Saving 5,556,012 lbs carbon dioxide (CO2)
Fleet

Our goal is to have one of the most clean fleets in the Industry.

We have purchased 7 Hybrid Toyota Prius' for our sales fleet.

In 2006, we purchased 12 new tractors to replace old vehicles.

We are converting all trucks to automatics with high levels of aerodynamics. The newest models are achieving 20-30% better fuel efficiency than the models they replaced.

In 2008, we purchased and installed 20 new refrigeration units for our trailers. Our entire trailer fleet is now compliant with all air regulation laws through 2016.

We are converting all tires on our tractors and trailers to super-single tires to increase fuel efficiency.

We retrofitted 2 tractors with the particulate traps.

In 2009, we received a grant to replace our 14 oldest trucks.

OK Green

Recycling
OK Produce has a very strict recycling program. Associates have a personal recycling bin by their workstation for paper recycling. There are over 25 recycling bins throughout the warehouse for plastic, wood, paper, metal, etc. We have 2 large dumpsters that are picked up 4 times per week by the City of Fresno. There are 2 large dumpsters for recycling plastic wrap and plastic corner boards from pallets. We purchase a bailer for all of our carboard boxes and corner boards. Onsite we provide specialized recycling programs. In the past 3 years, we have reduced our garbage by over 90% through these recycling programs. We currently rank 3rd in the Central Valley for our recycling percentage.

Specialized Onsite Recycling
We provide specialized recycling programs for the following items:

  • Batteries: Batteries will leak nickel and cadmium, which are carcinogenic. Associates are encouraged to bring their batteries from home. We coordinate disposal at a proper site.
  • Compact Fluorescent Lights: CFL’s are a great alternative to regular light bulbs because of their energy efficiency benefits. The only downside is that they contain mercury.
  • Junk Mail: Each year in America, 5.6 million tons of junk mail is thrown away per year. At OK Produce, we collect all junk mail into a separate bin. Our associates then call each of the mail senders to take us off of the list.

Water Conservation
Water is the life blood of our agricultural industry in the central valley. At our facility, we converted all landscaping sprinklers to drip irrigation. We replaced all urinals with flush-less models. All toilets were replaced with low flush models. More recently, we installed a rainwater collection system which we will use to water our landscaping.

Energy Efficiencies
In partnership with PG&E, we upgraded our entire refrigeration system. This upgrade included installation of a new cooling tower, 30 new coils, new energy efficient banana ripening rooms, computerized controls and variable frequency drives. The computized system will also allow us to participate in Demand Response programs with PG&E. We also emphasized energy conservation among our associates. All computer screens are turned off when associates leave their desks and are plugged into a surge protector after hours to minimize wasted energy. All 60 of our old monitors, as well as our servers have been replaced with energy efficient models. The resulting energy savings exceed over 1,000,000 Kilowatt Hours per year.

In 2005 we constructed new banana rooms. These new rooms use significantly less energy.

Remodel
We have just completed a significant remodel of our office space. All work was done based on LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Fundamentals. This included cork flooring, green rated carpet and wall coverings, low VOC paint, skylights, solar tubes, T-5 lighting with motion detectors and day-lighting controls, LED lights, new energy efficient appliances, flush-less urinals, new efficient Air Conditioning Units. Old furniture was all donated to Habitat for Humanity.

Roofing
In our second and third buildings, we constructed new roofs made of special heat reducing material. They are known commonly as cool roofs. These roofs, installed by Dinyari, Inc ( www.dinyari.com ) have reduced temperatures inside our buildings by over 15 degrees.

Lighting
We upgraded our entire lighting system with low voltage lighting in our warehouse and throughout the office spaces. All light fixtures are equipped with motion detectors. This included changing over 200 lighting systems.

Paper Usage Reduction
In 2003, we instituted a plan to reduce paper usage. We changed our invoice paper from a triple page to a single page. We reduced printing size on all pick tickets and reports. We upgraded our email program and trained associates to use the company network. We purchased new printers and trained our associates on how to print on both sides of a page. We automated our accounts receivable statement delivery system and cut our paper use by over 50%. We installed air dryers in all bathrooms to replace paper towels and use a cloth towel program in our break area to eliminate paper towels and napkins.

Recycled Paper Usage
From the savings from the Paper reduction program, we created a budget to transition all paper to recycled product. We now use Envirocopy ( 35% recycled paper), Clover Brand Toilet Paper and Toilet seat covers (100 % recycled paper), and print our checks, letters and business cards on recycled paper using Soy Ink

Trees
We have planted over 70 trees on the west side of our building. As they grow, they will provide shade for the building. We also donate to Tree Fresno on a yearly basis.

Green Waste
For green waste, we have a compost program with the city of Fresno. We have our own in-house repack division. All bad produce from the repack team is placed in green recycling bins and picked up for compost. All edible produce that cannot be sold for quality purposes is donated to Poverello House ( www.poverellohouse.com ) and Community Food Bank ( www.communityfoodbank.net ) and given to needy families on a daily basis. Each year over 15,000 cases are donated.