At Crystal Creamery, environmental sustainability means always promoting responsible use and reuse of water and land, increasing energy efficiencies, reducing greenhouse gas and pollutants into the air all while providing wholesome nutritious dairy to our communities.

Green Certified, and Proud

We've been a Central Valley business for over 120 years and feel a strong responsibility to protect our natural environment. To hold ourselves accountable we participate in the California Green Business Network's Green Business Certification program. This means we must meet rigorous standards to operate sustainably and reduce our environmental footprint.

In February 2023, we were proud to be named "Green Business of the Year" by the Modesto Chamber of Commerce.

We're also proud to be recognized as a Green Fleet Pioneer by e-Mission Control, which highlights our company's participation in the California Air Resources Board Low Carbon Fuel Standard program. We are happy to report that our fleet of electric material handling equipment is zero-emissions!

Our sustainability practices include installing solar panels to reduce our energy demand, recycling 97% of our waste and ensuring that energy-efficient lighting and heating is used throughout all our facilities.

Since 2020, our electric fleet has reduced our CO2 emissions by 2294.53 metric tons — the equivalent of eliminating over 80,000 gallons of gasoline.

Over the last year, Crystal Creamery has saved 56,343 lbs. of CO2 (the equivalent of planting 87 acres of urban trees), and 4,357 therms of natural gas (the equivalent of heating 167 homes for an entire year). We've also saved 12,377 kilowatt hours of energy and 29,110 gallons of water — with much more to come!

Did You Know?

  • Thanks to increasingly modern and innovative dairy farming practices, the environmental impact of producing a gallon of milk today involves 30% less water, 21% less land, 21% less manure and a 19% smaller carbon footprint than it did in 2007.[1]
  • The carbon footprint of a glass of U.S. milk is more than 60 percent smaller today than it was 75 years ago.[2]

At Crystal Creamery, we have made progress in our efforts, but recognize we can do better in the efficiencies of our operations and sustainability efforts. We are constantly focused on continuous improvement and have set aggressive goals on key measures for our facility and dairy partners.

Zero Waste

We are committed to reusing valuable resources in our operations to reduce our footprint. Some ways we do this include:

  • Partnerships with local food banks to take product that is approaching the sell-by date
  • Use of by-products, spoils, and returns as high quality animal feed
  • Partnership with an anaerobic digester for processing of wastewater by-product
  • Recycle all plastic and cardboard with American Recycling

Energy Conservation

  • Our facilities use renewable energy with the installation of 1.1MW solar system in 2010 at our Modesto facility. The system consists of eleven parking structures covered with 4,000 panels and contributes to about 1% of our energy usage.
  • We also look at energy conservation projects within our facilities to increase our efficiencies such as installation of equipment on our boilers to increase their efficiency, shutdown of equipment during peak periods to operate with the least overall impact.
  • We’re lighted by all LEDs all the time, and we replace old motors with high-efficiency models whenever possible.
  • We use energy-efficient heat exchangers in our heating and cooling loop for all our barns (and facilities).

Wastewater Conservation

Water conservation has always been a high priority for Crystal Creamery, particularly during the drought in California.

  • We conserve water through re-use. We take in 60+ tankers of milk each day, and we condense the raw milk to produce water. We use this water in various ways such as to wash all of our cases that are used to ship milk to grocery stores.

Air & Land Pollutants

We place great importance on air quality and strive to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

  • We have strict standard procedures to reduce air pollution by monitoring all boilers and dryers. We meet all standards set by the California Air Resources Board and local Air Pollution Control Districts in which our facilities, which are the most stringent standards of all states in the U.S.
  • Transportation accounts for 29 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. This is why we work with local farms within 50 miles of our facility for our raw milk. Also, we are using a Roadnet system that manages reduction of mileage and driver idle times resulting in lower fuel use to transport our products throughout the supply chain.
  • We monitor our ammonia system per Fed OSHA and EPA requirements. By continuously monitoring our underground storage tanks (fuel) we are ensuring that we are responsibly managing our land and preventing any toxins to pollute the soil.

Greenhouse Gas

U.S. dairy contributes 2% of all U.S. GHG emissions, and the dairy community is committed to conserving natural resources and making further progress. [1]

  • With the help of environmental experts, we are continuously looking for ways to measure our greenhouse gas emissions and energy use to improve our environmental footprint.
  • We are committed to using the most innovative approaches to manure management in controlling the amount of greenhouse gasses released into the environment. In addition to using manure as a renewable fertilizer, we are working in concert with industry leaders to utilize a digester to convert methane to biogas.

With the installation of methane digesters and alternative manure-management projects California dairy farms are on track to achieve a 40-percent reduction in manure methane emissions by 2030.