BURLINGTON, Vt.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ben & Jerry's is introducing a cleaner, greener freezer for testing in the United States with the hope that it will eventually be approved for long-term use. The Company announced the launch of a pilot project testing hydrocarbon-based freezers which present great environmental benefits by minimizing the freezer's impact on global warming. For years the Vermont ice cream maker has pursued alternatives to greener freezers. The company feels the time is now for a new kind of cool, although getting to this point hasn't been easy.
"This is an important step for our business which we hope will clearly demonstrate that a more environmentally friendly refrigeration technology can work in the U.S. market," said Walt Freese, Ben & Jerry's CEO. "The technology is commonplace in Europe with literally millions of home and commercial units in place," Freese said.
Pete Gosselin's job as an engineer is to make the ice cream impossible, possible at Ben & Jerry's. When his colleagues in the Research and Development laboratory come up with the latest dream flavor it is Gosselin's job to make the manufacturing machines add all the chunks, swirls and various other add-ins. It's hard to understand, with a cool job like that, why Gosselin's pet project the past twelve months has been about freezers.
"We've been working on getting better refrigeration technology into our distribution networks in the U.S since 2001, and more specifically on hyrdrocarbon freezing for the past year," says Gosselin. For now, the efforts from the team including Ben & Jerry's, Unilever, Greenpeace and others can claim moderate success with approximately fifty freezers this fall, with approval to test up to 2,000 freezers in the next few years.
"This climate-safe freezer will keep pints of Chunky Monkey and Cherry Garcia as cold as ever, but it's also going to help cool our planet," said John Passacantando, Executive Director of Greenpeace USA. "With hurricanes intensifying, tropical disease spreading, sea levels rising, and polar bears going extinct, we need to make sure that what cools our ice cream, drinks, and homes isn't also melting the ice caps."
The freezer green team is launching the kick-off to the program today in Washington, D.C. at the Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop in Georgetown with Ben & Jerry's Co-Founders, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, and CEO - Walt Freese, Greenpeace USA's E.D. John Passacantando, and Solutions Director Amy Larkin as well as Unilever's Global Project Leader, Alan Gerrard, who has championed the placement of the same freezers throughout the world. The technology is currently allowed in every country except the United States.
Ben & Jerry's produces a wide variety of super-premium ice cream and ice cream novelties, using high-quality ingredients including milk and cream from family farmers who do not treat their cows with the synthetic hormone rBGH. The company states its position on rBGH on its labels. Ben and Jerry's products are distributed nationwide and in selected foreign countries in supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, franchise Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shops, restaurants and other venues. Ben & Jerry's, a Vermont corporation and wholly-owned subsidiary of Unilever, operates its business on a three-part Mission Statement emphasizing product quality, economic reward and a commitment to the community. Contributions made via the employee led Ben & Jerry's Foundation in 2007 totaled approximately $1.7 million. Additionally, the company makes significant product donations to community groups and nonprofits both in Vermont and across the nation. The purpose of Ben & Jerry's philanthropy is to support the founding values of the company: economic and social justice, environmental restoration and peace through understanding, and to support our Vermont communities. For the full scoop on all Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop locations and fabulous flavors, visit www.benjerry.com.