Green and Growing: Ingredion’s Argo Employees Champion Sustainability
Since 2014, Ingredion’s Plant Sustainability Team has been maintaining a community garden at Argo, the Company’s largest manufacturing facility located in Bedford Park, Illinois. Since its inception, the program has expanded to include six gardens that grow multiple varieties of fruits and vegetables.
“This started as a way to bring together employees from different departments for a friendly competition that was fun and engaging to see who could grow the most produce,” said Rob Mead, environmental manager at Argo. “Having the opportunity to promote sustainable practices in the workplace was gratifying, instilled a sense of camaraderie, and added significant value to our culture.”
Each garden is sponsored, named and maintained by volunteers of various departments. This year’s gardens were named: The Green Dot Office Plot (sponsored by the main office); Now That’s What I Call a Quality Garden (quality department); GO Fresh Garden (Germ-Oil team); The Sweet-cret Garden (dextrose team); Grind and Dry (dry and wet starch department); and Moffett Produce (Moffett Idea Lab).
For the past five years, from May through September volunteers from Ingredion plant, weed and harvest fresh produce, which is donated weekly to local food pantries — St. Blasé in Summit, Ill., part of Catholic Charities for the Archdiocese of Chicago and Share Food Share Love in Brookfield, Ill. Each year, the gardens produce 1,200 to 1,500 pounds of tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, peppers, and green beans, helping the food pantries provide fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to their standard offerings. The food pantries and their clients look forward to the weekly donations of fresh produce.
“We are grateful for Ingredion’s abundant generosity,” said Carol Petersen, regional project manager for the southwest region of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago. “Ingredion’s donations are immeasurable, including their homegrown produce, help with our weekly Wednesday night suppers, and contributing to our quarterly mobile food pantries.”
To learn more about Ingredion’s sustainability efforts, click here.