At Hilmar Cheese Company sustainability is a daily commitment to caring for our land, air, and water resources - while never forgetting the importance of putting affordable, nutritious dairy products on the tables of millions of consumers. We recognize our responsibility to the community and environment in which we live and raise our families. Please look through our 2015 Commitment to Sustainability Report.

    Resource Renewal and Recycling

    Our commitment begins with conservation and careful management by reducing, reusing and recycling a variety of resources. We work with our suppliers to source earth-friendly materials. We have reduced packaging, and the packaging materials we do use are nearly 100% recycled. In our Visitor Center Café, we encourage recycling and to-go boxes made from 100 % recycled material. 

    Recycled water accounts for more than 60% of the water used at our facilities. And at both our California facility and our Texas facility, we also treat our process water so it can be recycled again as clean irrigation water for local family farms. Learn more about our water reclamation process.   

    Conservation and recycling efforts also extend to the dairies that supply milk to our facilities. For dairy families, sustainability starts with a natural cycle of renewal. Dairies grow much of their own cattle feed, such as corn, oats and alfalfa. This locally grown product means less reliance on transporting feed long distances and reduced dependence on synthetic fertilizers produced with fossil fuels. Manure produced on the dairies provides natural nutrients to fertilize these crops.

    Climate Change

    In the global context, the dairy industry is a rare and major success story. Due largely to innovations in efficiency, milk and dairy production has increased in the U.S., while greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced. The number of cows has been greatly reduced while milk production has expanded. This success is due to selective breeding, improved nutrition, improved calf and cow health care, and cow comfort. 

    Fewer Cows More Milk 

    As a result, the carbon footprint of milk and dairy production has shrunk by more than 63% since 1944.

    Although dairy’s share remains relatively small, just 2% of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions, the industry in 2009 set a goal to further reduce these emissions 25% by the year 2020. And, in December of 2009, the industry entered into an historic agreement with the Obama Administration – announced at the Global Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen – to work together to realize this ambitious goal. Watch a short video on dairy's shrinking carbon footprint.