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Global Reporting Initiative Success Story

With the help of: Impact Washington


Yakima Chief-Hopunion is a 100-percent grower-owned global hop supplier based in Sunnyside, eastern Washington. With a team of 25, the company produces whole leaf hops, hop pellets, and hop extract products, and is dedicated to providing premium quality and uncompromising service.

The Challenge

Yakima Chief-Hopunion decided to participate in the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) to affirm its commitment to long-term sustainability. "Sustainability is important to our multi-generational grower-owners and also our brewery customers,” said Yakima Chief-Hopunion CEO Steve Carpenter. "We are passionate about being a good corporate citizen in the communities in which we live and work and want to leave our planet in a better place than we found it.” The GRI is the preferred sustainability reporting framework, used by over 7,500 of the biggest national and international companies. However, navigating the requirements of the GRI can be challenging for first-time reporters. Yakima Chief-Hopunion reached out to Impact Washington, part of the MEP National Network™, for assistance in developing their first GRI report.
Utilizing the Global Reporting Initiative format helped us to take a discerning look at our sustainability initiatives and publicly declare our success and intentions in achieving our goals. Just as importantly, the project allowed us to tell our story, and the feedback has been very positive. I would highly recommend utilizing the format to any company who is serious about embedding sustainability in their corporate culture.
— Steve Carpenter, Chief Executive Officer, Yakima Chief-Hopunion, LLC

MEP's Role

With funding support from the Washington State Department of Ecology, Impact Washington consultant Soraya Shattuck led the company through a series of exercises to educate leadership and key team members about the GRI process and requirements. The Department of Ecology encourages organizations to participate in sustainability assessments and reporting, recognizing that tools like the GRI provide an opportunity for companies to evaluate and improve potential weak areas in operations and share information with selected stakeholders. Yakima Chief-Hopunion used the GRI report to showcase its current sustainability initiatives and set ambitious future objectives. The process highlighted opportunities to streamline operations, increase efficiency and reduce costs. The company hired a dedicated Sustainability Coordinator, and increased supplier and customer understanding of Yakima Chief-Hopunion's value and long-term strategy. The GRI not only allowed the organization to benchmark sustainability performance against other organizations, but elevated Yakima Chief-Hopunion to an elite group of companies committed to improving their sustainability impacts.
Created July 8, 2020