2021 TxN20 Honorees: Desert Door, Farmer Brothers, HEB, Sysco + Industry Highlights

We are excited to bring you the Texan by Nature 20 (TxN 20) for its third year! The TxN 20 is an effort to recognize the best work in conservation coming from businesses operating and based in Texas. It’s an opportunity to showcase innovation, commitment, and best practices from a variety of industries.

To select the 2021 TxN 20, the TxN Team evaluated submissions as well as conducted independent research across 2,000+ of Texas’ publicly traded and private companies within 12 industry sectors. All companies were evaluated on a 17-point scoring system to narrow down the list of the top 60 companies in Texas. A selection committee of top industry leaders was formed to evaluate the top 60 companies and select the final honorees for the TxN 20.

The regional diversity of Texas produces a large variety of food and beverage products which are featured on grocery store shelves and restaurant tables across the nation. It takes effort at all points of the supply chain for environmental conservation. How do food and beverages get to your home? What are the products packaged in? Many food industry leaders are answering these questions placing priority on the environment. From reducing waste by recycling and composting to building and developing efficient infrastructure and supply chains to participating in on-the-ground conservation efforts, Texas’ food and beverage providers are working with Texans, for Texans to ensure our natural resources thrive for generations to come.

Learn more about the 2021 TxN 20 honorees from the food, beverage, and grocery industry and see a list of industry highlights. 

2021 Honoree: Desert Door Texas Sotol

Desert Door creates artisanal spirits from the native Texas sotol plant. They also provide opportunities for their employees to connect with nature, support conservation efforts, and become educated on land conservation. Desert Door employees supported a prescribed burn in order to promote new plant growth, increase wildlife populations, and improve the overall health of the ecosystem at 7-Oaks Ranch.

2021 Honoree: Farmer Brothers

For the third consecutive year, Farmers Brothers Coffee has been selected as a TxN 20 Honoree. Buyers of Farmers Brothers coffee participate in a Direct Trade Program called Project DirectTM through which they directly work with growers to ensure best sustainable practices and support farmers’ cost of goods and investments by reasonably pricing their coffee. Farmers Brothers also holds the Fair Trade USA, Rainforest Alliance, USDA Organic, and LEED certifications, all of which recognize their commitment to sustainability, wildlife protection, and conservation.

2021 Honoree: H-E-B

For the third consecutive year, HEB has been selected as a TxN 20 Honoree. They run over 340 supermarkets nationwide and their sustainable practices continue to set them apart from other companies in the grocery industry. HEB invests in renewable energy systems, particularly solar energy, to power their operations in all facilities. In 2021, they will complete installation of their largest rooftop solar system in San Antonio. As of 2020, nine of their stores are LEED certified.

2021 Honoree: Sysco

For the second consecutive year, Sysco has been selected as a TxN 20 Honoree. Sysco markets and distributes food to restaurants and institutions worldwide. One of their priorities has been waste diversion, and in 2020 diverted 69% of their waste from landfills and water treatment plants. Some of their reusing and recycling approaches included composting waste, utilizing it for animal feed, returning it to fields, or leaving the materials on the fields.

Read the full honoree Q&A write-ups and read the 2021 press release

Industry Highlights

In addition to this year’s TxN 20 honorees, learn more about best practices in conservation and sustainability coming from companies across the food, beverage, and grocery industry.

  • Kroger works to divert waste and practice recycling efforts across their company. In 2020, they diverted 76 percent, or 2 million tons, of their waste from landfills. Additionally, Kroger recycled 1.5 billion pounds of corrugated cardboard, 52 million pounds of plastics, and 26 percent more food waste. Additionally, in 2020, Kroger shipped fresh produce in 160 million reusable plastic containers to prevent the use of single-use plastics. 
  • Tito’s Vodka is committed to helping fill the food gap in Texas. Through their Block to Block program, they are working to create community gardens and farms one block at a time. In conjunction, their Restorative Farms project functions to distribute fresh food boxes and build gardens throughout the city of Dallas. This program serves underserved communities by making healthy food, education, and resources more accessible. 
  • Whole Foods sells sustainably sourced and Responsibly Farmed seafood in order to address the environmental problems created by seafood farming. Their sustainable seafood improves water quality, mitigates antibiotic usage, and ensures supply for future generations. Whole Foods requires all of their seafood sources to catch tuna one fish at a time, preventing harassment to other sea life.
  • PepsiCo is a corporate member of the Texas Water Action Collaborative (TxWAC), and they prioritize conserving and protecting the world’s freshwater sources. Recently, through a partnership with Ducks Unlimited, PepsiCo is supporting their work to construct 206 acres of wetland habitat on Texas’ Richland Creek Wildlife Management Area. This project will increase biodiversity and water resources provided by the Trinity River Basin.
  • Another corporate member of TxWAC, Molson Coors promotes water conservation, and since 2014, they have restored more than 1.6 billion gallons of water at their at-risk brewery watersheds. Molson Coors is also 1 of 377 companies recognized by the Science Based Targets initiative for having emission reduction targets that are in accordance with the Paris Climate Agreement.