Real Leaders

Elephants Delicatessen

Ranking: 66

Industry: Food

Mission: A catering company and specialty foods retailer that seeks sustainable approaches to food service. They support local suppliers, run on 100% renewable energy, practice responsible waste management, and utilize sustainable transit solutions. Operate 8 locations in the Portland community, preventing over 1,000 pounds of food waste from entering our landfills each week.

What quote best exemplifies your company?

“The continuous-improvement philosophy of the B Corp community has always melded so well with us, because everything we do is trying to get better — from being a better employer and a better community steward to making a better-tasting sandwich.”

How is your product or service having a positive social and/or environmental impact?

Since it was founded in 1979, Elephants Delicatessen has embraced three core values: excellence, unity, and sustainability. Our commitment to these values extends beyond our employees and customers to the larger Portland community, particularly our most vulnerable citizens. At the end of the night, each of our seven deli locations donates about 95 percent of their fresh food items to nearby non-profit partner organizations. Elephants’ catering department partners with about 30 organizations, by donating leftover food after events. Elephants has long been recognized as a champion of sustainable practices that reduce waste, and conserve energy. We invest in products that further this effort, including renewable energy sources, responsible waste management practices, and sustainable transit solutions. We also invest in the local economy: over 90 percent of our significant suppliers are located within 200 miles of Portland, keeping money and employment in the Pacific Northwest.

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