Going Green, Making Money–Telling BoDean Company’s Story

Andrea Allen–8/4/2014

There are aspects of our daily lives that we all know aren’t exactly eco-friendly—but we can’t live without them and so we often shrug it off or put the facts on the back burners of our thoughts. For me, at the moment, it’s my daily commute to work from Occidental to Santa Rosa, as an intern for the Climate Protection Campaign this summer. Sure, I drive a hybrid, so that’s something at least, but I know there are other slight changes I could make to turn my necessity into something that respects the planet as well.

While my driving dilemma is my necessary evil, underneath my wheels sit miles and miles of road—perhaps the most necessary evil of them all in our modern world.  Is it possible to maintain the road system that maintains our industry and livelihood without further harming the environment? It seems contradictory by nature—but I’ve spent the past few weeks learning that it is, in fact, something that is completely doable.

Business for Clean Energy, a program of the Climate Protection Campaign, works with business partners to advocate for cleaner energy policies in California. Partners of the Business for Clean Energy program vary in type and size, and all provide support to advance cleaner and economically sound energy policy. Some of these businesses are also making incredible changes to their internal practices to be friendlier to the climate and to reduce carbon emissions—and fortunately, these changes have proven to be profitable for them as well.

BoDean Company is one of these businesses. I had the pleasure of working with members of BoDean to create a short video showcasing what they have done.

BoDean Company is family owned and local, and quite successful—Making the switch to sustainable practices was a catalyst for their success.

Not only did I interview members of the company, but also was able to tour BoDean’s rock quarry and witness some of the modified equipment systems that make their procedures so efficient. What was most incredible was how clean and compact everything was—all of the water that goes into BoDean’s washing system is regulated and recycled, and funneled back into use, for example. Their operations are compact and efficient, and exciting to see in action. I can’t say I ever thought about what went into making a road before, and yet I use them every day, as we all do.

BoDean’s incredible solar array at their Mark West Quarry

Everyone I interviewed at BoDean spoke passionately about how rock is a natural resource; it’s a necessary building block for our society today, and BoDean believes that using the resource efficiently is the right way to meet the needs of the people while respecting the needs of the planet.

More surprisingly, however, what BoDean’s team conveyed again and again as we talked was that these changes in practice also just made the most economic sense.

The idea of “going green” is often unattractive to businesses because they feel that they don’t have the time or excess money to spare to instigate new sustainable initiatives purely for the sake of the climate crisis—after all, a business needs to make a profit to stay in business, Bill Williams, general manager at BoDean, mentioned.

But what Bill then stressed was that making these changes to sustainable practices actually saved them money; there is no doubt that other businesses could make similar changes in order to see similar outcomes.

Research tells us that in order to solve the climate crisis, there needs to be changes in industry, there needs to be a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and that action must be taken.

But I think there is a gap between the general knowledge base of “we have to do something” and awareness of the work that is actually being done to realize this mission. I am lucky to have been exposed first hand to some of the effort in the business sector going toward saving our climate and our economy simultaneously. I am so grateful to Dean, Bill, and Heather at BoDean for giving me the opportunity to witness BoDean’s incredible efforts. It has been a joy to tell and share their story.

Check out the video here

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