At Pete Pappas & Sons, we have always seen sustainability as an opportunity for innovation within our operations to increase efficiencies and lessen environmental impacts. For years, our facility initiatives have included recycling, composting, diverting waste, conserving energy, and reducing landfill and water usage.


We've partnered with the Howard County Work Green Program, the Maryland Green Registry, and the Maryland Environmental Service, all  important organizations focused on sustainability and the environment in the state of Maryland. 

In growing our green business, we are:

  • Prioritizing our Green Team, who are our daily sustainability champions on-site and make up more than 10% of our employees. 
  • A certified Maryland Green Business.
  • A US Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champion.
  • Leaders in our state for sustainability. 
  • Recognized for our substantial recycling and composting efforts.
  • Partnered with the Maryland Environmental Service to compost millions of pounds per year.
  • Taking pride in the difference that our green programs make for our company and community.
  • Always innovating and implementing cutting-edge programs.

2022 marked our company's 80th anniversary, and made history as the year that we made a remarkable impact in sustainability. 


In April 2022, we became members of the USDA and EPA Food Waste 2030 Champions List. Which shows our commitment to combatting food loss and waste through working with our extensive local nonprofit food donation network, local animal farms and composting companies. 


In June 2022, we won a Sustainability Leadership Award from the Maryland Department of the Environment and Maryland Green Registry for our measurable and profound successes in sustainable business practices. 


Since 2020, our partnerships with 3 local environmental organizations has grown. These include Work Green Howard County, the Maryland Green Registry, and the Maryland Environmental Service. Our work with these organizations exemplifies our efforts as leaders in green business practices in both Howard County and the great state of Maryland and recognizes our extensive waste diversion measures.


Our multi-faceted food waste diversion protocols include:

  • Donating all unsold healthy and edible fruits and vegetables to local nonprofits. Our vast local network distributes our donations through fresh boxed food programs, cooked meals and healthy cooking programs to teach our community how to incorporate more fresh food into their diet. This is part of how we combat food loss in our community. 
  • Farm Partners where we send inedible (by humans) product to local animal farms in Maryland to feed their livestock. 
  • Composting all additional food waste including employee meal leftovers, compostable kitchen and facility products, and any other fruit or vegetable products not eligible to donate or feed animals. 

Our measures of success:

  • Since implementation, our unique combination of waste alternatives has diverted over 90% of our facility waste away from landfills.
  • Impressively, our trash pickups went from >20 per month in years past to only 1 per month in 2022.
  • In 2021, we turned over 2.8 million pounds into donations, animal farms and composting instead of sending it to landfills
  • Our trash pickups have now turned into weekly donations and daily food-waste dropoffs for animal feed and composting

As a "Minimal-Waste Facility", we:

  • Focus on keeping waste out of landfills through diversion alternatives.
  • Utilize a 6-Step Recycling and Composting System and train our employees on how to reuse, recycle, or compost. 
  • Make compostable products accessible throughout our facility. This includes paper towels, napkins, plates, bowls, stirrers, and hot cups/lids/sleeves. 
  • Outfit our employees with reusable company swag including metal water bottles and insulated lunch coolers to further reduce waste creation on site.
  • Created a Sustainable Packaging Initiative for both our in-house brands and private labels, removing waste associated with Styrofoam.
  • Use sustainable materials including paper, cardboard, and 100% recyclable plastics.

Our Sustainable Packaging Initiative includes the goal of offering our products in exclusively compostable or recyclable packaging and preventing packaging-waste from styrofoam packaged product. 


This initiative removes millions of pieces of Styrofoam from the lifecycle of our products each year and prevent them from spending a lifetime in a landfill. We have successfully eradicated styrofoam from our operations.


By removing styrofoam, we now incorporate recyclable, compostable and earth-friendly packaging options into both of our premium in-house labels, Patricia Brand, and Pete's Garden Organics.

We put an emphasis on organic produce in our business in many ways, because we believe organics are good for us to eat and better for the environment. 


Embracing organics means that we:

  • Are USDA Organic certified at our headquarters in Jessup and on our farms in Tennessee 
  • Sell organic products to reduce the overall environmental impacts of the farming and growing stages of our produce.
  • Created and trademarked our own in-house USDA Certified Organic brand: Pete’s Garden Organics.
  • Expanding our product line to different commodities and packaging options.


 Our local focus means that we:

  • Partner with the Howard County Autism Society and employ neurodiverse adults through their Autism Hiring Program
  • Keep food out of local landfills and funnel it into the local community instead
  • Boost the local economy by creating jobs and bringing business opportunities to the area.
  • Partner with regional farms and growers to promote seasonal agriculture.
  • Maintain fair-farming practices on our farms in Tennessee.
  • Support local farmers by forwarding our organic food waste to use as animal feed and fertilizer.
  • Employ local businesses within our day-to-day operations to help them grow with us.
  • Partnered with 4MyCity, FoodRescueUSA and other local food banks and regularly donate fresh food to help feed local communities and combat food waste.
  • Support local charities like The Children’s Home, The Howard County Autism Society, Casey Cares and more through fundraising and contributions.