Special Chapters

A special section of Di.Co.Te. novel is dedicated to view the experiences related to positive externalities in the rest of the world.

Especially, we are looking at some companies from North California. We actually aim to build a connection with those companies, so we are trying to meet their entrepreneurs and to know them in depth. The main goal is indeed to internationnalize our network in order to have a great variety  of best practices to share, to discuss, to imitate.

The hook for this aim is the connection between University of Bari and the California State University of Chico. With prof. Neil Schwartz we are settling visits and interviews with some companies that are famous in North Valley for their attention to sustainability.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

If you come in northern California and you ask everyone to indicate a sustainable company, s/he will surely answer “Sierra Nevada”.  And  deepth description let you soon understand that s/he is not referring to an alpin chalet but to a brewery. Anyone is living in North Valley knows in deepth Sierra Nevada, as anyone drink its great beers 😉

On the website it is possible to find the young history of Sierra Nevada. Here we just underline their activities matching Di.Co.Te. interests, so their ways to turn positively the externalities.

Sierra Nevada has many way to reduce wast and energy consumption and to conserve water. Furthermore they have much of externalities that reuse for them selves or gift to others enterprises. For example in the website you can read:

“In 2007, Sierra Nevada began a new program to utilize spent vegetable oil from the Taproom and Restaurant as an alternative fuel source for their fleet.”.


“Most of our spent brewing materials find a beneficial secondary use in our local agricultural community. Many local dairy cows also enjoy our brews (although without the alcohol). In conjunction with the Agricultural Department at California State University, Chico, Sierra Nevada provides feed for dairy and beef cows through the spent grain, hops, and yeast it has collected. Spent trub produced from the wort boiling process is almost pure protein, and is added to the spent grain.
The surplus spent yeast from fermentation is used as a nutritional supplement for cows, and the compost from the cow manure is used as fertilizer for Sierra Nevada’s onsite 9-acre experimental hop field.”

Sierra Nevada hold a system to recover CO2 that is produced by the natural fermentation of the hops. Co2 is then reused for others production processes.

Lundberg Family Farm

You know, American people loves very much spaghetti, pizza, and lasagne. However, they are not really able to cook them properly. So, when  they cannot find around an italian cooker, they prefer to eat rise. And at the contrary to the common idea, they usually don’t import rise from East but they produce it by themself. Well, Lundberg is a family that produce rise from 1937 within the North Valley lands. Actually I think to have never eat a so good and fragrant rise! However is not the undiscussed qualtity of the Lundberg rise the object of this description, rather it is the great involvement of the company in sustainable practices. As many companies do, they use alternative energies, “km 0” products, and others kind of respect for the environment. You could read in the website a lot of information about sustainability and to see that their attention to the environment and to the human wellbeing is payed throghout the production cycle. It is especially stated that Lundberg “produces wholesome, healthful rice products, while protecting and improving the environment for future generations.”

Furthermore, Lundberg actually practises the exchange of positive externalities. From carpooling to the use of their wast for feeding animals. The most interesting I think is tthe use of the time between two period of rise cultivation.  In that time  Lundberg cultivate “cover crops” that can be useful for animals for deposings eggs. Furthemore  they invite childrens to those collect eggs as a part of an educational program for sustainability. Collected eggs are then taken in a protect hatchery for rescue.


Chico is an University city northern to Sacramento. Every shop in Chico sell the Chico Bag that is a simple tissue envelop that can be folded and easly carry in your bag.

It is a very simple idea, nor very creative (in Italy too we use somthing like that) aiming to reduce the use of plastic bags. Chico Bag Company has then made sustainability as its main business. Positive externalities for this company are represented by to incentive employees to go to work by bike. You can read in their web site: “Each day an employee arrives to work through a carbonless commute they can enter their name in a monthly, inner-office drawing for a cash prize”. Furthermore, Chico Bag use its business to deliver informations about how to respect the environment. Advertisements printed on their bags have this goal.

Klean Kanteen

Klean Kanteen produces BPA-free stainless steel water bottle. Its business is then based on the attention to health. Furthermore, a sentence  in their website can give you the sense of their honest sensitiveness to sustainability:

“A sustainable business considers how individual aspects of operations interrelate with the external world, and consciously adopts practices that benefit more than the  bottom line”.

Klean Kanteen uses renewvable energy in the whole production cycle and use recycled materials for packaging. Furthermore they use their commercial newsletter for delivering information about waste reduction, recycling, plastic pollution, health and hidratation, etc.


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