BOSTON — Gary Hirshberg, former president and CEO of Stonyfield Farm in Londonderry, was one of three citizens from the Granite State honored at Faneuil Hall when the Environmental Protection Agency presented its annual Environmental Merit Awards for 2011.
Hirshberg, who received the Lifetime Achievement Environmental Merit Award, oversaw the growth of his company in Londonderry from a seven-cow organic farming school in 1983 to the world's leading organic yogurt producer with $260 million in annual sales.
In doing this, Hirshberg followed a lifelong interest in protecting the environment and a deeply held belief that businesses are central to this mission. Stonyfield used innovative marketing techniques that blended the company's social, environmental and financial missions.
Hirshberg joined Stonyfield Farm a few months after its start in 1983. Initially, he directed the small organic farming school from which Stonyfield was spawned.
In 1983, the institute was struggling to stay afloat, and began selling organic yogurt as a way to raise revenue. In 2001, Stonyfield Farm entered into a partnership with Groupe Danone, parent company of Dannon. In 2005, Hirshberg was named managing director of Stonyfield Europe, a joint venture between the two firms.
Awarded by EPA since 1970, the merit awards honor individuals and groups who have shown particular ingenuity and commitment in their efforts to preserve the region's environment. This year's competition drew nearly 100 nominations from across New England.
Awards were given in the following categories: individual; business (including professional organizations); local, state or federal government; and environmental, community, academia or nonprofit organization.
Individual Environmental Merit Award were given to Scott Hilton of the N.H. Department of Environmental Services in Portsmouth and Kevin O'Maley, Manchester's chief facilities manager.
• • •
Join the discussion. To comment on stories and see what others are saying, log on to derrynews.com.