Editor’s Note: John is one of the newest additions to the Gas 2.0 writing team. Welcome John!
When Greg Steltenpohl, Chairman and Co-founder of Adina, the San Francisco-based healthy beverage company, does something, one might say he takes it to the extreme.
His company’s tagline, “Drink No Evil”, even applies to their vehicles — including a delivery fleet of electric cars and full-size school bus converted to run on waste vegetable oil (WVO), which Adina uses at their tasting events.
I recently had a chance to interview him about his company’s transportation options. Several interesting topics popped up in our chat, including corporate responsibility, greenwashing, and the importance of outreach. Read on to hear more.
GS: Anyone that’s had a bus at anytime knows that they’re just a lot of fun. We’ve tagged it with all the elements of our brand, so it definitely turns heads. But mostly, it’s a rolling embassy, a place where we can bring folks together to talk about living healthier lifestyles. And I felt we had to walk the walk and make our bus healthy too.
JR: So the bus is really an extension of your overall mission.
GS: Definitely. I think everybody has been over-hyped on what’s green and what isn’t. So much of it is just green rhetoric. At the end of the day, it didn’t make sense to us to have a clean, green product like Adina and deliver it in a dirty way. We’re just looking for some consistency and trying to do our little part.
JR: There seems to be a growing movement of WVO and SVO drivers in the Bay area—much more so than on the East Coast. Do you find you still have to explain the technology (or lack thereof) when you roll up in the bus?
GS: The Bay area is probably ahead of the curve compared to most places. Our bus is basically a rolling educational center. In fact, it was originally a school bus that the Oakland School district used for environmental field trips and was set up inside with lab tables and desks for experiments. We decided to keep that same spirit alive and use transparent panels on the bus so you can see where the veggie-modification is and how it works.
There are so many misconceptions about biodiesel and veggie-diesel, as well as all the food industry controversy when it comes to ethanol. So we really enjoy educating Adina fans about using recycled fuels that lessen the impact on global warming. We know we can’t solve all of our vehicle and transportation problems this way, but it’s a great way for people to realize what single, small steps they can take to make a difference. That’s what the bus is really all about.
Image Credit: Photo by Bruce Burke, Courtesy of Adina