Business and Operations
Kwik Lok’s ‘Fresh Start’ program highlights sustainable development goals
By Bakers Journal
Kwik Lok released its 2019 Corporate Social Responsibility Report outlining the company’s commitments and quantifiable results to unlock opportunity, improve well-being, protect resources and foster innovation.
Two years ago, Kwik Lok announced its “Fresh Start” initiative to build on the company’s 60-year history of doing the right thing for employees, communities and the planet. Now, Kwik Lok’s CSR report highlights the company’s next phase: “Path Forward,” where the company doubles down on its commitments to innovation, equity and social responsibility that are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
“This year has been a year unlike any other,” Kwik Lok CEO Don Carrell said in a release. “Recent global issues have highlighted opportunities for improvement, and by living our values daily, we believe Kwik Lok, our employees and our customers can be a significant force for good. Kwik Lok had a Fresh Start a few years ago, and I am enthusiastic as we look toward the path forward to build upon this momentum.”
Highlights of Kwik Lok’s activities and the report include:
Protection: People, places and the planet
- Kwik Lok conducted its first-ever waste audit in 2019 to identify ways to dramatically reduce and repurpose waste. It has already seen results in that its Yakima and Indiana operations have delivered a 12 per cent decrease in energy use compared to 2018.
- 100 per cent of its plants have implemented a food safety management system certified to FSC 22000 standards.
- The company has developed recycling education pilot programs around the world, including:
- Hefty® EnergyBag® Pilot Program: Designed to complement current recycling efforts, the EnergyBag program in London, Ontario, establishes a way to collect Kwik Lok bag closures at curbside and reuse them.
- TerraCycle® Program: In Australia, Kwik Lok has partnered with TerraCycle to create a free recycling program for our bag closures. This program saves thousands of closures from the landfill.
Innovation: Fostering innovation in food safety, access and manufacturing
- Development and launch of Eco-Lok, a closure made with renewable plant-based resin and using up to 20 per cent less petroleum-based materials when produced. With customer use, carbon emissions are reduced by up to 20 per cent.
- Kwik Lok’s tamper-evident laser-stitch closing system, that provides a uniform “laser-stitch” that is easily re-closable and indicates whether a bag has been opened for greater food security.
Opportunity: Unlocking opportunities through education and economic success
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts, including:
- Introduction of Kwik Lok’s first Diversity Policy applied to practices and policies on recruitment, compensation, social programs and professional development.
- 33 per cent increase of independent female directors on the Board of Directors
- 17 per cent increase in cultural diversity on the Board of Directors
- 2.89 per cent increase in global diversity
Well-Being: Improving the physical health, mental health and safety of all people
- Average starting wage globally is 11 per cent higher than each state’s minimum wage requirements.
- Kwik Lok covered 100 per cent of health insurance costs in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2019, Kwik Lok also formalized its philanthropic program, developing a robust giving strategy to align with the company’s CSR goals, focusing on grant-making, volunteerism and in-kind donations to 17 organizations. In 2020, highlights include:
- Donating closing machines and over 20,000 closures to Second Harvest to help the organization redistribute food to communities in Washington and Idaho during the pandemic.
- Donating closures to the Idaho Potato Commission, allowing farmers whose products would have otherwise rotted in the fields to get food to families in need.
- Putting the company’s 3D printing capabilities to work to help manufacture face shields for first responders in Washington.
The report also notes Kwik Lok’s 2025 commitments in opportunity, well-being, protection and innovation, including its goal to achieve zero waste and 20 per cent carbon footprint reduction by 2025.