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Kwik Lok’s ‘Fresh Start’ program highlights sustainable development goals


December 17, 2020
By Bakers Journal


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logo courtesy of Kwik Lok

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:

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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.