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GSF CSR Update: 2014 Recap and 2015 Forecast

Golden State Foods is proud to have made major strides towards achieving its Corporate Social Responsibility goals in 2014. Working towards enhancing GSF’s social responsibility performance in the areas of ethical, economic, environmental, community and diversity, team members from top-level executives to warehouse staff participated in various initiatives and projects.


Many of the efforts from GSF associates in 2014 resulted in major impacts towards reaching our 2020 Goals, which are:

  1. Carbon Reduction by 20% by 2020

  2. Zero Waste to Landfill achieved at 100% of GSF Facilities by 2020

  3. Energy Star / LEED certification at 75% of GSF Facilities by 2020

  4. Renewable Energy / Alternative Fuel used in 100% of GSF Fleet by 2020

  5. Active Engagement of 75% of GSF associates by 2020

Most notably, the new Chicago distribution center, which started operations this year, is an example of many environmentally-friendly initiatives that will serve as a benchmark for sustainability in GSF’s future developments. Recently, the Chicago center received its official LEED Gold Certification status, and is the first center in the GSF and McDonald’s systems to receive this esteemed honor. The center, which is also an ISO 14001 certified facility, boasts many “green” features, including:

  1. Hydrogen powered fork trucks: Rather than going with the traditional battery and charger route, the center’s Material Handling Equipment is powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

  2. Water conservation: The center uses rainwater collected in a 40,000 gallon cistern to irrigate the GSF Chicago Center, on top of an automated fleet wash which recycles water for the next wash cycle. With these systems, as well as the high-efficiency plumbing and ionized water, which is reclaimed for cleaning purposes, the Center makes major strides towards decreasing GSF’s water footprint.

  3. LED lighting: Motion detectors paired with interior and exterior LED lighting make a major impact in reducing energy-use.

  4. Waste reduction: During construction, 87% of the waste was recycled and GSF Chicago is currently diverting 73% of its waste from landfill, by recycling cardboard, slip sheets, stretch wrap and cores, wood pallets, and computer paper.

GSF will continue implementing these environmentally-friendly initiatives throughout the system whenever possible. In addition, the GSF executive team and Sustainability Steering Committees will continue to educate associates on the 2020 goals and actions.


GSF is 62% diverse and actively seeking out and hiring military veterans. In an effort to further increase diversity company-wide, GSF is working towards meeting or exceeding the Metropolitan Statistical Area in GSF’s U.S. geographic regions where employees are hired. Diversity is already an important factor in the success of our firm and we will work to make the diversity mindset more prevalent in GSF’s business vision, strategy and overall workplace. Additionally, GSF will increase spending with diverse suppliers to 15%, while informing both internal and external stakeholders on any updates regarding the company’s diversity plans and achievements.

Health and Wellness

Through health and wellness initiatives within the company, and community outreach efforts with the GSF Foundation, the company is constantly striving towards the goal of making GSF a healthier, happier workplace. Wellness screenings through “Commit to Be Fit” were successful last year, and we are hoping to increase health and wellness training and development opportunities from 15% to 25% by 2017.

GSF Foundation

The GSF Foundation also had a successful year in 2014, delivering 2,475 pairs of shoes, 705 coats and over 10,000 backpacks – whoa! More associates than ever participated in the organization’s 2015 Associate Campaign, pledging nearly $730,000 to help children and families in need. GSF is proud to have more than 80% of associates actively supporting the Foundation and hopes to maintain this level of participation that has helped raise more than $30 million since GSFF’s inception in 2002.

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