New emergency rules for water use are now in effect in California as government agencies and residents attempt to address long-term water needs as well as cope with immediate shortages.
Akin to its industry peers, Irvine, California-based Golden State Foods (GSF) requires lots in the way of water to produce and distribute food products for the likes of McDonald's and other restaurant chains and food retailers. Founded in 1947 and growing alongside California's burgeoning agricultural sector, GSF has been addressing the issue of water use and conservation directly since at least 2008 – not only in California, but across what's grown to be a multinational business.
Part and parcel of institutionalizing its overall sustainability strategy, GSF in 2014 set an organization-wide goal to reduce water consumption 20 percent by 2020.
“We recognize that water is a vital natural resource that is of utmost importance to our business, our associates, and the communities in which we operate,” Dimetria Jackson, GSF's director of sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR), told TriplePundit.
Having developed and grown alongside water access and California agriculture, Golden State Foods is well aware of the history of water resources and use in the state – and it's intimately involved with water conservation efforts. Management takes the view that ingraining water conservation into its corporate culture will boost the company's economic performance and financial bottom line, as well raise consciousness and contribute to improving water management in California and beyond.
Its 2020, water conservation and broader sustainability goals, “will improve the overall efficiency of our operations; reduce the company’s environmental impact and its economic spend by reducing costs associated with wastewater, waste disposal, fuel and utility expenses; and engage our associates in corporate social responsibility and sustainability practices," Jackson continued.
Across the organization, GSF uses reclaimed water for cleaning and landscaping, and it has installed high-efficiency plumbing fixtures in most of its facilities. Water and sprinkler audits, as well as leak checks, are conducted regularly. The company even has a hotline number posted in facility bathrooms and kitchens, so employees can call facility maintenance personnel to report leaks or water waste.
Company-wide, GSF's innovative water conservation policy encompasses:
GSF's commitment to assuring sustainable water use and, more broadly, the overall environmental sustainability of its operations is also evident in its Statement of Environmental Policy, Jackson noted. The policy, she pointed out, “recognizes environmental protection as one of our guiding principles and a key component of sound business practices.”
Looking ahead, “We recognize that there are many opportunities for improvement and through GSF’s top-down/bottom-up approach, management and associates continually seek to identify additional solutions to help achieve our goals and objectives,” Jackson told 3p.
*Image credits: Golden State Foods
An experienced, independent journalist, editor and researcher, Andrew has crisscrossed the globe while reporting on sustainability, corporate social responsibility, social and environmental entrepreneurship, renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean technology. He studied geology at CU, Boulder, has an MBA in finance from Pace University, and completed a certificate program in international governance for biodiversity at UN University in Japan.