The years 2020 and 2021 are forever earmarked in history by a global pandemic, unprecedented supply chain challenges, and social disruption. Through it all, the Flowers team delivered on our commitment as a key part of the nation’s food supply — while supporting the communities we serve. Adapting to this ever-changing environment required us to be more efficient, more resilient, and more aware than ever before.
And just as the world has evolved, so too has our perspective on the focus of our corporate responsibility report. To reflect that, our report has expanded beyond environmental initiatives to include our team, consumers, and communities. It’s important to note that our focus on these “new” additions is not new at all — it has, in fact, been intrinsic to our business for more than a century. But what has changed is our awareness of the importance for transparency around what we are doing in each of these areas. Our refreshed Corporate Responsibility Report highlights the great progress we made across our business in 2020/2021, including:
- Investing in energy-efficient upgrades. Flowers continues to find new ways to integrate energy efficiency into our business. For example, we incorporated energy efficiency throughout the design of our Lynchburg, Virginia bakery upgrade and it was recognized by the Department of Energy as a Better Plants Project in 2021.
- Maintaining 100% GFSI certification across our bakery network. Certification requires a full review of our food safety plans and quality systems.
- Donating bakery products in support of hunger relief efforts. Through our network of bakeries, we support Feeding America and independent food banks, soup kitchens, and other groups providing meals and food to those in need. In 2021 we donated $7.5 million in wholesale bakery food products toward this effort.
- Supporting racial equality and historically black colleges and universities. In 2020 and 2021, we donated a collective $1.5 million to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), and the United Negro College Fund.
- Expanding waste and recycling programs. In 2020, we joined the World Resources Institute 10x20x30 initiative to tackle food loss and waste in our operations.
While this report marks a clear change in reporting perspective, we recognize there is always more that can be done to continue to evolve our program. To guide our future efforts, we conducted a materiality assessment in 2022 that will help us prioritize environmental, social, and governance topics and focus our Corporate Responsibility strategy and reporting.
We are also building on our accomplishments with additional worker safety programs, the expansion of environmental initiatives through new capital projects, a revised and more comprehensive commitment to animal welfare, and new diversity, equity, and inclusion training that is additive to existing anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training, among other important projects.
I’m incredibly proud of all our team has accomplished. Working together, we can advance our goal of building a more responsible, sustainable Flowers Foods.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer