C&S Wholesale Grocers strongly advocates the importance of community involvement. We support initiatives to stop hunger and to promote the health and enrichment of communities that are homes to our employees and facilities.
A corporate social responsibility strategic plan developed in 2008 helped C&S redefine our community commitment. The strategy guides us toward building a values- based company, engaging employees to take action on behalf of others, investing in local community groups and leveraging our strategic nonprofit partnerships to drive change nationally.
The core initiatives of C&S community involvement are:
- Eliminating hunger
- Strengthening communities
- Protecting our environment
- Encouraging volunteerism
Hunger is a growing problem in America. Rising unemployment, the home mortgage crisis and the collapse of the financial markets have combined to add millions of Americans to the ranks seeking food assistance.
As a leader in the food industry and logistics, C&S is in a position to make a difference for children, families, veterans and senior citizens who are food insecure. And we do. As part of National Hunger Action Month 2010, C&S employees from across the country donated a total of 16,000 pounds of food for the Hungry Kids Food Drive. We also participate through investments in the important work of three of the nation’s foremost hunger-alleviation organizations: Feeding America, Share Our Strength and the Congressional Hunger Center.
We are moms, dads, sisters, brothers, daughters and sons. We are proud to work at a company that invests in strengthening families and the places we call home.
Employee Contributions Committees at C&S locations work to ensure that our corporate grants reflect the unique priorities and needs of communities. Our employees direct “mini- grants” to local nonprofit groups, schools, libraries, community health programs and much more.
Additionally, C&S employees join forces each year to help the United Way. Annual employee pledges are matched dollar-for-dollar by C&S to support thousands of United Way partners. For calendar year 2010, in the face of our country’s economic challenges, employees responded with even greater compassion, exceeding the campaign goal by 8%. The United Way of America has named C&S a National Corporate Leader due to company’s long tradition and depth of support.
Our commitment to end childhood hunger is joined by an equal passion to increase educational opportunity for all children. We want to address the root causes of poverty. Through the combination of healthy minds and strong bodies, we help ensure that all children have a fair chance. In partnership with First Book, we have donated 200,000 books to children, schools and libraries in C&S communities. Opening a book is opening a world of imagination and discovery, history and poetry, adventure and information. We are proud to help nurture a love of reading and learning for children without access to books.
Fore for a Cure
We have a special place in our hearts for the brave children who wage battle against cancer. Their courage has inspired a relentless commitment to find a cure. For more than 25 years, the annual C&S Charity Golf Outing has united customers, partners and industry colleagues in support of these special children. Together, we have raised millions of dollars to fund treatment and research at the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth in New Hampshire and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Because sometimes laughter is the best cure of all, our Outing also directs funds to the joyful mission of Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. In 2010, we expanded the charitable scope of the event to include programs addressing childhood hunger.
Facing Challenges Together
When a neighbor is in need, C&S employees respond. On the local level, employees volunteer, raise funds and donate clothing, school supplies and food. From 9/11 to Hurricane Katrina, the California wildfires and the Haiti earthquake, C&S has responded quickly and with compassion. We provide food, financial resources and sometimes employee donations for those affected. And, we support our strategic partners’ frontline efforts to meet immediate needs in times of great challenge.
Protecting Our Environment
C&S aspires to become a more sustainable, earth-friendly enterprise. Our company has a respect for our environment, and strives to protect and improve it. We are working to become better environmental stewards and to reduce our environmental impact in multiple areas:
Operations & Energy Conservation
With the belief that “what gets measured gets done,” C&S has embarked on an ambitious program to perform energy audits and sustainability analyses of all our buildings and operations. We are collecting and tracking benchmark data for: refrigeration/air conditioning, electricity, propane, propane for materials handling equipment, natural gas and water. Careful monitoring helps us recognize when usage is higher than expected and quickly correct the situation. Our next step in reducing our environmental footprint is a comprehensive plan to improve energy conservation and to reduce consumption at our sites.
Minimizing Our Environmental Footprint
We are implementing energy efficiency measures in our warehouses including systems that automatically dim lights when no one is in an aisle, installing dock doors with high R-value and U-factors, and replacing wood pallets with long-lasting plastic.
Hydropower, considered by many to be a clean and renewable energy source, currently provides more than 40% of the energy at the C&S distribution centers in the Greater Buffalo, N.Y. area. We are studying the feasibility of buying green power for additional locations to reduce the environmental impact of our electricity use and to support renewable energy generation nationwide.
C&S continues to invest in network optimization technology to reduce the number of miles our trucks travel, thus saving fuel and lowering our environmental impact. In a 12-month period between 2008 and 2009 we reduced our carbon dioxide emissions by 8.9 million pounds. That is the equivalent of the average annual footprint of more than 220 Americans.
C&S experimented with biodiesel fuel several years ago, however our trucks did not perform favorably, caused in part by temperature-related issues. We will continue to follow biodiesel technology and to reconsider this in the future. Onboard computer systems ensure that our trucks run as efficiently as possible and track idling rates. Aerodynamically designed new trucks have decreased drag and increased fuel efficiency. To safely transport frozen and perishable foods, our trucks use environmentally friendly refrigerants that meet or exceed standards.
Recycling & Waste Management
Conscientious employees at C&S drive our waste reduction and recycling initiatives including office paper, cardboard, wood pallets, plastic wrap and electronics. In calendar year 2008, almost 540,000 pounds of office paper were recycled from the C&S facilities in New England alone. This is the equivalent of saving 4,500 mature trees or more than 1.8 million gallons of water. During the six month period between October 1, 2008 and April 1, 2009, we responsibly recycled more than 3,889 tons of cardboard, 831 tons of plastic and more than 21,000 tons of wooden pallets. Computers and other electronics that C&S deems to be outdated are either scrubbed and donated to local nonprofit organizations, or are recycled following EPA guidelines. In a recent 12 month period, we recycled 6,377 pounds of retired, non-functional or outdated electronics with the help of one of the world’s leading information technology asset disposition companies; they adhere to a zero-landfill policy.
One Earth – In partnership with The Conservation Fund, C&S has offset the annual carbon emissions of its corporate headquarters buildings and the roundtrip commutes of its employees. Through support to the Fund’s Go Zero program, we are helping to address two of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges: habitat loss and climate change.
C&S Print Shop: Our Vermont-based Print Shop uses eco-friendly soy based inks, and upward of 85% recycled paper stock, 75% of which are produced at mills that use renewable energy.
The (Green) Path Forward – Long term, there is much opportunity for C&S to develop an environmental strategy to make a difference for the environment. Among the short-term initiatives we are researching are Energy Star ratings and developing a portfolio of renewable energy sources.
We are ready to roll up our sleeves. For more than 90 years, C&S has been built on the pride, purpose and excellence of our employees. We are grateful that thousands of men and women choose to invest their skills and talents as members of this enterprise. Their leadership distinguishes our performance and their values inspire our broader mission as a corporate citizen. A heritage of service and civic responsibility is the bedrock for our commitment to community. It is the skill, energy and initiative of our employees that activates the tradition to create transformative change.
At C&S, you will find that we do not spend a lot of time on philosophy or conversation. We do what we do best – establish goals, and exceed them. Just visit a warehouse and you will see sleeves rolled up and people ready to deliver excellence. The same is true when we unite to fill the shelves of a food bank, paint a community center, raise resources to treat children with cancer or support community- based organizations.
Please visit our new C&S community Web site at http://community.cswg.com