Sustainability Initiative

The world we want tomorrow, starts with how we do business today.

Golden West Food Group (GWFG), has been focused on the consideration of the environment and operating our food manufacturing and distribution systems in a way that produces world class food products while at the same time keeping a keen focus on our sustainable approach to energy use, waste products, water, forests and transportation efficiencies that conserve resources.

Our Pillars

We believe in making the best products while being a responsible corporate citizen.


Climate and Environmental issues are forefront when considering usage of electrical, natural gas, heating, chilling systems, and water use. We’ve implemented numerous energy saving upgrades over the last 8 years, directly addressing specific climate change-related factors.


We utilize industry leading methods of recycling waste products including the conversion of bio-waste into renewable biodiesel fuel for the local trucking industry. Our waste stream is sorted for optimal utilization. We have increased the amount of recycled paperboard in our corrugated workflow.


The stewardship of our forests has a direct connection to the packaging materials that we use every day. We are making big strides in both the recyclability of our packaging materials post use, as well as use of recyclable materials in manufacturing of the products, creating a circular sustainable loop.

Product Design

Packaging and food containers that optimize space in the storage and transportation of the products has led to large gains in sustainability. We are evaluating each stage of our product’s path to the customer’s table, a space optimized product saves not only space, but the unnecessary use of more resources.


Sustainable Transportation is more than energy efficient trucking, we go beyond into warehouse utilization; and package/case/pallet design that creates optimization throughout the supply chain. Changes over the last 4 years are benefiting our suppliers, wholesale customers, and ultimately the consumer.


More packaging suppliers are incorporating environmentally conscious approaches to their materials and their sourcing of raw materials. At GWFG, we are making sure that once made into an empty package, the shipping distance to the assembly factory for final product manufacturing is minimized.


Consideration of the human element and how sustainability interacts with our employees and customers is critical to the success of our GWFG plan. Work is ongoing to improve offices, welfare areas, storage and factory floors, and workplace safety; made with consideration of the environmental impacts.


Energy and sustainability are intertwined in our quest for a greener and brighter future. All our facilities are on a coordinated energy optimization plan with in-plant increases in product unit output per energy unit consumed. We utilize renewable energy such as solar, wind, and hydropower that offer cleaner alternatives to fossil fuels. We also engage in energy efficiency measures such as improved lighting, insulation, and smart controls that minimize our waste.

Electricity is reduced through LED lights.
On-demand lighting sensors.
Automatic cooler doors reduce heat loading.
Natural gas high efficiency boilers for hot water energy reduction.


Solid waste output streams are managed with processing partner companies that maximize the recycling of paperboard and other waste products. GWFG performs a high level of sustainable waste handling practices and adopted a circular economy approach where waste is minimized, resources are conserved, and products are designed for reuse and recycling. GWFG’s on-pack labels inform and educate our consumers about responsible consumption, recycling, and compositing practices.

On-site sorting at production facility.
Conversion of oils, fats into biodiesel fuel.
Recycled biodiesel is used in fleet trucks.
Paperboard recycling.


Sustainability in forestry, croplands and animal husbandry ranching are a key initiative of our raw material supply partners. Nature’s intricate ecosystems provide us with invaluable resources and GWFG uses sustainable actions to conserve these systems. We emphasize responsible resource management, conservation, protection of biodiversity, and a harmonious coexistence with the environment. By embracing sustainable practices, we can preserve the abundance of nature for future generations.

Timber and forestry conservation initiatives to reduce paperboard use.
Reduction of paperboard overall use by re-engineering strength metrics.
Conservation of farm and ranch lands at the animal raising facilities.

Product Design

Product design plays a pivotal role in promoting sustainability by integrating eco-conscious principles throughout the development process. Sustainable product design strives to minimize environmental impact and enhance resource efficiency. It involves selecting eco-friendly materials, reducing energy consumption, and designing products for longevity and recyclability. GWFG embraces sustainable design practices that minimize waste, conserve natural resources, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Redesign of unit packaging and master case to reduce headroom.
Optimize the cube for logistics efficiency.
Designing products to minimize plastic content.
Increasing use of biodegradable materials.


Conventional transportation methods heavily rely on fossil fuels, leading to greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and resource depletion. GWFG is utilizing emissions compliant vehicles from forklifts in the warehouse to delivery trucks that reduce carbon use. GWFG is optimizing logistics and supply chain networks to minimize transportation distances and lower energy consumption. Embracing these approaches can pave the way towards a greener future.

GWFG truck fleet has industry leading diesel emissions equipment.
Compliance with Southern California AQMD regulations
TMS system to optimize load & route calculation by reducing carbon footprint.


The utilization of recycled content in both the food contact packaging and the outer shipping cartons is an ongoing initiative. GWFG’s shift towards eco-friendly packaging aims to minimize waste, reduce carbon emissions, and promote recycling. GWFG is following FSC (Forestry Sustainability Council) guidelines for sourcing, conversion, use and recyclability of package materials reducing use of resources.


Use of 30% min. recycled FSC approved renewable paper pulp content in paperboard products.
Box, pallet, and truck package optimization to reduce headspace and lower transport.
JIT and short distance corrugated supply chain reduces carbon footprint.
Sleeve, box carton and pallet Recycling Compliance and Identification.


Creating a sustainable working environment for our valued employees is a vital part of a healthy future. Through daily work at GWFG, employees directly work to conserve resources, reduce waste, and promote eco-friendly initiatives. They actively participate in energy-saving measures, encourage recycling, and advocate for responsible consumption. Moreover, employees can contribute innovative ideas and solutions to address sustainability challenges, fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

Employee training and skill assessment.
Workplace safety.
Environmental monitoring.
Scheduling to reduce carbon commuting usage.
Empty heading
The Reports

GWFG does annual climate and sustainable disclosure to these Global Reporting Schemas.
Since 2012.

GWFG has been reporting progress on our journey to a sustainable future for over a decade (since 2011) with the leading global sustainability reporting schema. We maintain this focus with weekly meetings of top executives that discuss and implement ‘best-in-class’ optimization of our varied processes.

1200px-Carbon_Disclosure_Project_logo 1
Climate Disclourse Project

Golden West Food Group has participated in Global Standardized Sustainability Reporting since 2012. In 2022 CDP contained 2 reports:

1. Climate Change Report

2.Forestry Report

Thesis Sustainability Consortium

Golden West Food Group has participated since 2019 in eight assessment areas including these 4 primary areas:

1. Animal Welfare – Beef

2. Antibiotic Stewardship – Beef

3. Condiments

4. Beef Cow / Calf

image 3
image 3
Project Gigaton

Project Gigaton™ is one of the largest private sector consortiums for climate action for suppliers and companies on an emissions reduction journey working toward greater sustainability across these key areas: Energy, Waste, Packaging, Transportation, Nature, Product Use & Design.

Climate Disclourse Project

Global Working Condition Platform. 2021 and 2022 Audits in all GWFG Plants Four Pillars and plant safety and environmental conditions:

1. Labor Standards

2. Health

3. Safety

4. Environment Performance

5. Business Ethics

Anywhere in store.

Our brand and product portfolio and capabilities reach to every aisle and every corner.

Animal Welfare

Animal welfare is an important issue to GWFG and our suppliers, customers, and employees. GWFG aims to offer high-quality, affordable protein-based food product to the wholesale market, while maintaining a high standard of animal care and welfare in our supply chain. GWFG has a long-standing commitment to responsible business practices, including the humane treatment of animals, rooted in our Company. We evaluate and update our Animal Welfare Policy as needed and based on current animal welfare research. GWFG is committed to continuous improvement in animal welfare and participates in various industry groups to facilitate maintaining best practices. GWFG believes that animals should be treated humanely throughout their lives, from breeding to housing and care, and to transport and processing. Violations of our policies or acts of abuse are not tolerated by GWFG.



GWFG’s primary focus remains advancing animal welfare for laying hens, pigs, broiler chickens, and beef and dairy cattle. While GWFG is not directly involved in raising or the processing of any animals, GWFG is committed to protecting the welfare of animals in our supply chain. GWFG recognizes best practices for animal care continue to evolve based on research and industry standards. As a result, GWFG continues to work with suppliers and industry associations to stay current. GWFG sets responsible sourcing goals to advance positive changes in our food system and supply chain:


PIGS While there is no single agreed-upon industry standard for pig housing, GWFG encourages suppliers to use best industry standard practices with regard to pig health, welfare and breeding, and that at the same time protect workers and preserve access to affordable fresh pork. GWFG asks fresh pork suppliers to ensure that these standards are in place for production facilities.


CHICKENS GWFG strives to promote high-welfare practices among suppliers raising chickens as an affordable fresh protein option for customers. GWFG’s current goal is to achieve industry standard practices in Chicken raising, health, welfare and environment.


BEEF GWFG’s supply chain is from suppliers where we routinely work closely with them to advance animal welfare for cattle in our beef supply chain all the way from breeding, pasture raising, feed operations, processor operations to the boxed beef products we purchase as input materials for our manufacturing plant. GWFG works with suppliers regarding beef certifications and standards.



GWFG does not conduct animal testing in our manufacturing operations, nor do we require or request that our contract suppliers conduct animal testing on products they produce for us.



GWFG monitors developments in animal welfare across the industry. If GWFG receives information of alleged mistreatment of animals in our supply chain, we actively engage the suppliers to address the concerns using best management protocols and response methodology. GWFG encourages all suppliers to disclose data to GWFG and discuss goals and progress on any issues.

Learn More

Please inquire for more information about our sustainability efforts

GWFG requests our suppliers to comply with making climate related goals that are based on a science-based emissions reduction target.

Let’s make something great together.