Responsibility &
Sustainability

“Thinking and acting for sustainability is a strategic imperative for our business and part of our culture.”

– Jean-Luc Bruandet 

 President & Chief Executive Officer

A message from President & Chief Executive Officer, Jean-Luc Bruandet

Accelerate the Change, Embrace the Future

Sustainability is the critical challenge of our time. Events in the last year underscore its importance. 

Last year we navigated feeding people amidst an unprecedented, global pandemic, world conflict, economic uncertainty, disruptions and historic inflation. We all know that we have finite planetary resources with an increasing number of inhabitants; we must continue to do our part by manufacturing healthy products that deliver great taste and nutritional value while minimizing their environmental impact. Now more than ever, Lactalis American Group is called to embrace the challenge of corporate social responsibility. This report details our progress through 2021 and our sustainability plan for the next decade.

Thinking and acting for sustainability is a strategic imperative for our business and part of our culture. We bring that orientation to our efforts to sustain our company, environment and communities. We continue to do our part by manufacturing healthy products that deliver great taste and nutritional value while minimizing their impact on the environment.

Our sustainability program supports the Lactalis Group’s global corporate social responsibility focus on People & Community, Authentic Products & Heritage, and Land & Resources. These areas of focus are further championed by three key priorities of climate, animal welfare and packaging. These areas of focus and prioritization reflect the recognition that our company — and our industry — must positively contribute to a stable environment so we may continue making our products, driving for successful growth. 

Lactalis American Group firmly believes that we should take climate risk seriously and adopt a long-term perspective that incorporates responsible sustainability into our core business reporting. As a dairy company, commodity pricing underpins our business; it is therefore in our best interest to pay attention when climate change simultaneously destabilizes markets.

Also, companies like ours that track sustainability indicators are better prepared to transition to a future that includes a low-carbon economy. 

As supporters of the U.N. Global Compact, Lactalis American Group is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals defined by the United Nations. As partners with the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, we endorse their mission of being “dedicated to addressing climate change and water quality while providing nutritious and affordable foods that promote public wellness.” As a result, this call to action has required a methodical review of our value chain at every stage.

As this report demonstrates, Lactalis American Group remains a conscientious and effective contributor towards our plans for sustainability. As a leader in dairy, we acknowledge the impact our business decisions make on people and communities. We will continue to use our expertise in dairy to help contribute to the long-term sustainability of our society and our planet. 

Sincerely,

Jean Luc Bruandet

President & Chief Executive Officer
Lactalis American Group

Director Message

A global approach adapted to local realities:
Q&A with Axel Bigot, Group Director for Sustainability at Lactalis Group

Q. HAVING ALREADY BEEN INVOLVED IN A NUMBER OF INITIATIVES FOR SEVERAL YEARS, WHY DID LACTALIS GROUP DECIDE TO FORMALIZE A CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY APPROACH NOW?

This was an important decision based on several factors. First, it is becoming increasingly important in the agri-food sector, for the entire value chain – from the producer to the consumer – to consider their responsibility on a wider scale rather than their immediate perimeter. We therefore wanted to put in place a structure to be able to respond to the needs of all these players. Second, with the many corporate responsibility initiatives already in place at all levels across the organization, it is important that we have a Group Corporate Responsibility Framework to highlight them. Lastly, we must also respond to societal changes and expectations – including those of our own employees – and the growing importance of social and environmental responsibility. We want to increase dialogue with our stakeholders and engage in innovative partnerships on a larger scale.

Q. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE KEY CONSIDERATIONS THAT NEED TO BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT WHEN SETTING UP LACTALIS GROUP’S CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY APPROACH?

Lactalis Group was built around an industrial culture. Taking care of raw materials, saving resources, and being uncompromising about the quality of our products is part of our DNA. However, we are not a uniform and homogeneous group and Lactalis Group is a network of individual dairy entities which respect local diversity, regions, cultures, traditions and expertise. We have very different levels of maturity on corporate responsibility issues depending on the countries in which we operate. Additionally, we operate in countries with very different regulatory requirements and sometimes multiple variations in the regulatory framework within a single country, for example, Canada. We knew that a “one size fits all” strategy would not be the right approach for us. We therefore wanted to initiate a collective approach with the aim of defining a common baseline and establishing benchmarks and reporting methods that can bring some uniformity to our approach and allow us to track progress in a large, complex organisation against recognised standards.

Q. WHAT STRENGTHS CAN LACTALIS GROUP DRAW ON TO ENSURE SUCCESS?

Given the realities of our business and the expectations of society, this is essential if our approach is to not only be credible, but above all, operationally achievable. Additionally, because of the Group’s expertise and heritage, there is a natural trust in the decisions taken at corporate level. Finally, adaptability to the local context is perhaps the most important guarantee of our success. A uniform top-down strategy would be contrary to our way of doing things. We provide the impetus and a common language, but it is our subsidiaries that have the local knowledge required to facilitate implementation. Lactalis leadership is about local responses within a global framework. The same applies to corporate responsibility.

SDG Alignment

About Us

Lactalis American Group is a subsidiary of Lactalis Group, the world’s leading dairy group and a French-family business founded in 1933 in Laval, France. Lactalis is a leading producer of dairy products including cheese, milk, yogurts, butters and creams, dairy ingredients and nutrition.

Our Story

Begins in France in 1933 when our founder, André Besnier, produced his first 17 camemberts using 35 liters of milk collected from the surrounding area. This tradition of dairy production inspired by simple, high quality ingredients continues today. For nearly 40 years, Lactalis American Group has committed to sourcing our milk from local farms which ensures all of our dairy products are fresh and delicious when you buy them.

Our Corporate Values

Lacatalis American Group employees are driven by 3 Core Values:

Ambition

  • Performance
  • Continuous Improvement
  • People Development

Engagement

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Tenacity
  • Loyalty

with Simplicity

  • Accessibility, Modesty
  • Transparency
  • Pragmatism

Our Brands

A taste for bringing people together with the best dairy has to offer…

At Lactalis American Group, our iconic and beloved dairy products inspire and delight our many customers and consumers. We source farm fresh milk at each of our production facilities to make the products you know and love. From our award-winning cheeses, butters,milk and powders to the wide range of product offerings our other companies provide. We take pride in being dairy experts and making nutritious, healthy, and tasty products this is at the heart of what we do. 

Our products include: Président® brand specialty cheeses and gourmet butters, Galbani® brand cheeses, Parmalat® brand UHT milk, Stonyfield Organic®, and Black Diamond. 

Governance & Approach

Our Governance

 

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability has become a core function within Lactalis American Group. Lactalis American Group is a subsidiary of Lactalis Group which has recently established a global Corporate Responsibility Framework with defined pillars and working groups. Lactalis American Group is represented and actively participates in these global working groups.

We have developed individual, divisional, and department strategies, for a consistent approach which will engage our employees, consumers, and customers, and enable us to report on performance at Group level. 

The CEO has ultimate accountability for sustainability and the Executives of the business are responsible for setting performance metrics that drive change in support of our sustainability goals. The Executive Committee, as Lactalis American Group’s senior leadership team, with responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the business, is accountable for CSR and sustainability in addition to compliance with policies and regulations. 

Alongside the Executive Committee, the Core Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Committee defines, tracks, and ensures execution of the sustainability roadmap in conjunction with the vision, methodology, and structure. 

The Core Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Committee under the leadership of executive sponsors have oversight of their respective areas, participate in the global working groups, and are each responsible for building and defining their respective roadmaps, executing projects and initiatives, and tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as part of our reporting and governance process.

Our Governance and Reporting Structure

Lactalis Group

Lactalis American Group

Executive
Committee

Core CSR and Sustainability committee

Extended CSR Team

Our Approach

 

A focus on shared values guides our approach to CSR at Lactalis American Group. We intend to play an active role in the decarbonization of our industry while upholding the value of dairy. It is our resolve to partner with competitors, scholars, policy-makers, and farmers alike to chart a path forward.

This call to action has required a methodical review of our value chain at every stage. We are a company steeped in a long tradition of dairy, food science, and production. Today, we acknowledge that our business decisions account for impacts that extend to all stakeholders. 

To inform our strategy, we conducted a materiality assessment across 175 external and internal stakeholders on 33 topics. 

Based on this feedback, we developed 3 Pillars which serve as the framework for the teams and resources that support our mission. As our business and the dynamic topic of corporate responsibility evolves, we will continually update and improve this framework. Today we are positioning ourselves to set ambitious targets by the end of 2022 for each considered category. 

People & Communities

Contribute to the economic and social wellbeing of our people and communities. 

  • Human Resources
  • Wellness
  • Health and Safety
  • Corporate giving
  • Community Relations and Engagement

Authentic Products & Heritage

Take pride in our local craftsmanship and global know-how to offer wholesome and nutritious products.

  • Nutrition
  • Food Safety and Quality
  • Responsible Sourcing
  • Animal Health and Welfare

Land & Resources

Act Responsibly and sustainably to foster a thriving planet for the future.

  • Energy and Environment
  • Transport and Logistics
  • Carbon Footprint
  • Circular Economy and Packaging
  • Food Waste

Part of the Solution

 

UN Global Compact

Our business is part of an ecosystem of activities and we believe that external collaboration is key to innovating towards our targets. We also understand the value of a global perspective in dealing with global challenges, which is why we have used the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations (UN) Global Compact to inform our Corporate Responsibility Framework and priorities. While we are directly engaging in activities that support 15 of the 17 SDGs, these goals were originally developed as guidance for countries, not companies. We are proud to announce Lactalis Group’s recent participation in the UN Global Compact which will now link the SDG framework to our activities more directly.

Center for Dairy Innovation

In addition, we are a member of innovation center for US dairy as a channel for collaboration and the development of our knowledge base with our farm partners.

People & Community

People & Community

 

Contribute to the economic and social wellbeing of our people and communities.

At the heart of our company, are our people and our communities. With four operating sites located across the country in the states of Idaho, Wisconsin, and NY, employees play a vital role in supporting the communities in which we live and operate. Both by providing nutritious, high quality dairy products and through our active community involvement, we proudly deliver on our core purpose.

HR is dedicated to providing programs, policies and initiatives which support our employee’s overall wellbeing. We strive to create a culture of respect, diversity, inclusion, and fairness to support and nurture our employees to enable them to bring their best selves to work and to their communities in which they live. As our people continue to feed the nation with healthy and nutritious products, we continue to fuel our people through our competitive training, development, recognition, benefits, pension and compensation programs and policies. 

We are ambitious in our goals and foster continuous insights through ongoing key performance indicators in community volunteer programs; diversity, equity, and inclusion; labor relations; talent attraction, growth and retention; and women / youth.

Our Policies

 

At Lactalis American Group we are proud of our ambition to be an employer of choice. During our journey over the past 18 months, we have made some big changes to our policies, programs and systems. To guide our development, we have established 6 key performance indicators. They are:

Labor Relations

% of HR team trained in the Lactalis Labor and Employee Relations way

%

Talent Attraction

% of leadership position hired from the national Community

%

Talent Retention

Employee commitment rate from the engagement survey

%

Talent Growth

% Role vacancies in leadership positions filled internally

%

Talent Growth

Number of internal trainers

Women

% Women in leadership positions

%

Our Policies

Training & Development Platform

Lactalis American Group has made a significant investment to further support the training and development of our employees by partnering with Lactalis Group’s digital training platform for employees worldwide, with a primary focus on Lactalis’ core managerial values, best practices and industrial expertise as well as training programs in areas such as leadership and management, communication, language and IT training courses. 

Talent Development & Career Growth

In 2021, Lactalis American Group established a robust management review process for leaders, that aims at better identifying key talent and building development and succession plans to prepare for the next steps in their career.

Lactalis American Group offers student positions every year in a variety of functions such as Quality, Customer Service, Sales, Supply Chain, Purchasing, and Finance. Throughout the year, we often partner with local University and College Co-op programs to hire students into these functions.

Educational Assistance Policy 

Lactalis American Group provides an education reimbursement program for all employees, enabling our people to improve and develop themselves by continuing their education and pursuing continuous learning and professional development opportunities outside of working hours.

Guidance Resources

(Employee Assistance Program)

Installed in 2019, our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) with Guidance Resources supports employees with Confidential Emotional Support, Legal Guidance as well as Financial and Work-Life support. At the height of the pandemic, we regularly communicated on the resources available through the EAP to manage COVID-19 related issues such as: stress, anxiety and childcare. 

Our Policies

 

Looking ahead to foster and bolster our community engagement, we will be implementing the “Make a Difference” (MAD) program. MAD is an opportunity for employees to have 4 hours of paid time to contribute their time and effort to local, national or global community service activities during their normally scheduled workweek. This commitment to the community includes encouraging employees to participate in a local or national giving campaigns, volunteer at a soup kitchen; local school, non-for-profit.

Engagement Survey for Employee Wellness

In the summer of 2021, we conducted our second company-wide employee engagement survey to better understand the needs and challenges of our people. We partnered with Korn Ferry’s Listening team to develop a platform collecting confidential and anonymous feedback to gauge the pulse of our organization. Now more than ever, we want to prioritize the wellbeing of our people as well as their professional and personal fulfillment at work. 

This survey inquires about employee’s sentiments on the organization’s work structure and processes; leadership; development opportunities; values; resources; corporate social responsibility; compensation and several other topics. Thanks to the employees’ candid and honest response, we were able to identify employees’ unmet needs and understand the challenges they face at work. With this feedback we hope to continue leveraging our strengths all the while mobilizing the resources necessary to act on and ameliorate our areas of improvement.

Health & Safety

 

Health & Safety Policy

As an industrial player, the Group is developing a robust Health and Safety program for the workplace. Lactalis is determined to achieve the only acceptable goal: zero accidents in the workplace and zero work-related illness. Every plant has a site specific commitment structure that strives to meet this goal. Since 2012, Lactalis has implemented a global policy and set standards, which have been rolled out locally. Group Lactalis is developing risk management strategy focused on a healthy and safe culture. 

We have more than 1,800 employees in the United States and aim to provide every employee with economic security through fair wages, health security through our comprehensive benefits plan, and career advancement opportunities.

 

Health & Safety Through COVID-19

A Message from Lactalis American Group President & CEO Jean-Luc Bruandet:

“Our top priorities as we navigate the ongoing COVID-19 crisis are ensuring the health and safety of our people and continuity of our business.”

As a food manufacturer, we play an essential role in our communities, and we must maintain our production for American consumers throughout this crisis. To do this without jeopardizing the health and welfare of our colleagues and business partners, we have adapted operating procedures at each of our facilities. We extend our gratitude to our customers and suppliers for their continued patience and flexibility in this difficult period.

Health & Safety

The health and safety of our team and workplaces has been our top priority during the global pandemic. Together, our Human Resources (HR), Health and Safety and Operations teams have put into place strict health and safety protocols that adhere to public health guidelines and have implemented additional proactive measures to protect our people and keep our work environments safe.

  1. Plant Health & Safety Protocol Q&A
  2. Allowing Contractors and Essential persons only on site
  3. Entrance screening upon arrival
  4. Motion Sensors to faucets in washrooms / lunchrooms
  5. Contactless pay statements for hourly employees
  6. Bonus to our essential on-site workers
  7. COVID-19 hygiene, sanitization and cleaning protocols and best practices
  1. Distribution and supply of personal protective equipment for all employees
  2. Installation of physical/plexiglass barriers
  3. Staggered shift start-times and breaks to reduce traffic in common areas
  4. Mandatory health and safety/food safety e-learning training for all employees
  5. Enhanced COVID-19 communication and reporting
  1. Addition of designated external washroom facilities for truck drivers
  2. Risk assessment on travelers by zone
  3. Remote working for all office employees and renovation of offices for an eventual safe return to work
  4. Return to Work Survey for salaried employees
  5. Regular communications from the CEO

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

At Lactalis American Group, we are committed to creating a diverse, inclusive and equitable workplace that is positive and respectful.

 

Bring Your Uniqueness to Grow Our Culture

We believe each and every individual within the organization provides value. When we encourage and include the voices of all diverse backgrounds and perspectives, we open doors to growth and allow individuals to bring their full authentic selves to work. In order to celebrate the uniqueness of our people and the communities in which we operate, we are committed to cultivating a fair and inclusive workplace that fosters real belonging for all. 

Our programs in this area will focus on how we challenge ourselves across the organization to remove systemic barriers and provide programs and practices in an equitable manner. 

In 2021, some of our key initiatives and action plans included but were not limited to: 

  • Executive Training: Conduct Awareness and Challenge Your Bias comprehensive training module.
  • Events & Awareness: Diversty, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) celebrations and awareness activities throughout the year: National Hispanic Heritage Month, National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month and Veteran’s Day.

 

Gender Diversity

Companies that demonstrate gender diversity across their organization outperform the competition. While we have opportunities to continue to strengthen our gender diversity, we are proud to continue our evolution of diversity and maintain a healthy balance of both female and male workers 

 

Age Diversity

Lactalis American Group has strong age diversity, and it is important to our DNA. We celebrate the experience and knowledge a career in our industry provides while embracing the insights and ideas of the next generations. 

Spotlight on National Hispanic Heritage Month

Earlier this year we celebrated National Hispanic Heritage Month (NHHM) with our employees across all US businesses. We’re pleased to have the opportunity to educate our employees on the history of NHHM, rally the information about volunteer and donation opportunities within Latinx-based community organizations and highlight Latinx-owned small businesses our employees could support in their respective locations.

NHHM enabled us to share valuable experiences with our people: both through tastings of our authentic Hispanic cheeses and by partnering with Migrant Kitchen in New York City.

To culminate our celebration of NHHM, we partnered with Migrant Kitchen, a Arab-Latin catering business that focuses on providing meaningful opportunities for immigrants to showcase their cuisines and cultures of their home countries while earning more than minimum wage.

Community

Lactalis American Group aims to contribute to the sustainable development of the areas in which we operate.

 

Hunger Relief and Donations

First, and foremost, we are a food company, with a fundamental goal to help fight hunger in the communities around us. Across all our Lactalis American Group locations, whether plants or offices, we maintain a close relationship with local Food Banks: encouraging our employees to participate in our annual food drive and donate their time throughout the calendar year.

Lactalis American Group donated over 225,000 lbs of nutritious dairy products throughout 2020 to over 32 organizations including food banks, frontline workers, local farmers during community events.

Over 500lbs of much needed items to Food Bank of New York City.

In Buffalo, a food drive and donation of 17 pallets that’s nearly 15,000 individual cartons) of our Parmalat UHT milk was given to Feed More in honor of Dr Martin Luther King Day. 

During the month of October 2020, instead of offering a promotional price at retail on Istara cheese, we pledged to donate 1$/lbs sold to a local community garden in the Bronx. 

In addition to our product donations to food banks, Lactalis engages with a network of community-based organizations and local non-profits across the United States. 3,660 blankets to 14 homeless shelters and non-profits within our network. Above are pictures of our employees distributing blankets to local organizations in Wisconsin.

Mayor Byron Brown congratulated our volunteers for their efforts!

World Cleanup Day

World Clean Up Day is an annual initiative raising awareness on the importance of sorting and recycling consumer goods that brings volunteers and partners together to rid our planet of trash. 

Our employees joined two clean up events: In total, our volunteers gathered well over 585 gallons of debris!

To complement our efforts to limit plastics pollution, we have installed Bevi fountains within our plants and offices to encourage our employee population to refill and reuse their bottles and avoid single use plastics. Thanks to this initiative, 37,000 bottles were saved since September 2020.

Authentic Products & Heritage

Authentic Products & Heritage

Take pride in our local craftsmanship and global know-how to offer wholesome and nutritious products.

We provide our customers and consumers with a delicious, nutritious, and high-quality portfolio of iconic and beloved dairy products. We take pride in being dairy experts that make products with tradition and history. Nutritious and healthy products are at the heart of what we do at Lactalis American Group. When it comes to our corporate responsibility, we stay true to our roots, and innovate towards quality ingredients with simple formulas. 

The nutrient dense and healthy foods we create rely on the quality ingredients that we source. Our role is to honor the hard work of farmers with the foods we make. We do this by being a reliable partner to our suppliers while holding them to a high standard (see supplier code of conduct).

Nutritional Goodness

Dairy products are an important part of a healthy, balanced diet. Enjoying them each day, throughout life, can help meet essential nutrient needs. This includes calcium, but also five other essential nutrients that many of us lack in our diet, namely vitamin D, vitamin A, magnesium, zinc and potassium. Very few foods provide as much calcium per serving and with as high bioavailability as dairy. 

Builds Strong Bones

Calcium, but also proteins and phosphorus, are all present in milk, and these nutrients in particular are needed to maintain bone health during the stages of life. Consuming dairy products within a varied and balanced diet, combined with vitamin D, sunlight exposure and exercise is the best way to care for bone health. For an adult, dairy products help cover 56 per cent of calcium needs, 30 per cent of phosphorus, 33 per cent of Vitamin B2, and 31 per cent of iodine.

Packed with High-Quality Protein

Protein found in dairy products is considered a “complete” protein that provides all nine essential amino acids that the human body cannot produce. Research confirms that milk proteins rank as some of the highest quality proteins available and dairy products contain an abundant supply of these high-quality proteins. Evidence continues to support that consuming dairy plays a critical role when it comes to reducing chronic diseases, and promoting bone health in growing children, and aging adults.

The Good Fat

Recent research on dairy fat has made significant progress. Findings show that the different saturated fatty acids in milk are involved in some very important biochemical functions and physiological impacts, underlining the nutritional value of dairy fat, provided it is part of a balanced diet. Because of its saturated short and medium chain fatty acids, milk fat allows the consumer to optimize the nutritional availability of Omega 3 fatty acids, by improving their absorption in the digestive tract, even though milk fat contains very little or no Omega 3. Therefore, milk fat helps the body maintain or synthesize Omega 3 fatty acids, especially long-chained EPA and DHA which are essential for brain development and the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Sustainable Diets

Stakeholders all agree that the environmental impact of global food production can and must be reduced. In the case of dairy, it is imperative that we contextualize these impacts with nuanced consideration of the dairy nutritional matrix rather than on a caloric basis. A successful assessment of sustainable diets has to consider four different dimensions, namely 1) nutrition and health 2) ecological impact 3) economics and 4) cultural aspects.

Food Safety & Product Quality

 

Our Quality Policy is built around six prioritized Commitments. Each Company employee understands their responsibilities in and the importance of, delivering safe, nutritious, and delicious “every day” and “special occasion” dairy products to our customers and consumers. We strive to retain their trust through our transparency and care for their well-being and satisfaction.

The very first priority lies in assured Regulatory Compliance

Lactalis American Group processing facilities are federally and state licensed and inspected, and comply with all Federal requirements of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

The critical second priority lies with Food Safety Guarantee 

Operating under strict Hazard Analysis Critical Points (HACCP) principles, Lactalis American Group has embraced the GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) certification in 2011, and we strive to continuous improvement year over year, as expected by FDA and by customers. 

We take food poisoning risk very seriously. Apart from the complete GFSI system in our facilities, go above and beyond the required standards with a comprehensive pathogenic surveillance program, certified by an external lab; in the year 2021 we had 33,131 pathogenic bacteria tests performed, for our U.S. plants.

The important third priority lies with Satisfying The Consumer – Top of Mind at all Times

We strive to ensure the satisfaction of our consumers, responding to their complaints in a timely manner and taking them very seriously. We carefully track complaints, with the goal of continuously reducing the Complaints per Million Units sold, according to the Six Sigma principles that maintain all teams are united in improvement projects. 

Our key products (“Pillar” products) are carefully supported, and nurtured, with multiple stakeholders managing a strict “Product Quality Process”; we use groups of external consumers (“Expert Juries”) to objectively taste our pillar products using a scientific sensory evaluation method. We periodically perform consumer preference tests against our competition to ensure consistency and quality.

The fourth priority lies with Customer Satisfaction (in tandem with Consumer Preference)

We enjoy strong and collaborative partnerships with our customers; large and small; and focus on our responsibility to ensure we meet and exceed their expectations. We respond to their questions and offer innovations to grow both our business and theirs, collaborating to evolve with the ever changing needs of their consumers. Our Customers chose us because they recognize the high quality and uniqueness of our products, trust our transparency, and willingness to adapt to their needs. 

During the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lactalis American Group worked hard to supply our customers with their orders. Plants and logistic teams doubled their efforts, safely, to avoid the difficult shortages that were so visible in the grocery stores, nationwide. 

The fifth priority lies with Supplier Assurance 

Our Suppliers are key partners in the success of our business. Their sustainability efforts reflect the values of Lactalis American Group, and by extension contribute to healthy businesses and the success of the economy. 

Without a rigorous supplier approval program and partnership across our vendors, co-packers and suppliers, we cannot achieve our goals. Lactalis American Group supports and maintains the Lactalis Group Supplier Management, qualification and approval process, ensuring that all ingredients we purchase, use or contract meet the highest standards of Safety, Quality and Consistency. 

The sixth priority is about Quality at the Best Price 

All the above activities provide the framework to support this final objective. 

If we are successful in providing the market with Best-in-Class goods at the best possible price, while fully complying to the first five priorities, our business will flourish, supporting employment opportunities and assure a safe, reliable food supply to Americans across our vast country. 

Leadership in Labeling & Health Innovation

Moving towards simple and natural ingredients

Eating well starts with choosing good products and good ingredients that we enjoy preparing in the kitchen and sharing at the table. We are convinced that a balanced diet is not possible in the long term without pleasure and sharing. Therefore, we are constantly looking for the right balance between taste and nutrition in our products. We do so by identifying key initiatives for our brands through important certifications, sourcing premium ingredients ,and identifying consumer health trend driven innovations. We want to provide consumers with clear nutritional facts on products so that they have what they need to make the right decisions in their retail store.

Taking a global view

A comprehensive global database has been developed with a profile on every product, including its ingredients and core nutritional value. As part of this global database, Lactalis American Group has contributed data on over 700 products along with their ingredient information and nutrient profiles.

Clean & Simple

We take pride in being the global dairy experts and making all of our products nutritious, clean and simple. Using only quality ingredients, we have embarked on a clean label initiative to meet the needs of the American consumer. We reviewed scientific literature on the health impacts of additives in the food industry to identify 13 colorants and preservatives that we will avoid in 100% of our innovations. We also developed an internal scoring system to help prioritize avoidance of these ingredients any future development. 

From our beloved brand Rondelé, where we removed all stabilizers, to our renowned Feta and Mozzarella cheeses, that contains no added whitening agents, you can be sure our brands adhere to stricter standards than the rest.

We monitor sugar and salt thresholds for all of our dairy products through annual systematic evaluations and adhere to 

Important Certifications

Gluten Free

Lactalis American Group is leading the charge in the US Cheese Category by achieving GFCO certification on the Galbani Brand becoming the first cheese in the US to bear this logo.

Lactose Free

Lactose Free dairy items in US markets.

Health Innovation:
Protein Drinks

U.S. introduction of UP2U® RECOVER protein drinks and UP2U RECOVER unflavored protein powder. Designed for fitness enthusiasts and athletes, the products are made with whey protein in its purest form, also known as “native” protein powder

6 Gold Medals

At the World Championship Cheese Contest in Madison, WI – March 3, 2022

Animal Welfare

As a leader in dairy processing, Lactalis American Group plays an important role in ensuring that the industry’s milk-producing cows are treated with the highest standards in health and husbandry. In collaboration with dairy farmers and key stakeholders, Lactalis American Group is committed to ensuring that our products are made with milk produced on farms where the best practices for animal welfare are implemented and observed. We are guided by globally recognized standards such as National Dairy FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management). 

Our Vision

We pay special attention to the animals that are at the origin of all our activities and products. We fully recognize and respect them as sentient beings, capable of emotions, that deserve both physical and mental health. Contributing to their wellbeing is our responsibility. 

We strive to advance our approach to animal welfare by ensuring that animals have a good life, while helping to improve the performance of our partner farms, meeting the expectations of our stakeholders and the sustainability of our supply chain. 

Aligning our approach with the internationally recognized “five freedoms” 

According to the World Organization for Animal health (OIE), “developed in 1965, and widely recognized, the five freedoms describe society’s expectations for the conditions animals should experience when under human control. At Lactalis American Group, we support this definition and aim for our approach to ensure the compliance with and the preservation of these freedoms for all animals in our supply chain. 

Golden Standard

5 Freedoms of Animal Welfare

  1. Freedom from discomfort
  2. Freedom from hunger and thirst
  3. Freedom to express normal behavior
  4. Freedom from pain, disease, or injury
  5. Freedom from fear and distress

Key Areas for Evaluations

FARM Animal Care

Resource-Based

  • Space allowance per cow
  • Amount of feed and water availability
  • Temperature requirements
  • Housing type

Management-Based

  • Annual on-farm employee training
  • Up to date protocols, SOPs, and health records
  • Veterinarian involvement and review

Animal-Based

  • Good body condition
  • Cleanliness
  • Mobility
  • Overall health and comfort

Our Approach and Ambitions

There are 5 main commitments concerning all raw milk from dairy cows. With the exception of commitment 2, they all apply to all dairy cows and calves related to raw milk collected by Lactalis American Group:

  • Ensuring that all our partner farms do not commit any acts of animal cruelty and, as a minimum, comply with local and international regulations. 
  • Enrolling our direct partner farms (and indirect ones where possible) in a process for continuous improvement, phasing out the most problematic practices and implementing the best ones. 
  • Advocating for the implementation, deployment, and reinforcement of ambitious national Animal Welfare standards. 
  • Collaborating with our stakeholders to improve scientific knowledge and develop innovations on animal welfare. 
  • Reporting publicly and annually on our actions and progress. We are committed to ensuring transparent communication on the fulfillment of the commitments described above. Each year, we will publish a Lactalis Animal Welfare Progress Report that will be accessible to the general public. 

Commitments 

  • Lactalis promotes recognized best practices for dehorning and disbudding, including the use of pain mitigation and removal by 8 weeks of age. 
  • Practicing routine tail docking is not permitted within Lactalis supply chain. 
  • The use of rSBT is not permitted within Lactalis supply chain. 
  • All milk in Lactalis supply comes from farms participating in FARM Animal Care Evaluation once every 3 -years. 
  • Lactalis aims to fight antimicrobial resistance and encourages farmers to reduce prophylactic use of antibiotics. 
  • All Lactalis partner farms must be in compliance with national regulations regarding the use of animal derived proteins in dairy feed.

Supplier Standards of Conduct

 

Lactalis American Group, Inc. recognizes that as a distinguished leader in the dairy industry, our corporate responsibility extends to our supplier network. To this end, Lactalis American Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries have an ethical and business objective to be responsible corporate citizens. We aspire to do business with suppliers that share our commitment to corporate responsibility. We know that clear alignment with our supplier partners on these Standards will result in a positive impact to Lactalis, our supplier network, and further serve to the broader business community as an example of leading business practices. To meet the growing expectations of our various stakeholders, we have established these Standards which define the ethical, social, and environmental requirements by which Lactalis expects its suppliers to conduct their business. In addition to complying with applicable laws and regulations in the countries where they do business, and applicable contractual obligations, suppliers to Lactalis are expected to meet the following Standards:

Safety Culture

Suppliers are expected to:

  • Establish and maintain standards, procedures and management controls to ensure compliance with applicable health and safety laws and regulations at all times.
  • Encourage employees to be actively involved in the improvement of their health and safety. 

Human Rights

Suppliers are expected to:

  • Support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights.
  • Ensure they are not complicit in human rights abuses by knowingly providing practical assistance, encouragement or moral support that has a substantial effect on the perpetration of the abuse. 

Labor Standards

Suppliers are expected to:

  • Uphold freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining.
  • Support the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labor; support the effective abolition of child labor; and support the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

Business Conduct & Ethics

Suppliers are expected to:

  • Not engage in any form of corrupt activity, and should adhere to policies that require compliance with applicable anti-corruption laws and promote anti-corruption compliance practices.

Environment

Suppliers are expected to:

  • Encourage the development and implementation of technologies that protect the environment, reduce pollution, engage in sustainable resource management and use, increase recycling of their waste and products, and undertake and continuously improve acceptable waste management.
  • Share available environmental data and risk analysis for the purpose of identifying best practices and areas of improvement.

Compliance 

We expect that our suppliers will proactively monitor and assess their business practices and seek opportunities for continuous improvement. To this end, our suppliers must conduct risk assessments to identify areas of potential non-compliance and implement appropriate measures to safeguard against such non-compliance. Lactalis may periodically review a supplier’s conformity with these Standards. During such review or at any time, Lactalis may ask a supplier to provide documentation to demonstrate its adherence to these Standards and/or Lactalis may appoint a third party auditor to audit a supplier’s compliance with these Standards. At any time, Lactalis may terminate its business relationship with a supplier due to the supplier’s failure to conform to these standards.

Reporting 

Violations of these Standards may be reported anonymously as follows: 

Lactalis American Group Inc. 
2376 South Park Avenue 
Buffalo, New York 14220 Attn: 

Legal Department Email:
LAGComplianceViolationReport@us.lactalis.com

Land & Resources

Land & Resources

Act Responsibly and sustainably to foster a thriving planet for the future.

At Lactalis American Group, we understand and recognize that the rate at which our industry consumes finite planetary resources is unsustainable. We believe the first step in contributing to actionable and meaningful progress is to accurately assess our baseline inputs and emissions data so that we may carve a path forward in the areas where we will have the greatest positive impact. 

Mitigation efforts are already underway at every step of our supply chain. Our impact reduction efforts are focused on a number of key areas. We have embarked on this path knowing that, as a processor, our improvements begin with the operations we control such as our manufacturing plants and warehouses. We acknowledge that significant environmental impacts in our industry come from the production of our primary ingredient, milk and we work with dairy producers in the Unites States to develop solutions that support the broader industry. Similarly, we rely on the expertise of our partners in the packaging and transportation industries to align with our long-term sustainability goals and create opportunities to support innovations that reduce our GHG emissions. 

Carbon

Climate change has emerged as one of the major challenges of our time. According to scientists, by 2100, current trends would lead to the extinction of many species, threaten food security and compromise human activities. In fact, climate change is already happening and affecting our daily lives: increased temperatures, droughts, more frequent and intense storms, these are clear signals which show the urgent need for concrete actions to mitigate carbon emissions and climate change.

Working with Science Based Targets (SBTi) and using the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol we have completed the inventory of our 2019 baseline Scope 1 and 2 emissions. In accordance with the SBTi guidance, as a subsidiary of Groupe Lactalis, we are committed to contributing to their reduction of scope 1 and 2 emissions by at least 25% by 2025 and at least 50% by 2033. We also know that our upstream supply chain accounts for over 80% of our total scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions and are on our way to complete our scope 3 baseline to create a roadmap and emissions reduction target by 2024.

Our Ambition: Net Zero by 2050 (Scope 1 & 2)

In 2019, our direct operations, industrial and logistic activities, emitted around 104,000 tons of CO2 equivalent. This data is our starting line: now that we’ve figured out our impact, we know what the journey to Net Zero will require. 

 

Our key axis to reduce emissions from our operations:

  • Improving our operational efficiency through the implementation of best practices in both production and transportation
  • Switching to renewable energy sources such as solar, bio-gas, and appropriate biofuels
  • Following the development of innovative solutions and adopting relevant new opportunities. 

Leading the Way on Decarbonization All Along Our Value Chain (Scope 3)

We are aware that, as a dairy company, more than 80% of our GHG emissions occur outside our owned scope of operations, both upstream and downstream in our value chain. Our first raw material, fresh milk, is thus our main source of indirect carbon emissions. 

Since these emissions are triggered by our business activities, we have a major role to play in their reduction and mitigation. Building on our experience in reducing our own direct emissions, we are well on track for our next challenge: tackle indirect emissions along our value chain. As for our owned operations, we have projects in development and are collaborating with our farmers and suppliers to find sustainable solutions to transform our current production systems. 

In order to ensure more sustainable production practices, we engage in partnerships with our farmers as well as with renowned technical institutes, policy makers and professional associations to tackle carbon emissions at farm level. We are also making progress toward a circular economy by working on the reduction of our packaging footprint. These are first steps toward a low-carbon emissions value chain, but we still have a challenging road ahead. 

We cannot achieve our ambitions alone: reducing our indirect emissions will require that we actively and effectively mobilize all actors in our value chain. On that journey, we believe that our size and hands-on experience will be an opportunity and strength that leads to decarbonization by sharing our tools, sparking innovation and co-creating sustainable solutions. 

The strong reduction strategy and targets we are currently building within our value chain will help us achieve our net zero ambition.

Natural Gas & Electricity

Natural gas is currently the standard method for powering dairy processing plants, and we have been tracking our consumption since 2011 for each of our plants across the country. Gas usage is the biggest contributor to our carbon emissions at the plant level; therefore, we are developing a long-term action plan to reduce our gas consumption. Our approach is firstly to reduce our consumption with improved efficiencies, such as updating obsolete equipment and using energy reclaim technology. Every year we deploy capex dollars to initiate projects to help us become more efficient in our energy usage. Furthermore, we will work with industry partners in the energy sector to identify opportunities for renewable energy.

Lactalis American Group relies on the traditional power grid for our electricity. Our facility in Buffalo, New York is located 20 minutes from Niagara Falls and benefits from the use of hydroelectric power. Similarly, at our Idaho facility, our main source of electricity is through hydro power. As with natural gas, for electric our focus continues to be finding ways to be more efficient in our usage to help us require less energy while maintaining or increasing our output. 

Looking Ahead

The vision for our manufacturing facilities is to implement strategic initiatives to help us to produce the best product in the most efficient manner. As national, state, and local governments increase their focus on sustainable manufacturing processes, it is our responsibility to be a leader in this space to provide solutions and to help meet these goals. It is imperative for us to be at the forefront of these endeavors that have a direct impact on our local communities and environments. Some examples of these types of projects include improved measurement and regulation of our energy inputs/outputs, implementing more energy efficient manufacturing equipment, and focusing on preventative maintenance practices to maintain a high service level. 

Completed Energy Initiatives:

  1. Lactalis American Group has initiated projects to introduce LED lighting throughout the manufacturing facilities across the country.  These lights are more energy efficient, reducing our need for electricity along with providing a safer work environment and increased visibility. Typically, we reduce our wattage per light fixture by about 74% upon project completion.
  2. From 2020 to 2021, Lactalis American Group was able to lower our electricity Kwh/1,000 lbs produced by 11.6%!

Ongoing Energy Initiatives:

Replacing the 44-year-old evaporator at our South Park facility

We are investing in a multi-year capex initiative to replace our 44-year-old evaporator at our second largest production facility. Once complete, the improved production process will be more energy efficient with the new equipment. Our energy consumption will be greatly reduced by decreasing our need for steam from 13k lbs. per hour to 3k lbs. per hour. 
Expected completion: 2024

Replacement boiler at our Nampa facility

We are investing in a brand new boiler. This will allow us to run with much better energy efficiency, require less preventative maintenance, while also allowing us to increase our output. 
Expected completion: June 2022

Water

 

We use water as a necessary input in the manufacture of our products, often in cleaning processes that ensure quality and safety. It is a key resource for our industry, and we are thoughtful at each stage to strike a balance between efficiency and quality. In line with our overall standardization and measurement goals for this year, we are ensuring accurate data collection on our water usage and disposal. As we have been gathering data on our water usage since 2011 and we have seen positive trends that we expect to continue.

Sustainable water usage has come to the forefront of goals for Lactalis American Group. We are constantly looking for new ways to improve our usage and waste by reviewing our factory processes and working with local organizations to help us meet environmental targets and goals. 

It is imperative for us to be proactive in our water consumption and continue our focus on reducing wastewater outputs at our plants. Along with our internal efforts, we must collaborate with our suppliers and communities to deliver on these environmental and socially beneficial initiatives.

Accomplishments

We have been successful in reducing our water gallons used / 1,000 lbs produced by 9% from 2019 to 2021.  Our goal for 2022 is to reduce our water usage by another 3% to continue our encouraging trend on water consumption. 

In 2021, we did see a slight uptick in water usage.

This was driven by our commitment to enhanced cleaning and sanitation protocols due to the Covid 19 pandemic. We expect to become more efficient as we set our sights on further reduction of water usage in our 2022 goals.

We completed a massive $7.5M, multiple year, wastewater effort at our Belmont facility in 2021. We increased our biological capacity to follow the new phosphorous discharge limits set by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The increased capacity allows for the proper holding times to remove phosphorous, solids, and other organic matter. The project has instituted a process which can better accommodate the acidic nature of dairy waste and can reduce the wastewater phosphorous discharge below the new limit of 0.075 mg/L to comply and improve the impact on the surrounding environment. The project has helped us achieve a dramatic reduction in our COD / 1000 lbs produced – a 50% reduction from 2019 to 2021. 

Circular Economy & Packaging

 

In addition to providing nutritional information, our packaging materials must protect our products and optimize freshness while minimizing food waste and impact on the environment. But we know there are challenges, especially with plastic. Today, the use of plastic is rapidly increasing around the world, yet just 9% of all plastic gets recycled. 

Our approach is to strive for “the right pack” that contributes to “better circularity” while “educating consumers to close the loop”. To accomplish this we have developed an internal database for our packaging materials to ensure consistent tracking of our improvements. Next we are creating an eco-design evaluation process so that our new and future products take packaging sustainability into account at the onset. This includes screening for certifications and the environmental impacts of production throughout the lifecycle of packaging. 

While we rely on plastic packaging to safely share our products with the world, we believe that innovations in sustainable packaging are on the horizon and we will make the responsible choices when they are available. We are looking to our current suppliers to continue innovating in their offerings and technology as well as new partners who can offer novel solutions to improve the recyclability and circularity of our packaging. 

Today we believe our efforts are best focused on

  • Increasing recyclability of our packaging
  • Reducing plastic usage
  • Using certified paper fibers certified for sustainable practices
  • Reducing all avoidable packaging components

Responsible Packaging

Our vision is guided by 5 principles which in turn drive the sustainability targets we have committed to this year.

1. Food safety is the cornerstone
We are vigilant in maintaining high Food safety standards to which packaging is instrumental. Not too much, not too little: just the right packaging. 

2. Our brands will lead in consumer expectations
Our Brands will keep piloting innovations to help consumers take part in choosing the right packaging.

3. Packaging improvement throughout the whole supply chain
On-shelf packaging is the most visible, but it takes much more to deliver our nutritious products. We explore solutions over our entire Supply Chain, down to the final mile.

4. Partnering on packaging
We believe that the packaging economy is at a turning point, but investment needs and the diversity of local capabilities make it complex. To progress as quickly as possible, we build partnerships with all our stakeholders (technical start-ups, suppliers, federations & authorities, NGOs) and take a pre-competitive approach. Joining forces with the whole Industry is key to develop long term viable solutions.  

5. Closing the loop whenever feasible
A more circular packaging economy requires close scrutiny when selecting and sourcing materials. We have the responsibility to establish new avenues for recycled content, while ensuring proper recyclability of our packaging wherever sold. In our views plastic remains essential to ensure the best quality and Food safety, making the challenge of Closing the Loop all the more fundamental.

  • 100% of current and future packaging solutions for pillar products and all future packaging solutions for product innovations will be screened using an eco-design tool by 2025
  • We plan on having 100% of the virgin paper we use covered by a sustainable certification by the end of 2023
  • We will eliminate PVC from our packaging by 2025
  • 100% of packaging will bear waste management information by 2025
  • We will promote events like Global Recycling Day and the World Cleanup Day to raise awareness around waste management
  • We will aim for 100% recyclable packaging by design in 2025*

*Recyclable as defined by the Ellen McArthur Foundation with the exception of Polypropolene (PP) where our assessment is that PP bottles and other rigids are sorted and recycled in a single stream which have been validated as recyclable by external studies (Deloitte, Eunomia). 

Recycling Content in Our Local Context

In the United States of America we are presented with a particular challenge as the recycling infrastructure has not kept pace with today’s waste stream. Coordination between suppliers and the recycling industry needs to be managed to better prepare for optimizing the circular economy. 

In the United States, plastics are recycled using a mechanical process where used plastic material is sorted, cleaned, re-grinded, and recycled into new usable plastic that offers a way to circumvent the added environmental strain of using fossil fuels to generate virgin plastic material. 

We support the development of local recycling streams which can handle highly recyclable materials such as polypropylene and mono-material films. 

Finding an end-user for polypropylene and developing infrastructure to sort films at the recycling facilities is a key pathway to improving the circularity of our recycling systems in the US. 

Our challenge is to work with suppliers to develop and source a mono-layered film in parallel to the development of the recycled waste stream in the US. 

We want to close the loop on plastic. About 50% of our plastic packaging is currently widely recyclable**and we’re working hard towards increasing that. To get there, we’re working with our suppliers to develop alternatives and updating our on pack labeling to contain clear instructions on recyclability.

**Recyclable as defined by the Ellen McArthur Foundation with the exception of Polypropolene (PP) where our assessment is that PP bottles and other rigids are sorted and recycled in a single stream which have been validated as recyclable by external studies (Deloitte, Eunomia).

Closing the Loop

We are partnering with How2Recycle which has developed an accurate, and consistent labeling system that is quickly becoming industry standard. 

The purpose of the How2Recycle Guide for Recyclability is to transparently provide the general public and How2Recycle member companies with guidance about what recyclability means, and insight about how the How2Recycle program assesses recyclability on a package-by-package basis. 

At Lactalis American Group, the right packaging takes care of our products, consumers and the environment. In 2021 Lactalis American Group produced over 543 million lbs of product utilizing approximately 29 million lbs of packaging. This includes not only the packaging the consumer sees but also the shipping cartons used to deliver the product to our customers. 

We’re 173 tonnes lighter.

If we can’t completely remove plastic, we’re redesigning our packs to use as little as possible. Our light weighting initiatives since 2019 have resulted in the avoidance of over 154 tonnes of corrugate/paper, and over 18 tonnes of plastic.

We will continue to identify opportunities for like improvements in the near term. 

We are in the process of identifying the potential to reduce overall packaging material usage and packaging intensity for our entire portfolio of goods. Led by our  packaging services and purchasing groups an ongoing  program of supplier sustainability development opportunities has been established to evaluate the latest packaging developments. Initiatives in r-PET and increased recycled content in polypropylene applications may lead to future reductions in virgin material utilization.

Since 2019 we were able to avoid the use of 1,990 pallets by redesigning our shipper cases to improve efficiency. 

From 2019-2021 Lactalis American group embarked on over a dozen packaging sustainability initiatives that were successfully completed. Sometimes even a small change can have a huge environmental impact.

In 2021 our packaging intensity was 52g/kg of LAG products* sold.

67% of our paper products is made up of recycled content**

*LAG products defined as products produced at facilities owned by Lactalis American Group.

**Using supplier data provided this is an estimate subject to continuous improvement

Recycle, Recycle, Recycle

Expanding upon our current efforts supporting our vision, Lactalis American Group has modified its packing usage tracking capabilities to include recyclability, recycled content and percent of virgin materials used. This expansion has required the manual input of over 2600 data points obtained through either the physical weighing of packaging, individual materials or calculations based on our supplier’s specifications. Once completed the entire system will be integrated into our new product introduction processes to ensure it remains current and providing greater accessibility. The system will be refined further, expanding the plastics classifications to ensure we have the most up to date recyclability definitions for our usage in the United States.

Reducing Waste Along the Dairy Supply Chain

Reducing food loss and waste is an important strategy to help meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, contribute to the Paris Agreement on climate change, and sustainably feed the planet by 2050 (WRI 2019). In North America, WRI reports based on FAO 2011 study that over half of losses occur at the consumption stage with about 6% occurring upstream at the processing stage. Lactalis American Group directly impacts waste and losses at the processing stage of the supply chain where we focus on win-win solutions that improve efficiencies, minimize waste, and upcycle or redirect usable losses. At our facilities we train staff to reduce technical malfunctions and errors during processing and rely on technologies to optimize operations (e.g., to identify waste, track temperature and ensure freshness, assess ripeness, better balance demand and supply forecasts, and accelerate delivery of food). 

To impact the majority of waste which occurs at the household or consumption stage we standardize date labels, seek donation opportunities, and work with our packaging suppliers to maximize shelf life and freshness of our products.

Transportation

 

At Lactalis American Group we are committed to reducing our impact on the environment and efforts are deployed daily at each step of our supply chain, from the sourcing of inputs, to production and distribution. Optimizing resource consumption while providing consumers and customers with safe and exceptional dairy products that meet their needs and expectations is very important to us. During the last few years, we have made numerous upgrades and have accomplished a myriad of small-scale projects. In the spirit of continuous improvement, we have plans to further develop our partnerships in the transportation and logistics scope to further mitigate the impact that this activity has on our planet. 

At Lactalis American Group we strive to get our products from production sites to the end consumer quickly while minimizing environmental impact. Within our distribution network this means choosing transportation methods which both minimize distance traveled and maximize the amount of product shipped per truck which in turn reduces our carbon footprint and limits unnecessary transport. Over the past several years we have repeatedly analyzed our distribution network design to most effectively deliver our products efficiently while maintaining our rigorous quality standards. 

Local Logistics

At the core of the Lactalis United States transportation strategy is our ambition to consolidate and pool customer orders across our brands for maximum efficiency in transport and delivery. Leveraging technology in transportation management systems and supply chain visibility, as well as our robust national network of carrier and warehouse providers, Lactalis American Group developed a unique design which pools orders from multiple production sites, and across multiple Lactalis brands, into a single delivery experience to the customer. This model, deployed in late 2019 and continually expanded over the past 2 years, effectively delivers the same amount of customer volume on fewer trucks.

Transportation

In addition to our goals in reducing unnecessary travel in our supply chain, we understand and embrace the benefits of intermodal transportation (railroads and trains) as a safe and effective means of transporting inventory while reducing our carbon emissions per unit shipped. In 2021 Lactalis partnered with our intermodal providers to move over 50 million pounds of inventory via rail transport, taking over 150 trucks off of the road. We aspire to continue our expansion of intermodal service, as well as alternative energy vehicles, in the near future.

To ensure we are meeting our standards for sustainability, Lactalis American Group has deployed numerous KPIs to monitor our performance in logistics with a focus on:

Truckload saturation: Here we measure the percentage of weight utilization of a truck compared to the maximum loading weight. Our goal is to optimize loading weight which decreases the number of trucks needed to move our product. Lactalis deploys metrics on a weekly basis leveraging our transportation management system data. Between 2020 and 2021 we improved our truckload optimization rate by 6.3%.

Customer Delivery Network via Cross-Dock / Consolidation Hubs

Weight shipped through multimodal transport. Lactalis American Group strives to increase our usage of rail transport to decrease our carbon footprint. We aspire to increase our rail utilization by 50% over the next 2 years.

More to Come!

This is just the beginning of our journey…

Appendix

Our committee members and contributors to this report:

David Accadia

Daniel Assef

Christopher Bona

Andrew Burke

Ines DeVulpain

Christa Dixon

Justin Fillmore

Alain Gerard

Don Heins

Jonathan Hemink

Robin Jubilus

Alex Mayers

Ann Queen

Michael Skeels

Joseph Walter

Andi Wood

Julia Zakov

 

References

A Whopping 91 Percent of Plastic Isn’t Recycled. (2019). Retrieved from National Geographic: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/article/whopping-91-percent-plastic-isnt-recycled/

Facts and Figures about Materials, Waste and Recycling. (2021). Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/facts-and-figures-about-materials-waste-and-recycling/plastics-material-specific-data

(2015). Paris Agreement to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Paris: United Nations.

Science Based Targets . (2021). Retrieved from https://sciencebasedtargets.org/

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs . (2021). Retrieved from https://sdgs.un.org/goals

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