Hostess Brands Inc. released its 2022 Corporate Responsibility Report (CRR):
"I am proud of our team for placing our environmental, social and governance commitments at the heart of everything we do. Our collective progress is a reflection of the hard work, shared mission, vision and values we prioritize every day," Andy Callahan, CEO of Hostess Brands, said in the announcement. "We are seeing our initiatives translate into tangible benefits for our people, our customers and our planet. While there is still work to do, we have made significant progress and are excited to continue building a snacking powerhouse that is grounded in social responsibility."
Hostess Brands is prioritizing initiatives focused specifically on the categories of Workplace Health & Safety; Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEI&B); Environmental; and Governance. Progress highlights include:
- Workplace Health & Safety and DEI&B: Employee health and safety is a top priority at Hostess Brands. With a people-first mindset and amid industry-wide labor force challenges, the company continues to focus on executing operational best practices. Hostess Brands' employee training practices are a large part of this effort and they have resulted in significantly lower injury and safety incident rates than industry averages as compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, Hostess Brands has instituted several employee and culture-enhancing programs designed to attract, develop and retain a high-quality workforce, including "thank you" bonuses for its frontline bakery and distribution center employees, roundtable employee discussions encouraging open and transparent dialogue and an emphasis on DEI&B programs. The results of these efforts are seen in its first-ever recognition by Forbes as a 2021 Top 500 Place to Work for Mid-sized Companies and a 2021 Top Workplace for Military Veterans.
- Water, Energy and Packaging Lifecycle Management: Hostess Brands is committed to a focus on conserving water and has made great strides by reducing water usage by 25% over the last two years on a per metric ton of product produced basis. Its energy use also decreased by 14% over the past two years as did its greenhouse gas emissions by 19%, both on a per metric ton of product produced basis. In 2021, Hostess Brands began work on its first-ever Climate Action Plan to determine next steps to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions, energy and water usage. The company will finalize this plan over the next two years. In addition, Hostess Brands conducted a detailed review of its packaging to identify opportunities to further reduce its carbon footprint and has also made strides in its use of recycled packaging materials year over year.
- Creating a Sustainability-First Bakery: Hostess Brands purchased a brownfield site in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, in February 2022 and is in the process of converting an idled factory into a state-of-the-art bakery with a sustainability-first approach. Using best practices from across Hostess Brands' bakery network, the facility will become the company's most sustainable facility to date and an example of one of many environmentally conscious capital expenditure decisions the company has made. The bakery is expected to be operational in the second half of 2023.
- Governance: Since 2016, Hostess Brands has assembled a diverse and independent board. Sixty-seven percent of board members currently self-identify as being from diverse backgrounds. The board oversees Hostess Brands' ESG initiatives and the company has put a system in place that links compensation incentives for executive team members to corporate responsibility goals to ensure they are embedded at every level of company decision-making.
"Hostess Brands is driven to continue its growth trajectory while keeping ESG commitments front and center in the hearts and minds of our employees," Jerry Kaminski, chairman of the board of directors, said in the announcement. "By dedicating Hostess Brands to sustainable growth, we are furthering the company's vision to help people celebrate the 'everyday' by creating moments of joy in the communities in which we do business."
Hostess Brands' second-annual CRR can be viewed in full here.