THOMASVILLE, GA. — Flowers Foods, Inc. has reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 21% per tonne of product compared to its 2015 baseline, far exceeding its initial goal, according to the company’s 2022 corporate responsibility report. The GHG emissions progress was one of several noteworthy accomplishments described in the company’s 67-page report released in late November.

Product labeling played a key role in Flowers Foods’ efforts in 2022, the company said. During the year, the company began proactively adding more allergen statements to its packaging for consumers to more easily identify certain ingredients that may cause sensitivities or intolerances. The initiative has carried over into 2023, the company said. Moreover, a large cross-functional team made of Flowers Foods’ employees from research and development, regulatory, quality assurance, supply chain, packaging procurement, ingredient procurement, bakeries, sales, marketing, legal, consumer relations, and communications ensured every product baked by the company complies with the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act of 2021, which named sesame as the ninth major food allergen recognized in the United States. As a result, 155 formulas with 622 different packaging components required an updated ingredient legend and revised packaging in 2022, Flowers Foods noted in the report.

Similarly, Flowers Foods showcased some of its healthy foods-related progress. The company said its Henderson, Nev., baking plant was updated in 2022 to add a new non-GMO, certified organic line that produces Dave’s Killer Bread (DKB) products. Also in 2022, the company invested in Base Culture, a brand offering better-for-you sliced bread and baked foods that are 100% paleo-certified, gluten-free, grain-free, kosher-certified, dairy-free, soy-free and non-GMO verified. Organic products made up 14.9% of Flowers Foods’ sales dollars in 2022, the company said.

The report also highlighted some of the nutritional products launched in 2022, including DKB organic snack bars, the first creation of the Agile Innovation Team, which was established in 2021 to develop and commercialize unique food products in new categories. Flowers Foods said the snack bars will be available in more than 13,000 stores from coast to coast by the end of 2023. Other Flowers Foods product launches in 2022 included Dave’s Killer Bread Epic Everything Organic Breakfast Bread, which was named the best bread in People magazine’s 2022 Food Awards by more than 150 testers; Nature’s Own Perfectly Crafted Sourdough, which is made from sourdough starter with a soft texture and is available in the West Coast, South Central and mid-Atlantic regions; Canyon Bakehouse Brioche-Style Sweet Rolls and Hawaiian Rolls, which are both made with 100% whole grain and are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and nut-free; and Nature’s Own Hawaiian, which is a soft-baked, fruit-forward loaf that is available nationwide.

Beyond its product portfolio, Flowers Foods in the report highlighted initiatives showcasing its responsibility to the environment. The company discussed its involvement in the US Department of Energy (DOE) Better Plans program in 2022. According to the report, the company’s Miami bakery became one of several other Flowers Foods facilities to join the DOE Better Plants Diagnostic Equipment Program (DEP), which identifies and analyzes energy leaks and improves equipment performance. The bakery also borrowed an ultrasonic leak detector to identify and repair almost 30 leaks in its compressed air system, saving more than $5,500 in annual energy costs as well as eliminating more than 62,000 kilowatt hours of annual energy consumption and approximately 44 tonnes of GHG emissions. Furthermore, the Better Plants program recognized the company’s Batesville, Ark., bakery for its energy efficiency projects, which reduced annual energy use by more than 13,000 MMBtu — the equivalent of almost 250 homes per year, the report noted.

The US Environmental Protection Agency recognized 13 Flowers Foods bakeries as Energy Star-certified, the report noted. To achieve this certification, bakeries must score in the top 25% of all US commercial bread and roll bakeries for energy efficiency and meet strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA. Lepage Bakeries — Park Street (Maine) is a two-time honoree; Flowers Baking Co. of Houston (Texas) was a three-time honoree; Mesa Organic Baking Co. (Arizona) and Flowers Baking Co. of Henderson (Nevada) were four-time honorees; Flowers Baking Co. of Batesville (Arkansas) and Tuscaloosa Organic Baking Co. (Alabama) were five-time honorees; Dave’s Killer Bread (Oregon), Flowers Baking Co. of New Orleans (Louisiana), Flowers Baking Co. of Tyler (Texas) and Lynchburg Organic Baking Co. (Virginia) were six-time honorees; and Holsum Bakery of Tolleson (Arizona), Flowers Baking Co. of El Paso (Texas) and Flowers Baking Co. of Norfolk (Virginia) were seven-time honorees.

“These accomplishments are especially impressive when considered alongside other business efficiency projects simultaneously underway, including our Bakery of the Future initiative, enterprise resource planning (ERP) upgrade, and other digital transformation efforts,” said A. Ryals McMullian, chairman and chief executive officer of Flowers Foods. “Our hard work is paying off and creating an even more efficient, responsible, and sustainable Flowers business.”

For access to the full report, click here.