Featured image: Volm Companies IFPA Global Produce Event Team in Anaheim, CA, October 2023, as posted on Volm’s Instagram
Volm Companies, based in Antigo, WI, a leading manufacturer of packaging and equipment in the fresh produce industry, has made an outstanding commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). On October 5, 2023, Volm Companies released a comprehensive document outlining their CSR mission, accomplishments, and future goals, demonstrating their dedication to sustainability, community engagement, and ethical business practices.
The Volm story began in 1954 as a small family-run operation in Bryant, WI. The Volm family initially sold groceries and hardware supplies, serving the local dairy and potato farming communities. Gerald Volm recognized the need for a reliable supplier of burlap bags for transporting potatoes to the market, leading to distributor relationships with bag companies and a move to Antigo, Wisconsin. Over seven decades, Volm Companies evolved into a prominent manufacturer of fresh produce packaging and equipment, known for its ability to listen to customer needs and develop innovative solutions.
In their commitment to CSR, Volm Companies’ CEO, Daniel Mueller, shared their mission statement: “We exist to serve and build up our customers, suppliers, communities, and each other.” Sustainability, for Volm, extends beyond merely meeting customer sustainability needs; it involves understanding their total environmental footprint and taking active measures to reduce it thoughtfully.
Volm acknowledges the valuable role of plastic in food packaging but also advocates for more mindful usage and recycling when suitable alternatives are available. They are committed to aligning their everyday business practices and products with this mindset, emphasizing transparency and environmental responsibility.
Some of Volm Companies’ noteworthy accomplishments in sustainability include:
– Increasing recycling efforts, resulting in an additional 40,000 pounds of landfill waste diversion over three months.
– Diverting 1.6 million pounds of flexible film scrap from the landfill in 2022 by partnering with post-industrial plastic recyclers.
– Actively participating in a cardboard core takeback program.
– Conducting a comprehensive energy audit at their largest manufacturing site and working to implement recommended changes.
– Implementing a tracking program to measure carbon emissions, fuel costs, driver safety, and empty miles in their logistical operations.
– Eliminating hazardous chemicals and contaminants from production processes.
– Establishing the Volm Innovation Center to expand their Sustainable Product line and ensure circular design for new products.
On the social front, Volm Companies values its 550+ employees as their greatest asset. Their commitment to employee safety, wellness, and satisfaction is evident in various programs, including extensive safety and Lean training programs, a comprehensive benefits package, and employee satisfaction surveys for benchmarking.
Volm’s sense of responsibility extends to the communities where they operate, as they actively participate in community events and projects, provide intern programs for college students, and collaborate with local technical colleges through the Move to Manufacturing Program. Philanthropy and community engagement are integral to Volm’s vision of making a positive impact beyond their organization.
In adherence to their code of ethics and conduct standards, Volm Companies places a strong emphasis on values such as providing value to customers, health and safety, respect for people, ethical behavior, and environmental protection. Their commitment to corporate social responsibility reflects their dedication to creating a better world for both people and the planet.
Looking to the future, Volm Companies acknowledges that their sustainability journey is an ongoing process with no predefined endpoint. Over the next few years, they will collect and record essential metrics based on a materiality assessment and share this information through an Environmental Social Governance report with their suppliers, customers, and employees. Volm is committed to maintaining their high CSR standards and fostering collective action within their industry, aiming to lead the way towards a more sustainable and responsible future.