Sustainability

As third-generation owners of Bellingham Cold Storage, our family has always focused on the long-term growth and success of the company; it’s a mindset that means understanding how our business decisions affect those around us.

We can’t afford to take a short-term, profit-only attitude if we are to continue to prosper as a company generations from now. We are proud of the work we do and our commitment to good corporate stewardship. As part of that effort, BCS maintains a Sustainability Program that looks at all the ways our company affects those around us.

The Sustainability Program organizes and articulates how BCS can be an effective steward for the community and the environment: first, to recognize and take responsibility for the consequences of our actions, and then to bring about positive outcomes. We set goals and then establish objective measure of progress targeting four areas: Employees, Customers, Community and

Environment. Our Sustainability Committee provides leadership and communication throughout the plant to ensure success.

Although BCS is a relatively small company, our roots in the community run deep, and we know that our actions have important consequences. A commitment to social and environmental responsibility has always been part of our corporate DNA, and embraced by our entire management team. As we expand and refine the program over the coming years, we encourage feedback and ideas from everyone.

Sincerely,
Stowe & Jane Talbot
Owners

BCS CORE VALUES

Drafted and adopted by the employees themselves, these core values guide our daily decisions:

BCS Team

Teamwork
We support the concept of teamwork. We encourage fellow employees in their efforts to do a good job, helping whenever possible.

Integrity
We treat all people and property with honesty and respect, and are dedicated to building trust with our employees and customers.

Quality
We are enthusiastically committed to providing the highest standards of service, product and performance.

Accountability
We willingly accept responsibility for our actions.

Attitude
We have a positive outlook and progressive approach toward our jobs, customers and fellow employees.

Community

From the company’s beginning in 1946, BCS has played an active role in building the communities around us. Outreach takes many forms: we serve on the boards of various local non-profit organizations; we support local agriculture; and we work to keep our immediate neighbors safe in case of emergencies.

Vanishing Ice Exhibit at the Lightcatcher Museum

CURRENT ACHIEVEMENTS

Annual support of the following local non-profit organizations, include but is not limited to:

Food Banks
BCS provides free cold storage, warehousing, and donations of surplus food inventory.

United Way
In addition to providing employee-matched donations to United Way, two employees (a plant worker and a manager) serve on United Way’s board and participate in committee work.

Whatcom Literacy Council
BCS participates in local fundraising events to promote literacy.

Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association
BCS provides both ongoing monetary support to NSEA as well as volunteer labor for creek restoration projects. Lower Squalicum Creek, a salmon-bearing stream near our campus was adopted by BCS and its employees in 2008 for ongoing stewardship.

Agriculture
BCS supports local 4H projects to inspire and encourage kids interested in Whatcom County’s farming legacy. We also participate in a local “farm share” program, partnering directly with Cedarville Farm (Whatcom County) for weekly deliveries of local farm goods to employees.

Neighborhood and Community
BCS offers Neighborhood and Community Safety Awareness and Preparedness programs, including shelter-in-place training.

BCS also supports its community through monetary contributions. In 2013, we donated $73,500 to 70 local community non-profit organizations, including several youth enrichment programs.

GOALS

  • Employees to serve on at least three local non-profit boards.
  • Encourage employees to volunteer, and provide opportunities to do so.
  • Continue to donate to local non-profits each year.

EMPLOYEES

BCS fosters an innovative and engaging culture where employees feel welcomed, appreciated, included, and inspired. We know that happy and healthy employees make for a successful company. BCS is proud of the longevity of our employees’ tenure, our low turnover rate and high level of job satisfaction.
BCS has a number of programs to recognize the achievements of our employees, and we encourage them to take an active role in environmental sustainability and community outreach.

Employee Picnic

CURRENT ACHIEVEMENTS

ESL / Citizenship
Free classes in English, math and US citizenship preparation.

Scholarships
Up to $500/year in tuition to employees wishing to continue their education.

4-H Youth Development Program
Sponsorship of employee families participating in local 4H programs.

School Program Support
Including sports teams, music programs, field trips, PTA, etc.

Sensitivity Training
BCS strives to create a safe and inclusive working environment for all. Mandatory training for all employees to enhance their awareness of diversity in the workplace.

Workplace Literacy
Available to all our employees, our literacy program teaches a range of skills needed not only for work, but for home, family life, and continuing education. Classes cover English, GED preparation and computer skills.

Smart Commuter Program
We offer incentives to employees to find alternatives to single occupancy vehicles in their commute to work. On any given day, we now have over a third of our employees either carpool, bike, bus, or walk to work. BCS was recognized by EPA as “Best Workplaces for Commuters,” and we have twice won the Governor’s Award for innovation in workplace commuting.

Employee Recognition Programs:

Employee of the Month
Each month employees select someone for recognition of outstanding workplace achievement. At the end of the year, one of the twelve recipients is then chosen as “Employee of the Year.”

Safety Programs
For every three consecutive months without a “lost-time” accident, $3,000 is distributed amongst all employees.

Awards and Appreciation Dinner
BCS hosts an annual banquet for all present and retired employees to recognize and celebrate the past year’s accomplishments and to give thanks for their efforts and service.

Employee Empowerment:

KAIZEN implementation projects
Kaizen, a Japanese term meaning “change for the better”, is a philosophy of continuous improvement of processes in business, management, engineering and manufacturing. Employees identify processes that seem redundant, require unnecessary hard work, or can be improved to make their job safer or more efficient. This program empowers people to have a positive contribution to their workplace.

GOALS

  • Continue to give positive recognition.
  • Promote healthy lifestyles.
  • Offer continued education and lifelong learning.
  • Empower employee workplace engagement and participation.

Customers

Our success depends on the support and cooperation of our customers and vendors; together we are a team. BCS is continually looking for ways to enhance collaboration with customers and vendors, providing recognition, offering environmental and safety training classes and sharing best practices.

BCS Ammonia Safety training for customers, competitors, neighbors

CURRENT TRAINING PROGRAMS

Shelter in Place

Anhydrous Ammonia Safety Training

Emergency Evacuation Drills

Forklift Safety

Lockout/Tagout

Stormwater pollution prevention

First Aid/CPR/AED

Fire Extinguisher Training

Sanitation Workshops

Propane tank safety

Personal Hygiene/Food Safety

Hot Work Permit Safety

GOALS

  • Expand in-house training for customers and vendors;
  • Continue long-standing customer relations;
  • Continue to provide excellent customer service.

Environment

As a cold-storage warehouse, BCS is strongly connected to the natural world. Our lifeblood is the storing and handling of nature’s bounty: seafood, berries, vegetables and an abundance of other foods. We depend on a healthy environment to sustain these harvests, and take seriously our responsibility to make environmental sustainability part of our business model.

Squalicum Creek Restoration volunteers, 2012

CURRENT ACHIEVEMENTS

Recycle Program
BCS recycles toner cartridges, paper, cardboard, electronic devices and batteries as part of an ever-expanding recycling program.

Stormwater management
BCS conducts ongoing training for employees, on-site tenants and vendors on stormwater pollution prevention.

Energy conservation programs
BCS has adopted the latest technology to reduce power consumption. New refrigeration control systems at both plants have reduced power consumption by 4.8 million kWh per year. In addition, we have replaced more than 70 percent of the facility’s older halogen fixtures with more energy efficient florescent lighting, reducing consumption by approximately 800,000 kWh per year.

SMART Commuter Program
BCS offers incentives to employees to find alternatives to single-occupancy vehicles in their commute to work. On any given day, more than a third of our employees either carpool, bike or walk to work. BCS has been recognized by the EPA as one of the “Best Workplaces for Commuters,” and we have twice won the Governor’s Award for innovation in workplace commuting. BCS created a SMART commuter check-box area on the daily timesheet to make it easy for BCS employees to report their SMART trip.

Paper reduction program
BCS continues to transition away from paper printed reports and preprinted forms as a part of its waste reduction efforts through electronic archiving and EDI communication with customers.

Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
BCS provides free storage for food products to feed animals in rehabilitation.

Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association
BCS provides ongoing monetary support to NSEA as well as volunteer labor for creek restoration projects. Lower Squalicum Creek, a local salmon-bearing stream near our facility was adopted by BCS and its employees in 2008 for ongoing stewardship.

Sustainable local agriculture (CSA Farm Share)
An integral part of the local food ecosystem, we participate in a “farm share” program, partnering directly with Cedarville Farm (Whatcom County) for weekly deliveries of local farm goods to employees. BCS is actively working to strengthen the local agricultural community.

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification
BCS has achieved MSC “Chain of Custody” certification. This eco-label is the globally recognized mark for seafood that can be traced through every step of the supply chain to the well-managed and sustainable fishery that caught it. It enables the world’s fisheries to demonstrate their environmental credentials – proving that they are fishing sustainably, implementing good management practices and minimizing their environmental impact.

GOALS

  • Strengthen the Smart Commute program.
  • Reduce waste and expand the recycling program to all areas of the plant.
  • Continue our stewardship of Squalicum Creek through the NSEA program.
  • Achieve 100% conversion to energy efficient lighting.