Lake Superior Binational Forum’s 2013 Environmental Stewardship Award

Upper Lakes Foods is the proud recipient of the 2013 Lake Superior Binational Program’s Environmental Stewardship Award for Outstanding Contributions to Protect and Restore the Lake Superior Basin.

View the link for more details.

Industries:  Upper Lakes Foods, Cloquet, Minnesota 

Representatives of Upper Great Lakes Food, Inc. accept their award.

Representatives of Upper Great Lakes Food, Inc. accept their award.

Upper Lakes Foods, founded by Lawrence Sorensen in 1967, is the largest wholesale food distributor in the upper Midwest employing 250 people in five states. The corporation has made a commitment to partner with Midwest companies to grow local economies, which demonstrates their philosophy of balancing the needs of the environment, economy, and the communities they serve. 

In 2012, the company launched “Planet to Plate Environmental Stewardship Initiative” with a commitment “to sustaining our planet’s natural resources by continually improving the efficiency of our operations, working with our suppliers to provide environmentally superior products and supporting and assisting our customers in reaching their sustainability goals.”   This company incorporates many sustainable practices in all aspects of the food service business that minimize environmental impacts in the Lake Superior basin. We offer just a fraction of their outstanding accomplishments here:

  • The truck fleet, equipped with catalytic reduction devices that reduce some air emissions to zero, now meets U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards for fuel economy and emissions control.
  • Waste from test kitchens has been reduced by 80%.
  • Substituted all foam, plastic, and one-time utensils in two facilities with reusable dishware and flatware.
  • Installed Energy Star, high efficient hand dryers in all bathrooms, which reduced paper towel waste from 25 large bags a week to zero. This helped reduce waste hauler pick-up from four times/week to two.
  • Donate un-sold food to local food banks on a continual basis.
  • Installed faucet aerators to reduce water usage by 50%.
  • Low flow toilets installed throughout the facility, reducing water use by hundreds of thousands of gallons per year.
  • Replaced all soap and dish cleaning chemicals with environmentally friendly and natural products.