"We are so proud to unveil our latest distribution center in Chicago," said Mark Wetterau, Golden State CEO. "The new building is a milestone in our larger goals toward environmental sustainability and excellent customer service and will serve as a benchmark for future and existing facilities within the GSF distribution community."
The center strives to reduce diesel consumption with electric stand-by power for outbound trailers and is using rainwater for irrigation purposes. In addition, the facility is utilizing hydrogen power, clear panel windows, LED lighting and a highly efficient Cascade refrigeration system.
The new center is also ISO 14001 certified, and has a robust set of standards that focuses on GSF's environmental management systems, sustainability and recycling programs, conservation, compliance and waste diversion. It also has begun operating an automated truck wash that is equipped with an auto-recovery system to minimize water consumption. The new hydrogen generation plant was completed last month. This system implements hydrogen fuel cells as an alternative energy source for forklift and pallet jack equipment operation, replacing the use of traditional batteries and chargers.
GSF hosted almost 200 guests, including McDonald's team members and customers, who toured the new facility and participated in a ribbon-cutting and reception. Guests also had the opportunity to experience the new test kitchen, run by GSF Chef Glenn Lewis from Conyers. The large, on-site kitchen will serve to engage GSF's customers in the development of new products and ideas proposed by associates.
Speakers at the grand opening included Jeff Tobolski, mayor of McCook, Mark Wetterau, CEO of Golden State Foods, Wayne Luter, general manager of the new McCook location and Bob Stewart of the McDonald's U.S. Field and Supply Chain Services.
"We are truly impressed by GSF's latest distribution center here in McCook," said Stewart. "The sustainable features truly bring our values of being a good neighbor and partner to the community to reality. We look forward to our partnership with GSF and this facility as we work to achieve our goals and deliver quality food, beverages and packaging."
Golden State Foods is one of the world's largest diversified suppliers to the quick-service restaurant industry with $6.6 billion in annual sales. With approximately 4,500 employees worldwide, GSF services more than 125,000 stores and 100 customers on five continents from its 45 facilities. Its core businesses include processing of meat and other products, and it is full-line distribution to the food industry.