Retail & Consumer Products
Teresa Schoonings headshot
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Teresa Schoonings

Senior Director, Government Relations & Sustainability, Bimbo Canada

When the goal for the world’s biggest baker for 2025 is to make their Canadian operations run on 100% renewable electricity, use 100% sustainable packaging, and cut food waste by 50% – all on the way to achieving net-zero carbon by 2050, you need to start big – and then not stop.

Teresa’s big moves since 2019 include creating a sustainability team of four people who have contributed to the following, wisely leveraging wins in a few bakeries to make different cases, and then duplicating the efforts at other locations across Canada.

For example, plugging leaks in an inefficient compressor in the Hamilton bakery proved one case, contributing to Bimbo’s first Energy Star rating – and so were duplicated at 3 other sites, saving a combined 633,899 kWh annually. In another plant, after an audit discovered significant water waste, cutting the biggest offending process back by 82% saved 20,500 m3 a year (8.2 Olympic-sized pools) and $62,000 – and with no loss in efficacy. Leveraging these wins enabled Teresa’s team and outside advisors Enviro-Stewards to tackle a range of other opportunities.

So far, annualized savings across the board: Water use > 85,000 m3; natural gas > 167,000 m3, electricity > 1,005,000 kWh and food loss and waste at the plants reduced by almost 16 T. Shifting packaging to recyclable options removed 174 T of plastic from waste streams.

By the time Teresa’s done, the only carbon Bimbo is responsible for will be when their consumers burn toast.