TORONTO — Bimbo Canada, owned by Grupo Bimbo SAB de CV, received two 2023 Clean50 awards in October. Transitioning to compostable cardboard clips as bread bag closures from plastic closures won a national award in Canada as one of the Clean50 top projects. Jeff Robertson, director, environment and sustainability at Bimbo Canada, was named a Clean50 emerging leader.

Delta Management Group, a search firm in Canada that focuses on professionals in the clean, green and climate markets, founded Canada’s Clean50 Award program and has served as primary sponsor for the past 10 years.

Bimbo Canada in April introduced the compostable bread bag clips on all its bread products, including Dempster’s, Villaggio, POM, Bon Matin, Ben’s and Stonemill, a move that will reduce single-use plastic by about 200 tonnes annually. The bread tags are made from 100% recyclable cardboard and are compostable in municipal systems across Canada.

“Bimbo Canada has committed that by 2025, 100% of our packaging will support a circular economy by being reusable, recyclable, biodegradable or compostable,” said Teresa Schoonings, senior director, sustainability for Bimbo Canada. “I am proud of the team at Bimbo Canada who led this initiative and extremely pleased that Jeff has been named a 2023 Clean50 emerging leader.”

The Clean50 individual awards recognize leaders in Canada who have done the most to advance climate action and develop climate solutions. Award-winners are selected from 16 categories covering industries, academia, government, thought leaders and advocates. The Clean50 emerging leaders award goes to individuals age 35 or younger. Mr. Robertson leads a team in identifying and catalyzing sustainability projects in 16 plants across Canada. He played a role in the change to compostable and recyclable packaging clips.

“I am very honored to be recognized with this award," Mr. Robertson said. "At Bimbo Canada sustainability is central to our mission of nourishing a better world. This award is a testament to all the work that we are doing to run a company that understands and believes that we need to work in ways that support and sustain our environment and the communities that we live and work in."

Mr. Robertson’s team in Canada has completed more than 70 projects, including avoiding 191,000 kilograms (over 420,000 lbs) of food waste per year, diverting 2.65 million units of product from landfill through donations to over 120 food banks in Canada in 2021, converting to 100% LED lighting in all bakeries in Canada, and achieving EnergyStar certification at 4 bakeries.