The 2015 Van Vlahakis Environmental Excellence Award was presented to Golden State Foods at the CleanTech OC Annual Conference held at the Institute for Innovation at UC Irvine in October.
Earth Friendly Products, offers the Van Vlahakis Environmental Excellence Award to recognize organizations that go beyond the norm to advance environmental initiatives and sustainability programs, and to make these examples available to others who may emulate them.
The award is named after Van Vlahakis, the late founder of Earth Friendly Products, a visionary who dedicated his life to creating a healthier, more sustainable world. Born in Crete on January 14, 1935, Vlahakis came to the US as a young man ready to change his life and the world; and he did. He left Greece in 1953 to escape poverty after World War II had torn apart Europe, and went to Chicago, IL to study chemistry at Roosevelt University. He was going to school in the morning and straight to work after his classes in order to make a living. The man who was forced to live in homeless shelters when he arrived in the States, ten years later founded the green giant known today as Earth Friendly Products.
Golden State Foods was chosen for the 2015 Van Vlahakis Environmental Excellence Award for the breadth of its environmental sustainability programs and its service to its employees and the larger community.
GSF, a leader in sustainability and social responsibility, is one of the largest diversified suppliers to the quick service restaurant (QSR) and retail industries. They serve more than 125,000 restaurants from 45 locations on 5 continents with 5,000 employees.