Antunes Continues to Set Pace for Industry with Environmental Commitment Agenda
Fresh on the heels of the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference better known as COP27 and as nations grapple about who should bear responsibility for the polluted state of the climate presently, there is one foodservice manufacturing company who has the protection of the environment at the forefront of their agenda.
The Illinois-based equipment manufacturer, Antunes – a third generation family-owned company is quite possibly the first company that actually has a corporate manager of environmental health and safety. “We recognized that safety is very important to us and as the company grew we needed someone to only focus on the safety and the environmental sustainability within the factory,” explained Sarah Bullock, Antunes’ Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility Executive Assistant.
Since 1955, Antunes has built a reputation as one of the industry’s highest quality manufacturers. The company’s portfolio includes state of industry countertop cooking solutions. Its toasters, steamers, grills and water filtration have been staples for many of the nation’s most prestigious restaurant chain brands for decades.
The third-generation company was launched by Augie Antunes as an equipment rep organization. In his quest to help his customers find a solution, he designed and patented a pressure switch. That has led to decades of designing and manufacturing solutions for the restaurant industry and foodservice professionals. That history has led to a focus on creating innovative commercial kitchen automation solutions. Antunes’ latest automation solution includes automated drive-thru conveyor, automated bun toasting and automated chicken breading.
“Keep in mind our mission for automation, is to give you the flexibility to reallocate your team not to replace them. Instead Antunes Automation is designed to move repetitive tasks from team members to equipment which allows them to work on other restaurant needs,” Bullock noted. “It has been great working with customers to increase throughput while maintaining quality.”
Bullock’s comments came on the heels of Antunes being presented recently with a prestigious community honor. Antunes has received the Earth and Water Flag from SCARCE, a local, environmental education non-profit, for efforts in conserving resources, creating a healthy environment and commitment to clean water. The award was bestowed upon the completion of a SCARCE provided assessment, passing a validation audit and accomplishing the training of more than 75% of the Antunes’ team members.
“I was especially proud to help Antunes work toward completing the credentials to be recognized with the SCARCE flags,” said Juan Ortiz, Antunes’ Corporate Manager of Environmental Health and Safety. “The flags showcase the positive impact that Antunes has on our community and our world.”
For over 30 years SCARCE has been implementing change to foster a more sustainable future. The award-winning environmental education non-profit is dedicated to creating sustainable communities. They accomplish this through innovative and hands-on education programs for schools and organizations, demonstrating care for people and their natural resources through our Reuse Center, and engaging the broader public through community-wide events and programs.
Corporate Social Responsibility at Antunes is rooted in the desire to positively impact the world and build an enduring great company. Some of Antunes sustainable measures include using 936 solar panels to power their Carol Stream location, diverting waste to landfill by composting and recycling initiatives, sustainable packaging initiatives including on demand box making for all products and purchasing 50% Green Energy.
The impact of Antunes’ green and sustainable agenda can also be seen in equipment & supply dealer showrooms across the country. “We had a team member that suggested how we could minimize our footprint by customizing the boxes we were using for our products. With that we actually purchased a piece of equipment that creates boxes to eliminate packaging waste. This year, we actually took it one step further with a commitment that was suggested by another Antunes team member to eliminate another 5% of what we were ultimately sending to landfills.”
“I’m convinced that one of the things that has driven our success has been to continue to stay focused on what we do best,” Bullock said. “Our sweet spot is QSR chains with 100 plus locations.”
Jane Bullock who serves as Antunes’ Chief Purpose Officer noted: “That’s really what Antunes is all about. We are so much more than just a catalogue of products. Today’s restaurants, foodservice professionals and the dealers and consultants that support them are looking for a manufacturing partner that can create a customized solution for their kitchen. We get that the chain of our industry is driven by the rep and dealer relationship with the operator. But in our case, we all work as a team to get to that unique solution.”
“We see the challenges that our customers are going through of finding staff as we come out of the Pandemic,” Bullock continued. “They are really stressed over having to do the grunt work that was being handled by employees previously as well as the time and money necessary to retrain. We understand just how important the people are to operate a successful restaurant. That’s why we value many of the families that work for Antunes. We have a number of folks that have worked with us for 40 years and we actually just celebrated a 50th anniversary.”
For more information on Antunes, email them directly or visit their website. Antunes’ latest solutions will be on display at the upcoming NAFEM Show slated for February 1-3, 2023 in Orlando. FL.