Our Approach to Sustainability
As a rapidly growing business, we acknowledge that we have a serious responsibility to improve society. It’s just as important for our efforts to reflect our company values, so as we charted the course for relevant sustainability practices, we asked ourselves a simple question: at its most basic level, what is a BBQ? Besides being our favorite activity, BBQs are all about food, shelter, and a sense of belonging — ideas near to our heart that also serve as the guiding principles for our sustainability strategy.
With a focus on those values, we commit ourselves to enacting positive change in our community’s struggles with hunger and homelessness, economic development, and environmental conservation. In 2021 alone, we donated nearly 73,000 meals — far outpacing our stated goal of 10,000 — and dedicated volunteer hours to like-minded organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana. Our commitment to these sustainability goals is as strong as ever in 2022, and you can follow our efforts as we strive to make our community a better, more welcoming place for all.
Food and shelter aren’t just the building blocks of a good barbecue — they’re also the foundation for quality of life. Yet our home state of Louisiana remains one of the most poverty-stricken in America, leaving many families without basic necessities. According to the Louisiana Budget Project, 1 in every 4 Louisiana children lived below the federal poverty rate in 2019, while 19% of the state’s seniors faced the threat of hunger. With this in mind, we plan to build on our 2021 efforts and continue donating meals, along with a portion of our volunteer hours, to charitable organizations that feed and house disadvantaged families in our area. Just as everyone should have a seat at the barbecue, everyone deserves a warm meal and a roof over their head.
Access to better jobs and career training can spur the necessary economic growth to build a stronger community. With the Baton Rouge area down nearly 38,000 jobs from 2019, those seeking employment in the midst of an economy-altering pandemic need the right skills now more than ever. Customer service, math, administration, and computer proficiency are among the most in-demand skills today, and we see it as our duty to share our business acumen with the prospective workforce. In addition to continuing our partnership with Louisiana Economic Development, we’ll seek to provide educational opportunities in collaboration with Baton Rouge Community College, SkillsUSA, and Front Yard Bikes, a mechanic and mentorship program for local youth.
Headquartered in a state that’s projected to be severely affected by environmental change, we recognize the need to become better stewards of our coastline and wetlands. The US Geological Survey found that Louisiana is home to 80% of America's wetland losses despite accounting for only 40% of wetlands in the continental US. And with nearly 30 square miles of precious wetlands lost every year, Louisiana's ecosystem is rapidly changing for the worse. That’s why we’re continuing and expanding our work with the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana in staging annual events focused on planting trees and bagging oyster shells. We also pledge to better educate the public about the crucial role wetlands play in protecting cities during natural disasters.
We love our home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. That's why BBQGuys and our employees are deeply involved in our local and regional community. Do our sustainability goals align with yours? If you work with an organization that could use our help with future events and projects, then fill out our donation application and we’ll respond as soon as we can. We love lending a hand to local organizations that seek to better our community, so let’s see if we’re a match.