DOING GOOD THINGS FOR SOME REALLY GREAT PEOPLE
At Aalfs, our employees are our best assets. So it only makes sense that we take care of them and their communities. There are our more obvious responsibilities, like ensuring they’re surrounded by a safe, healthy, and productive work environment. But then there are the intangibles, like contributing to the betterment of our employees lives outside the workplace. And making sure that our environmental footprint is as light as possible within their communities.
Additionally, the Aalfs Family Foundation has been active in our hometown community for decades. In just the last 10 years, this organization has contributed over $1.2 million to a variety of local efforts:
Boys Club of Sioux City
Boys & Girls Home & Family Services
Briar Cliff University
Girls Inc. of Sioux City
Jackson Recovery (Women Helping Women)
Make a Wish Foundation of Iowa
Mid America Transportation & Aviation Museum
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Siouxland, Inc.
Sioux City Art Center Association
Sioux City Public Library Foundation
Siouxland Heritage Foundation (Museum)
Sioux City Symphony Orchestra
Siouxland Community Foundation
Siouxland Historical Railroad Association
Siouxland Regional Cancer Center
United Way of Siouxland
Waitt Family Foundation Scholarship
OUR CAPACITY FOR INNOVATION IS EVIDENT IN OTHER WAYS, TOO
Water treatment. After the long washing process in our Mexico facility, our water treatment results exceed quality measurements: the water is cleaner than when it was taken out of the ground. In fact, the treated water is then used by the community on their crops because it is the best water available. Ultimately, we return 93% of water we use to the environment.
Recycling.It’s no surprise that denim results in one of our largest scrap materials. Instead of throwing it away, we sell it to recyclers who make it into cinderblock. In return, the fees we receive are donated directly back to the local communities.
Heat reclamation. Aalfs uses a lot of steam and hot water in both Mexico and Nicaragua. Instead of letting the resulting energy go to waste, we developed proprietary, self-designed equipment to reclaim the heat and pre-warm water as it heads into the process. This cyclical energy solution came from an employee suggestion.
Biomass. In Nicaragua, a generator burns biomass to create a heat source, supplementing the use of expensive fossil fuels. The biomass substance is hulls from rice—a regional agricultural byproduct that would otherwise be thrown away.
Lighting. The work we do is meticulous, so good lighting is imperative. In addition to using energy-efficient light bulbs, Aalfs also harnesses the natural sunlight native to both Mexico and Nicaragua. With the addition of translucent light panels, we don’t have to turn on all the lights on bright days.
OUR SMALL-TOWN SENSE OF COMMUNITY TRAVELS WITH US
Banking. Where our plant is located in Nicaragua, and in many of our Mexico locations, we are the largest employer in the area. Micro-economies have been created around these plants, introducing a viable income stream and supporting growth in the local communities. We have since helped many employees to create bank accounts, most of them for the first time, plus installed cash machines for convenient access to their funds.
Shopping. At several of our facilities, you'll find a daily farmer's market featuring fresh produce and other local food items. Since we are a duty-free zone, onsite duty-free stores provide rare access to other necessary household items, such as small appliances. At our Nicaragua plant, a dozen food vendors sell beverages and freshly prepared meals to employees during their breaks.
Transportation. At one of our Mexico locations, most of our employees reside some distance away from the plant. So we lease a fleet of buses to transport them to and from work each day. We also offer household supplies and food packages at wholesale cost, providing employees with the only general store in the area. Then they simply transport the goods home with them on the bus.