The annual award recognizes internal teams who have identified areas for efficiency and implemented changes in the category of environmental sustainability.
The plant replaced two coal fired boilers with more efficient steam generators and relocated the equipment closer to ovens to reduce energy loss. The team also installed heat recovery technology and thermal solar panels to heat water for sanitation. The result was a 60 percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in 2014, compared to 2013.
“The success of Project Blue Sky, and our other Best of the Best finalists, demonstrates the impact one team can have at both the local- and corporate-level,” said Thomas E. Raymond, director of environmental sustainability at Hormel Foods. “Streamlining manufacturing processes makes an impact in our plant communities, and helps Hormel Foods meet its global environmental goals. Through this annual challenge, we continue to find ways to reduce our energy use, solid waste, water use and air emissions and exemplify what it means to be leader in sustainability.”
The other Environmental Sustainability Best of the Best finalists included
• Atlanta Plant (Tucker, Ga.) – The Atlanta Plant continued to foster an environment where employees were encouraged to think “green” in 2014. Through educational newsletters, meetings and facility container improvements, reductions allowed for a decrease to one trash pickup per week and solid waste to landfill was reduced by 42 percent compared to the previous year.
• Saag’s Products (San Leandro, Calif.) – The Saag’s team set out to reduce its solid waste to landfill contribution by 50 percent. By engaging employees in recyclable material training, the plant reduced its solid waste to landfill by 89 tons, surpassing its original goal and improving recycling to 53 percent.
• Dold Foods (Wichita, Kan.) – Dold Foods originally aimed to eliminate 39 tons of solid waste by the year 2020. In a plantwide effort to minimize all solid waste streams, the plant realized an annualized savings of 127 tons of solid waste, or 330 percent of the 2020 goal, in fiscal 2014 alone.
The Environmental Sustainability Best of the Best champion is selected by a panel of judges at the Corporate Office in Austin, Minn., based on the criteria of project scope and goal setting, teamwork, problem solving, achievement and savings.
The annual entries help impact the entire corporation’s environmental goals. Based on entries from 2014 alone, Hormel Foods documented the following annual savings from the 52 Environmental Sustainability Best of the Best projects:
• 82 million gallons in water use;
• 8,100 MMBtu of natural gas;
• 2,700,000 kWh of electricity;
• 1,500 tons of solid waste; and
• 2,570 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
To view a video about the finalist and winning Environmental Sustainability Best of the Best projects, visit: http://2014csr.hormelfoods.com/environment/recognition/. To learn more about environmental sustainability efforts at Hormel Foods, visit the 2014 Corporate Responsibility Report: http://2014csr.hormelfoods.com/environment/.