The plant replaced two coal fire 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 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. Through educational newsletters, meetings and facility container improvements, reductions decreased 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, CA. 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, KS. In an 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.
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
- 2,570 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions