The Kraft Heinz Company has been selected for award negotiations to receive up to $170 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstration to support the implementation of clean energy projects at 10 of the company’s U.S. plants.

These plants produce various food products, and these new projects’ technologies can be replicated across a wide range of food and beverage manufacturers. This investment will fund part of “The Delicious Decarbonization Through Integrated Electrification and Energy Storage” project, helping these locations reduce annual emissions by more than 99% from 2022 levels – a significant step forward in the company’s global net-zero ambitions.

“At Kraft Heinz, we’re on a journey to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” says Marcos Eloi Lima, chief procurement and sustainability officer at Kraft Heinz. “This investment will give us critical resources to make necessary improvements in our plants to help increase their energy efficiency and reduce emissions. This investment recognizes our continued efforts to reduce our environmental footprint, and we’re eager to get started.”

Kraft Heinz will use the funds to install a range of technologies, including heat pumps, electric heaters, electric boilers, anaerobic digestors, biogas boilers, solar thermal, solar photovoltaic and thermal energy storage. The company anticipates the project will create an estimated 500 construction jobs across the 10 plant sites, providing opportunities for employees to receive additional training and develop new skills related to the new technologies.

“The infrastructure changes made at these 10 plants will allow us to replicate successful technologies and processes across our remaining U.S. plants and globally, making us more efficient as we continue to make upgrades to more locations,” says Helen Davis, SVP and head of North America operations at Kraft Heinz. “I’m proud of the impact this project and award will have on our facilities, but also on our current and future workforce and the communities that surround our operations.”

The 10 sites include Champaign, Ill.; Columbia, Mo.; Fremont, Ohio; Holland, Mich.; Kendallville, Ind.; Lowville, N.Y.; Mason City, Iowa; Muscatine, Iowa; New Ulm, Minn.; and Winchester, Va.

The 10 plants are projected to see benefits from this project by 2030, as estimated below (compared to 2022 levels):

  • Overall energy use after the implementation of energy efficiency measures, electrification and onsite generation will decline by 23% (from 1043 GWh/y to 801 GWh/year).
  • Natural gas use will decline by 97%, with the remaining 3% being used for standby equipment.
  • Total water use will be reduced by 3%.

To develop the application, Kraft Heinz engaged ENGIE, a company that provides strategic consulting, global reporting and implementation support to corporations, governmental organizations and municipalities on their net-zero journeys.

As part of the company’s ongoing work with the U.S. Department of Energy, Kraft Heinz joined its Better Climate Challenge and Renewable Thermal Collaborative to work across industries to exchange ideas and share repeatable models that can help accelerate decarbonization.