ConAgra announced the winners of its 2014 Sustainable Development Awards, an internal award program designed to spur creative approaches to sustainability and improve bottom line business results.
This year’s 85 entries were collectively responsible for a reduction in greenhouse gases of more than 9,500 tons, a 10,500 ton reduction in landfill waste, the conservation of more than 820 million gallons of water and optimized packaging using 7.8 million pounds less material. The initiatives, which delivered over $30 million in savings, resulted in the company’s largest water savings to date.
ConAgra’s Frozen Food Facility in Russellville, AR won this year’s Climate Change & Energy Efficiency award by making sure third-shift maintenance team members shut down equipment every night it wasn’t scheduled for production. Stopping wasted energy and water at the source contributed to a 5.8 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per pound produced this year.
ConAgra Foods’ Snack Facility in Lincoln, NE was the recipient of the Water Resources: Conservation & Wastewater Management award in recognition of the plant’s 650,000 gallons annual water use reduction, an overall 4.7 percent drop. To achieve such dramatic results, the Lincoln facility challenged weekly wet wash cleaning cycles and validated cleaning results to extend the cleaning cycle.
An exchange program to reduce the amount of fresh oil purchased and save transportation miles eliminated 629 tons of waste oil previously sent out as an animal feed supplement or for fuel production at the company’s Lamb Weston Potato Facilities in Hermiston, OR and American Falls, ID, netting the facilities the Solid Waste Reduction & Recycling award.
Meanwhile, the Research, Quality & Innovation Team in Omaha, NE received the Sustainable Business Innovation award for establishing new practices that eliminated the need to keep high levels of inventory at the plant. The innovation led to corrugated material reduction and a new, improved display-ready box that contributed to a reduction of over 4.6 million pounds of packaging.
Finally, the Award of Excellence went to ConAgra Foods’ Lamb Weston Meijer Potato Facilities in Kruiningen and Bergen op Zoom, the Netherlands. The facilities implemented a predictive control model, resulting in increased efficiencies, reduced utility usage and improved product consistency and quality.