Sustainable Manufacturing News
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) honored, in April in Washington D.C., 149 businesses and organizations in 35 states for their commitment to saving energy and protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency achievements. Recipients of the 2016 Energy Star Partner of the Year Award included Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celanese Corporation and Owens Corning. “This year’s Partner of the Year Award winners prove every day that saving money and protecting the environment go hand in hand,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.
The World Energy Engineering Conference provides many educational tracks for energy managers to attend, including several hosted by the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® program and the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings, Better Plants Program. I was fortunate to sit in on several of the Industrial Energy Management tracks, in which energy mangers from companies like Raytheon, Nissan North America, and General Mills shared success stories and strategies for running energy management programs.
At our John Morrell, Smithfield Packing Company, Farmland Foods, and Murphy-Brown subsidiaries, we use an organized Environmental Management System to identify and manage every part of our operations that could have an effect on the environment. The focus is not only on compliance with applicable rules and regulations, but also on finding ways to continuously improve.
Energy use and greenhouse gas emissions occur during each step of the life cycle of our products from raw material to end-use. Because energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions can affect climate change, we are committed to minimize energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions during the manufacture of our products and to work with partners, suppliers, customers, consumers and stakeholders to help minimize their energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions related to our products.
From sustainable agriculture and energy-efficient manufacturing processes to eco-friendly packaging initiatives, Heinz is proving that smart business is compatible with environmental stewardship. In factory after factory, a transformation is underway to improve sustainability measures and reduce operating costs by installing more efficient equipment, modernizing business processes and implementing new technologies.
ADM views reducing energy use as a key means of reducing the emissions associated with energy generation, and, therefore, to improving our environmental profile. In 2008, ADM convened a cross-functional, cross-divisional Energy Resource Management Working Group to help standardize the way we measure and report energy metrics companywide. The group was also charged with helping the company reduce its usage on a per-unit of production basis through facility assessments, process improvements and the development of energy plans specific to company divisions.
From 2005 to 2010, we reduced our energy use by 16 percent and our energy-related carbon dioxide emissions by 18 percent. By 2015, we’re aiming to reduce our energy use and energy-related carbon dioxide emissions by an additional 15 percent each. We’re making progress by changing our operations, improving facilities and training employees to modify their behavior. We’re also investing in new technologies for lighting, heating, refrigeration, processing and packaging.
In fiscal year 2010, General Mills announced a 6 percent reduction in its energy consumption rate over five years (from the 2005 baseline). While progress fell short of the 15 percent goal, several of the company’s businesses successfully achieved double-digit energy reductions by the end of fiscal year 2010.
Kellogg Company’s energy and GHG reductions since 2005 are the result of many energy-saving projects and initiatives, small and large, at our facilities worldwide. Our plant in Botany, Australia, for example, has reduced its energy usage by 7 percent since 2009, even as production at the plant increased 2 percent. The plant accomplished this by installing an energy management system aimed at improving the control and monitoring of key equipment, such as air compressors, boilers, chilled water units and cooling towers.
The Focus on Energy Water and Wastewater Program was developed to support the industry because of the enormous potential to reduce energy use without compromising water quality standards. Through the program, numerous water and wastewater personnel have learned that energy use can be managed, with no adverse effects on water quality. Most locations that have saved energy have found improved control and treatment.
Lifecycle assessment shows that compared to other parts of our value chain, our manufacturing is not particularly energy-intensive. However, because of the scale of our business, we continue to focus our efforts on reducing our manufacturing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.