USA, Chicago. These eco-friendly manufacturers go beyond environmental compliance and drive improved performance through sustainability.
The winners of ProFood World’s 2019 Sustainability Excellence in Manufacturing Award prove that eco-friendly activities and profitability go hand in hand. ProFood World honored the award winners in Chicago during ProFood Tech, where they shared how their operations go beyond environmental compliance and drive improved performance through sustainability.
First Place Program Category
In the Program Category, Smithfield Packaged Meats’ facility in Kinston, North Carolina, earned first place for making some simple, cost-effective adjustments to its smoker to prevent excessive liquid smoke loss. Prior to initiating the project, the company lost about 1.62 gal per hour of liquid smoke when it applied the liquid smoke to its hotdogs. The liquid smoke dripped off the hotdogs and seeped into the floor drain, causing Smithfield to lose about 38.88 gallons of liquid smoke per day at a cost of about $22.57 per gal. In addition, it increased the company’s surcharges for wastewater treatment. Smithfield decided to install a blower and air knives that it wasn’t using on one of its dryers onto its smoker unit. The blower system with air knives blows the excess liquid smoke off the baskets holding the hotdogs into a smoker holding tank. By making this simple change to its smoker, Smithfield reduced its liquid smoke loss by 59% and saved more about $129,000 in a year by capturing the excess liquid smoke. Because the company already had the blower and air knives on hand and only needed to purchase about $300 of parts for the installation, the return on investment was immediate.
First Place Project Category
Keystone Foods won the first-place award in the Project Category by reconsidering its wastewater vendor options. The company’s North Carolina facility began evaluating wastewater chemical vendors in 2016, eventually signing a contract with Polytec, a vendor used at its other locations. By hiring a new wastewater chemical vendor, Keystone not only yielded wastewater treatment chemical cost savings, but also improved wastewater treatment system and monitoring and performance, enabled online storage of wastewater data, reduced dissolved air flotation solids weight, improved operator safety, and reduced labor costs.
Second Place Project Category (tie)
Smithfield Packaged Meats’ facility in Sioux City, Iowa also garnered a second place award in the Project Category in a tie with Campbell for replacing its four water-intensive chip smokers with waterless smokers for its smoked meats. The new units reduce water usage by 98%, saving more than 1 mill. gal of water a year.