Interested in linking to "Food and Beverage Companies Go Green"?
You may use the Headline, Deck, Byline and URL of this article on your Web site. To link to this article, select and copy the HTML code below and paste it on your own Web site.
By Diane Toops, News & Trends Editor | 09/04/2008
(www.cokecce.com), the biggest bottler of Coca-Cola, won the 2007 Golden Peacock Award for Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting by the World Council for Corporate Governance and the Centre for Sustainability and Excellence. It focuses on three environmental goals: sustainable packaging, water stewardship and climate and energy protection. Coca-Cola Enterprises
With 1.3 billion products sold each day, reusable packaging is key to CCE’s sustainability efforts. The company spent some $60 in recycling initiatives in 2007 and created Coca-Cola Recycling LLC to recover and recycle the packaging materials used by the system (plastic, aluminum, cardboard and plastic film). Its goal is to recycle or reuse 100 percent of its PET plastic bottles and aluminum cans it sells in the U.S. Reusing the cans would require 95 percent less energy than creating aluminum from raw materials and reduces carbon emissions by 95 percent.
CCE also plans to build the world's largest plastic bottle-to-bottle recycling plant in Spartanburg, S.C., and establish a water stewardship plan, which calls for using just one liter of water for every liter of product produced -- what the company calls water neutrality.
In 2004, the company joined forces with Unilever and McDonald’s to launch “Refrigerants Naturally!” Other companies have joined, including Coca-Cola's biggest competitor PepsiCo, to work together to test commercially viable refrigeration technologies free of hydrofluoric carbons.
PepsiCo: Harnessing the power of the sun
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Green Power Partnership was established in 2001 to encourage U.S. companies to voluntarily purchase green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity generation. Green sources of electricity include solar/photovoltaic, wind, geothermal, low-impact hydropower and other forms of renewable power generation.
Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo (www.pepsico.com) recently topped the EPA Green Power Partnership list of the top 25 largest purchasers of renewable energy by purchasing renewable energy certificates (RECs) to match the company’s annual 1.1 billion kWh of purchased electricity. PepsiCo’s REC purchase will match the electricity used at all of its U.S.-based manufacturing facilities, headquarters, distribution centers and regional offices for three years, computing to the same amount of electricity needed to power nearly 90,000 American homes annually.
In the early 1990s, PepsiCo’s Frito Lay division formed Green Teams to focus on energy efficiency projects. Solar power was installed in six of its distribution centers, and in October last year, solar power was installed on the roof of its largest distribution center, located in Arizona. It produces roughly 350,000 kWh of electricity annually.
In addition to solar power installations at its distribution centers, plants such as the Tropicana facility in Fort Pierce, Fla., use supplemental power from a local landfill’s by-product methane gas for its energy needs. The Casa Grande, Ariz., potato chip factory has a goal to run almost entirely on renewable fuels and recycled water. PepsiCo is also an award-winning company in the EPA’s Energy Star program, and it is encouraging its supply chain partners to develop more energy efficient ways.
Unilever: Greenhouse gas profiling tool
In addition to making most lists of global sustainable companies, London-based Unilever (www.unilever.com) uses a Business Partner Code to ensure that its suppliers meet expectations on environmental and social impacts. Since more than two-thirds of Unilever’s raw materials come from agriculture, its Sustainable Agriculture Programme has a key role in managing upstream impacts.
Unilever has reduced emission in manufacturing by more than a third between 1995 and 2006. It’s committed to reducing CO2 from energy used in its manufacturing operations by 25 percent by 2012 (against a baseline of 2004).
In partnership with Forum for the Future, Unilever has developed a “greenhouse gas profiling tool” to enable R&D teams to assess whether innovations will improve a product’s greenhouse gas footprint across its lifecycle, from sourcing to use and disposal.
During 2007, Unilever increased its use of energy coming from renewable sources to 15.2 percent, up from 14.8 percent in 2006, and reduced water usage per ton of production by 61.7 percent.
Anheuser-Busch: Turning waste into fuel
More than five billion 12-oz. servings of beer – or about one in seven beers brewed by St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch in the U.S. – are expected to be brewed using renewable fuel by the end of 2009, thanks to environmental efforts at the company’s 12 U.S. breweries.
The company’s breweries in Fairfield, Calif., and Houston are installing alternative energy technology that will be operational by year end. As a result, the company’s U.S. breweries will run on more than 15 percent renewable fuel. The Houston brewery will use biogas, a natural byproduct of waste decomposition, from a nearby landfill. Combined with the facility’s bio-energy recovery system (BERS), more than 70 percent of the brewery’s fuel needs should be met by alternative fuels. The Fairfield brewery will turn brewing wastewater into fuel and receive electricity from solar panels on site.
Once the Houston and Fairfield projects are operational, 10 of Anheuser-Busch’s 12 U.S. breweries will be producing renewable fuel. The company’s brewery in Fort Collins, Colo., applies nutrient-rich brewery wastewater to nearby land to grow crops that can be turned into biofuel. Busch is also exploring the use of wind, solar, wood and landfill gas at several other breweries.
FoodProcessing.com is the go-to information source for the food and beverage industry. We offer processing best practices as well as new products, equipment and ingredients for food and beverage processors.