Food Processing Awards ConAgra/Lamb Weston 2011 Green Plant of the Year

ConAgra Foods' Delhi, La. sweet potato processing plant not only contributes to a healthier Earth but also to a healthier bottom line for the Omaha, Neb.-based food company.

By Dave Fusaro, Editor in Chief

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General Mills, Albuquerque, N.M.

General Mills' Albuquerque plant is committed to a sustainable future by continuously striving to improve its environmental performance. A recent addition incorporated a number of environmental features that have been recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The addition has qualified for "silver" under the USGBC's LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) standards and is being considered for "gold" certification. The Albuquerque plant is one of a select group of food manufacturing facilities to earn this recognition.

Other environmentally friendly features include an energy-efficient production line upgrade that uses 25 percent less energy, and an HVAC system that reduces energy consumption by automatically substituting outdoor air for conditioned air on cool nights. Water conservation is also a priority for the plant. Storm water generated on the site is retained in designated areas, and non-native, water-intensive grasses have been removed and replaced with native vegetation that requires minimal watering. Finally, the expansion shortens the distance product has to travel from our production lines to customers, reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

This plant has achieved a special combination of functionality, productivity and sustainability, providing not only business value to General Mills but a commitment to a greener future.

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