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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Faribault Foods: Faribault, Minn.

Faribault Foods, in conjunction with selected contractors, designed and installed an energy-saving heat and water recovery system retrofit for its bean cannery in Faribault, Minn., in November 2009. The plant accounted for roughly 21 percent of the city's water use and 20 percent of sewer flow, and was one of Xcel Energy's largest-volume natural gas customers.

To address these environmental impacts and increase efficiency, the plant developed a system to recover and reuse 100 percent of the process heat, allowing Faribault Foods to decrease its heat-energy per can by 25 percent, decrease water use by 20 percent and sewer flow by 25 percent, and account for 13 percent of Xcel Energy's business customers' natural gas savings in 2009. The system also reduces the plant's water usage by nearly 100 million gallons per year. The natural gas savings accounts for a reduction of 3,030 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. The water savings would provide the water for roughly 4,000 average homes annually.

This project has been awarded:

  • The 2010 Xcel Energy Efficiency Award for the largest natural gas reduction in Minnesota, a total of 38.7 percent since 2007!
  • The 2010 Environmental Initiative Award for "Green Business and Environmental Management."
  • The 2010 Environmental Initiative Award for "Partnership of the Year."

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