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

4 of 4 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 > View on one page

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."

Sign Up for Sustainable Plant
As we say in this cover story, sustainability means different things to different companies. Here's what it means to us and our parent firm, Putman Media.
Sustainable Plant ( is an online information resource and community dedicated to improving the sustainability of manufacturing and other industrial operations to the long-term benefit of society.

A confluence of social, economic and environmental trends has contributed to the rise of sustainability as a key organizational performance metric of today and for the future. From a resource perspective, a growing global population and rising standard of living point to the need to produce more energy and yet use it more efficiently. These same demographic pressures apply to the optimal use and re-use of raw materials and water as well as the reduction of polluting emissions and waste. Further, growing evidence of climate change has raised awareness of the importance of reducing the production of greenhouse gases, notably carbon dioxide.

Sustainable Plant offers actionable advice and resources to help make industrial facilities:

  • Clean (non-polluting and carbon neutral)
  • Safe (for its workers and neighbors)
  • Efficient (in its use of raw materials, water and energy)
  • Profitable (for its stakeholders)
  • Compliant (with regulatory requirements and customer standards)
  • Closed-loop (wastes are recycled, and responsibility is taken for production assets and products throughout their lifecycle)

In short, Sustainable Plant supports the triple bottom line of economic growth, environmental stewardship and social progress, summarized as, "Operating our business in ways that meet the needs of the present without compromising the world we leave to the future."

So visit the website and sign up for its daily newsletter at
-Paul Studebaker, Editor in Chief, Sustainable Plant (

4 of 4 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 > View on one page
Show Comments
Hide Comments

Join the discussion

We welcome your thoughtful comments.
All comments will display your user name.

Want to participate in the discussion?

Register for free

Log in for complete access.


No one has commented on this page yet.

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments