Smucker Natural Foods Inc. manufacturer of natural and organic pioneer brands R.W. Knudsen Family and Santa Cruz Organic, and niche brands Natural Brew and ME, announced today that its new Chico, Calif., distribution facility has earned LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The 157,000-square-foot warehouse generates 94 percent of its total energy needs and is the first LEED-certified building in Butte County. Sustainability is not new to Smucker Natural Foods, which offers more than 200 products, including juices and juice boxes, peanut butters, fruit sauces, organic and natural sodas, Fair Trade teas and organic chocolate syrups. For 10 consecutive years, the Smucker facility has been recognized by California's Waste Reduction Awards Program (WRAP), and is presently achieving a 98.5 percent reuse/recycle rate. Energy-efficient manufacturing systems were initiated five years ago and consist of two solar arrays combining to provide 450 kilowatt-hours of power, as well as methane turbines and natural gas microturbines capable of generating an additional 190 kwh, reducing the facility's reliance on conventional electricity.LEED certification of the Smucker Natural Foods warehouse was based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community:
- Water Efficiency: Efficient landscaping reduces water usage by 81 percent annually, saving over 500,000 gallons of water; water conserving fixtures reduce water usage by 54.9 percent annually, saving over 26,000 gallons.
- Energy and Atmosphere: A solar water heater provides 53 percent of the building's hot water needs, reducing use of fossil fuels; 1,020 photovoltaic solar panels generate 369,956 kwh of energy per year, offsetting annual energy costs by 56 percent.
- Materials and Resources: Ninety-four percent, or 283,800 pounds, of construction waste materials were recycled during construction; materials used were made from recycled content.
- Indoor Environmental Quality: The HVAC system was designed with outside air quantity 76 percent greater than the requirement; the facility was flushed with outdoor air for 10 days; all adhesives, sealants, paints and carpet systems contain low VOCs and no added urea-formaldehyde, reducing indoor contaminants; skylights and translucent wall panels increase daylighting.
- Sustainable Site: An on-site storm water infiltration pond was installed; there is 10 times the required on-site open space, nearly six acres.