CHICAGO, May 8, 2019 (PRNewswire) — Conagra Brands, Inc. announced the winners of its annual Sustainable Development Awards. This year marks the 10th consecutive year for the program, which recognizes and rewards employee-led sustainability initiatives that reduce energy usage and waste, conserve water, promote recycling and foster sustainable business practices. Over the last decade, innovative projects submitted for the Sustainable Development Awards have yielded the following results:
- Conserved 3.3 billion gallons of water
- Decreased Conagra's carbon footprint by 185,300 metric tons
- Saved over $236 million
- Reduced waste by over 91,650 tons
- Decreased packaging materials by almost 32,000 tons
This year 45 projects provided imaginative approaches to sustainability while also producing bottom line business results. Awards were given in five categories: Climate Change & Energy Efficiency; Water Conservation & Wastewater Management; Waste Reduction & Recycling; Sustainable Business Innovation; and overall Award of Excellence. Award-winning facilities will receive a $5,000 grant from the Conagra Brands Foundation for sustainability-focused public service projects in their community.
"Our teams continue to generate innovative methods for saving energy, water and waste in our operations and we are pleased to recognize their impact through Conagra's Sustainable Development Awards," said Sean Connolly, president and chief executive officer, Conagra Brands. "The sustainability and efficiency of our business is incredibly important to our consumers, customers, employees and investors, and I'm proud of the work we continue to do in this space."
Conagra's 2019 Sustainable Development Award winners include:
Climate Change & Energy Efficiency: Kent, WA
The Kent facility identified a large opportunity for energy savings through fixing compressed air leaks. By purchasing a leak detector and fixing air leaks, the facility is on track to save 429,000 kWh this year which equates to $30,000 in annual savings.
Sustainable Business Innovation: Council Bluffs, IA
Conagra's R&D packaging team found that the susceptor patches used in pot pie packaging to increase the cooking heat were not necessary. They teamed with the Council Bluffs facility to develop new packaging without the receptor, making the package completely recyclable. This change resulted in a reduction of over one million pounds of packaging with an annual savings of $3 million.
Waste Reduction & Recycling: Fort Madison, IA
In 2018, the Fort Madison facility implemented a waxed cardboard recycling program which helped improve their overall plant recycling efforts by 59%. With 162 tons of waxed cardboard being diverted from a landfill, this change is projected to produce nearly $30,000 in annual savings.
Water Reduction: Menomonie, WI
At our Menomonie facility, milk is brought in to make Swiss Miss hot cocoa. On average, the facility completes 10 milk truck washes every day. Previously, the truck-washing system required fresh water for each wash. After the team's modifications, the facility now employs a reuse system that is able to recycle water while providing safe and effective cleaning. This change also requires fewer cleaning chemicals and conserves 730,000 gallons of water every year.
Award of Excellence: Russellville, AR
The Russellville team worked with maintenance and operations personnel to develop a routine that eliminated unnecessary water and energy consumption in areas of the facility that would not be utilized the next day. This updated routine had a big impact, saving almost 3.5 million gallons of water and 830,000 kWh of energy each year.
About Conagra Brands
Conagra Brands, Inc. (NYSE: CAG), headquartered in Chicago, is one of North America's leading branded food companies. Guided by an entrepreneurial spirit, Conagra Brands combines a rich heritage of making great food with a sharpened focus on innovation. The company's portfolio is evolving to satisfy people's changing food preferences. Conagra's iconic brands, such as Birds Eye®, Marie Callender's®, Banquet®, Healthy Choice®, Slim Jim®, Reddi-wip®, and Vlasic®, as well as emerging brands, including Angie's® BOOMCHICKAPOP®, Duke's®, Earth Balance®, Gardein®, and Frontera®, offer choices for every occasion. For more information, visit www.conagrabrands.com.