Hormel Foods Awarded Food Processing’s 2012 Green Plant of the Year

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Manufacturer’s Dubuque, IA, plant, which features a reflective roof and parking surfaces, premium-efficiency electric motors and a gray water recovery system, nabs leading magazine’s third annual award for sustainability efforts.

Buoyed by its designation as one of the first manufacturing plants to be LEED-certified at any level, Hormel Foods grabbed Food Processing magazine’s third-annual Green Plant of the Year award.

Manufacturers submitted 200-word essays to help familiarize readers with their efforts. The essays were then posted on the Food Processing web site (http://www.foodprocessing.com) during the summer and readers voted the eventual winner. Hormel edged out General Mills’ Albuquerque, NM, facility for the top prize.

“It’s important to recognize efforts at saving the planet,” said Dave Fusaro, Editor-in- Chief of Food Processing. “In business, especially these days, it’s important to recognize efforts that create jobs. When you find a project that has done both, you really have a gem.”

Hormel Foods officially opened the doors of its $89 million, 348,000-sq.-ft. facility on Jan. 25, 2010. Six months later, it achieved LEED Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, making it one of the first manufacturing plants to be LEED-certified at any level, and the first refrigerated foods facility with this designation.

From details such as the reflective roof and parking surfaces to the premium-efficiency electric motors and intricate processes like the gray water recovery system, Hormel/Dubuque was designed to be as efficient and environmentally friendly as possible. Among the facility’s noteworthy features:

  • It was constructed using materials with more than 36 percent recycled content.
  • Uses at least 25 percent less water than a plant built to meet current building codes and standards.
  • Recovers the energy used in compressing air, meaning an almost “net zero” energy consumption to compress air in the facility. As such, net greenhouse gas emissions are reduced.
  • Utilizes energy-recovery ventilators that provide fresh air to indoor spaces with minimal energy costs.

To be considered for the award, food and beverage manufacturing plants must fit the following criteria set forth by Food Processing:

  • Is it energy efficient?
  • Does it use innovative or alternative sources of energy?
  • It is minimally polluting?
  • Does it minimize water use?
  • Were green building materials and practices used in its construction?
  • Is the design innovative?
  • Is it economically sustainable?

Hormel joins Food Processing’s 2011 winner, ConAgra Foods’ Lamb Weston sweet potato facility in Delhi, LA, and the 2010 honoree, Kettle Foods’ Beloit, WI, plant.

To learn more about the manufacturing plant and the Green Plant of the Year award, read the full story on FoodProcessing.com at http://www.foodprocessing.com/articles/2012/green-plant-of-the-year-hormel.html

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Dave Fusaro, Chief Editor
Putman Media
(630) 467-1301 424
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