SAN?FRANCISCO Del Monte Foods announced last week the winners of its inaugural Sustainability Excellence and Education (SEED) Awards, a program that recognizes its manufacturing and distribution facilities for displaying excellence in environmental sustainability and employee education. Its vegetable manufacturing plant in Sleepy Eye, was among the recipients.
The Sleepy Eye plant, where Del Monte processes peas and corn, received the SEED Award for energy reduction. Sleepy Eye achieved a nearly 25 percent decrease in electricity usage and 7 percent decrease in natural gas usage from 2007 to 2012. These results were driven by numerous initiatives, including the installation of insulated warehouse windows and roofs, an upgraded boiler burner and more efficient heaters, as well as improved heat recapture methods.
To select the winners of the inaugural awards, Del Monte's Corporate Responsibility Leadership Team evaluated Del Monte's plants and distribution centers in the categories of water, waste and energy. Each facility was rated based on environmental impact reduction progress from both 2007 to 2012 and 2011 to 2012, as well as the facility's efforts to educate staff about its environmental sustainability programs and progress.
SEED Award winners received a commemorative plaque to display at their facility, as well as $1,000 to donate to the local charity of their choice.
As a company, Del Monte Foods has set broad sustainability goals in the areas of water, waste and energy that it is driving to achieve by 2016. As of 2012, Del Monte has surpassed its goals in waste to landfill reduction and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions caused by transportation, and is well on its way to achieving a 20 percent reduction in fresh water usage and 15 percent reduction in packaging materials.