Conagra Brands, Inc. has announced the winners of its annual Sustainable Development Awards. This year, Conagra employees entered 128 sustainability projects that decreased the company’s carbon footprint by 15,700 metric tons, conserved 120 million gallons of water, reduced waste by 5,750 tons, and generated nearly $30 million in enterprise savings. Award-winning employee teams can direct grant funds from the Conagra Brands Foundation to nonprofit organizations in their communities for sustainability-focused public service projects.
Conagra Brands’ 2020 Sustainable Development Award winners are:
Sustainable Brands: The Birds Eye agricultural operations team at Conagra’s Waseca, Minnesota facility executed a sustainable agriculture program supporting soil health and water conservation across the company’s family farmer network, complemented by Birds Eye zero waste production team efforts to recycle vegetable processing byproducts into irrigation water and animal feed.
Climate Change & Energy Efficiency: Conagra’s Fayetteville, Arkansas frozen food facility team optimized refrigeration controls to eliminate 267,000 kilowatt hours of electricity use and reduce the facility’s carbon footprint by 150 tons.
Water Conservation & Wastewater Management: Conagra’s Imlay City, Michigan Vlasic pickle facility team conserved 48 million gallons of water through a new closed loop water chiller system, reducing the facility's water use nearly 30 percent.
Waste Reduction & Recycling: Conagra’s Council Bluffs, Iowa frozen food facility team eliminated 1,215 tons of food waste and created $1.5 million in savings by implementing improved monitoring techniques and production controls to more effectively train team members on sustainable production practices.
Sustainable Operations and People’s Choice: Conagra’s Irapuato, Mexico team members redesigned Hunt’s plastic ketchup bottles to be 10 percent lighter, eliminating 60 tons of plastic from the company’s supply chain. The team also eliminated more than 5.5 million pieces of cardboard from ACT II popcorn by creatively using existing packaging surfaces, rather than separate inserts, to list product information, saving 150 tons of corrugate cardboard.
Award of Excellence: Conagra’s St. Elmo, Illinois salad dressings and breakfast syrups team used air pressure to help transfer liquid ingredients out of tanker trucks and into the production process, yielding up to 100 gallons more of usable sweeteners and oil ingredients per tanker load, eliminating more than 100 tons of food waste annually, and driving more than $1 million in savings.
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