Faribault Foods has been recognized for achieving the largest natural gas reduction among all industrial customers in the state of Minnesota during calendar year 2009. The award was developed by Xcel to recognize their customers that were doing the most to conserve energy and reduce emissions and their impact on the environment. Karen Rhodes of Xcel Energy stated, “Many of our customer’s conservation projects are often invisible to those not directly involved. These awards are a way to help recognize customers for their exceptional work so that their employees and customers realize what’s happening behind the scenes.” Faribault Foods was one of only seven Xcel customers in the state of Minnesota to receive an energy efficiency award in 2009.
Dave Tieman, Faribault Foods’ Director of Operations, Faribault, said, “We are very proud of having been recognized by Xcel for the results we’ve achieved in our Faribault plant for natural gas reduction. While the results for natural gas reduction in Faribault are one of our more dramatic achievements, we have been committed to investing in and pursuing sustainability across all of our plants for many years. Faribault has a number of additional sustainability projects planned for the future, with the goal of further reducing use of energy, water and the waste water stream.”
The Xcel Energy Award was based on results at the company’s Faribault, Minnesota plant, where natural gas usage has been reduced by 38.2% since 2007. This significant reduction was achieved by an innovative system created by Faribault Foods, in partnership with Thermo-Environmental Systems, which captures and transfers energy from heated water within the plant to water entering the plant.Given the substantial amount of energy used in Faribault Foods’ water intensive cooking systems, this had a dramatic effect on the natural gas consumption in the plant.
The Faribault Foods’ Sustainability Program was also responsible for a dramatically more efficient use of water in the plant. The annualized reduction in water usage exceeds 100 million gallons and allows the plant to reuse much of the water that used to go down the drain. The impact of the natural gas savings accounts for a reduction of 3,030 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year — the equivalent of removing 579 passenger vehicles from the road each year according to the EPA greenhouse gas equivalency calculator.
Frank Lynch, Faribault Foods Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, commented, “In addition to being at the core of our corporate values, reducing energy and water use and reducing waste and emissions is good business practice. Reduced usage of energy and resources allows us to reduce costs, and be more competitive in the marketplace. Increasingly customers are selecting suppliers that place a major emphasis on sustainability. We also know that many of the consumers that buy our Butter Kernel vegetables, S&W Beans, and Kuner’s Southwestern products share our concern for the environment and sustainability and are more likely to select our products because of our commitment.”