Company sustainability programs go beyond regulatory requirements.
Seven companies have been recognized in the Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards. As a result of a Sustainability Roundtable sponsored last year by Gov. Bob McDonnell, this year’s awards focused on sustainability.
State officials say these company programs have achieved significant environmental benefits above and beyond regulatory requirements.
These awards will be presented at the Annual Environment Virginia Symposium at Virginia Military Institute on April 10.
DuPont Spruance Plant, Richmond
The plant’s sustainability program includes numerous highly effective components, which have resulted in reductions in energy use, water consumption and generation of waste and air emissions. From 2010 to 2012, DuPont significantly reduced its environmental footprint, including water reductions of 5 million gallons per year, elimination of 230,000 pounds per year of hazardous waste and solid waste reductions of more than 600,000 pounds per year, resulting in an estimated annual savings of more than $800,000. In addition, energy conservation has resulted in savings of almost $1 million.
MillerCoors Shenandoah Brewery, Elkton
The brewery’s sustainability program consists of managing environmental, social, and economic risks and opportunities in a strategic way to protect the company’s reputation and maximize business value. By empowering grass-roots teams and investing in capital improvements, the plant’s environmental footprint has been reduced by focusing on five key areas: reducing energy, reducing water, sustaining its zero-waste-to-landfill status, reducing its carbon footprint, and reducing its overall impact. MillerCoors’ goal is to reduce total water and energy usage by 15 percent from 2008 levels.
PepsiCo Blue Ridge Gatorade, Wytheville
The plant, built in 2006, produces Gatorade, SoBe, Propel and Lipton products and was the first food and beverage manufacturing plant of its size to receive the prestigious LEED Gold certification. Examples of the plant’s sustainability accomplishments include: solar panels that power external LED lighting; hybrid vehicles for company use; steam recovery to minimize boiler make-up water; grey water use in toilets and irrigation; recovery of heat from bottle coolers to pre-heat incoming water; addition of thermal insulation throughout the facility’s piping system to increase efficiency; donation of waste dry sugar to local bee farmers; and, an extensive recycling program for resulting in a 96.7 percent recycling rate.
Virginia Port Authority, Norfolk
The VPA is the only port in the nation to have its container terminals ISO 14001 certified. Initiated in 2002, its sustainability program focuses on four elements: air quality, water quality, habitat restoration and creation, and energy conservation and alternatives. Results include an annual sustained reduction of 30 percent in air emissions and 40 percent in water quality impacts from marine terminal operations, as well as the creation, restoration, and preservation of 50 acres of forested riparian buffer, tidal and non-tidal wetlands, open space, shallow water habitat and oyster reefs.
Anheuser Busch Williamsburg Brewery
Anheuser Busch’s Global Environmental and Health and Safety policies outline the foundational principles of the plant’s sustainability program: compliance with all standards; production of products in the most environmentally responsible manner; incorporation of environmental targets into performance evaluations; employee participation and accountability; integration of environmental considerations into business planning, decision making and daily activities; ensuring safe and efficient operations while promoting continuous improvement; increased awareness of environmental programs and involved stakeholders; and, evaluating, benchmarking and communicating performance. Results from the Williamsburg brewery include the recycling of more than 99 percent of its solid waste and byproducts, including more than 82,000 tons of spent grain that is used as feed by local farmers each year; savings from process improvements of over 16,000,000 gallons of water, 9 percent energy use, and 15 percent fuel use. Innovations in energy conservation, fluid savings and waste reduction have been driven by employees through the company’s “Excellence Thru Ideas” program which solicits cost savings and conservation ideas. The facility’s Environmental Committee, which consists of representatives from each operating department, promotes and helps organize community outreach events.
Smithfield Packing Company, North
Between 2008 and 2012, Smithfield reduced solid waste by 60 percent, water use by 17 percent, energy use by 13 percent, and carbon dioxide equivalents by 20 percent. Examples of sustainability projects include composting sludge and non-pork inedible meat, reusing or recycling used oil, and recapturing hot water for reuse.
The company, which manufactures and packages pharmaceutical and consumer products, has long been working on a Zero Waste Initiative, which strives to recycle 95 percent or more of all waste generated at the site. A new effort in support of Zero Waste is the Zero Landfill Program, which was designed to move the facility’s overall recycling number from 93 percent to 95 percent and beyond.