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Sunny Delight Sustainability Report: Cuts Carbon Emissions nearly 17% since 2007

The Sunny Delight Beverages Co. (SDBC) has decreased carbon emissions (from direct and indirect sources) nearly 17 percent since 2007, reducing the company’s annual emissions by more than 17 million pounds, according to the company’s 2009 Sustainability Report (PDF).

SDBC’s sustainability goals include target reductions for water use, energy use, carbon footprint and waste. The company’s goals include reducing per-unit non-product related water use 25 percent by 2011, per-unit energy usage 25 percent by 2011, and per-unit carbon footprint 25 percent by 2011, using 2007 as a baseline. The company also targets sending zero waste to landfills by 2013.

Other goals include reducing packaging materials, increasing recycling content, and improving shipping efficiency to reduce carbon footprint.

Sunny Delight has already achieved its zero waste-to-landfill goal at its Anaheim, Littleton, and Mataro plants in 2009, four years ahead of schedule. This was followed by its three remaining plants in Atlanta, Sherman and South Brunswick reaching zero waste to landfill in early 2010.

Sunny Delight’s manufacturing facilities have decreased the amount of waste going to landfills from 1,140 tons in 2007 to 418 tons in 2009 and achieving zero waste to landfill on Earth Day in 2010.

Overall, the company’s plants delivered 63 percent less waste to landfills generating a net savings of $165,000 in 2009. The company also increased the overall percentage of waste recycled from 77 percent in 2008 to 91 percent in 2009.

The company’s accounts payable and expense reporting processes have gone paperless in 2009 with expense responses only accepted electronically. These process changes have reduced the company’s paper use, storage and expenses.

The company’s water reduction goal is based on the volume of non-product water consumed per gallon of production. Since 2007, Sunny Delight’s manufacturing plants have reduced the non-product use per gallon of product produced from 1.09 to 1.02, or by six percent. In 2009, this water consumption reduction represents over 14 million gallons of water conservation.

In 2009, Sunny Delight reduced its total energy consumption to 1.75 MM Btu to produce 900 gallons of finished product from 1.9 MM Btu in 2007, an 8 percent reduction across all of its manufacturing facilities.

At the end of 2009, the beverage manufacturer also reduced its per-unit carbon emissions by nearly 20 percent from its 2007 baseline — from 0.51 pounds of carbon emitted for every gallon of product manufactured in 2007 to 0.41 pounds in 2009.

Sunny Delight is also working to cut its packaging materials. As an example, the company completed a weight reduction of the Fruit2O and Crystal Light 16-oz. bottles and caps, resulting in a combined 4.4 gram weight reduction per package and a 20.7 percent weight reduction. This initiative reduced more than one million pounds of resin annually.

The company’s SmartWay carriers have achieved an estimated 10 to 15 percent miles per gallon improvement by using a variety of fuel savings techniques including a reduction in highway speed, aerodynamic improvements and low resistance tires.

In 2010, the company plans to convert to plastic pallets, which are 100 percent recyclable and 30 percent lighter than wood. The lighter weight reduces fuel use, while the pallets’ non-porous material enhances food safety, according to the company.

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