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Deans Foods Sustainability Report – Cuts Water Used Per Gallon of Product by Over 5%

Dean Foods published its 2010 Corporate Responsibility Report (PDF), the second such report for the company following up on its 2008 document.

The company established an “Environmental 2013 Roadmap” in its 2008 report, and updated progress towards its targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, water usage by 30% and solid waste reduction of 30%. To this end, Dean Foods reported that it has reduced GHG per gallon of product produced by 5.85% in two years, saved 350 million gallons of water in 2009, and established in 2009 a baseline of 79,000 tons of waste sent to landfills.

According to the report, the company invested more than $300 million in 2008 and 2009 in capital projects, including its energy efficient and water conservation. Notably, Dean Foods is now capturing completed projects to capture methane at its waste water treatment facilities. The plants hold 5 million gallons of liquid waste, and convert the methane gas into electricity and offset its grid purchases.

Regarding its water targets, the company identified more than 250 efficiency projects that are being evaluated for implementation, and each manufacturing plant has a monthly water efficiency target.

From 2008-2009, Dean Foods manufacturing facilities received a total of 53 notices of violation from 17 different state environmental agencies and paid $225,669 in penalties, according to the report. The company is now tracking the necessary “key performance indicators” to monitor the requirements and avoid violations.

Dean Foods produces foods and beverages in the United States and Europe, with 27,000 employees in approximately 100 facilities.

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