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ConAgra Awards Cut 43,600 Metric Tons of Carbon

This year’s entries to ConAgra Foods’ internal Sustainable Development Awards collectively reduced carbon emissions by more than 43,600 metric tons.

Projects entered also eliminated 61,000 tons of landfill waste and 4,800 tons of packaging material, conserved 295 million gallons of water and delivered more than $28 million in savings, the company says.

The award of excellence went to a snacks facility in Marion, Ohio. By making cost-efficient changes in four areas – line shutdown, temperature controls, autonomous maintenance development and air loss controls – the plant saved 3.6 million kWh of electricity and eliminated 2,600 metric tonnes of greenhouse gasses in a year.

ConAgra Foods’ Lamb Weston plants in Boardman and Paterson, Wash., won the climate change and energy efficiency category. Washington facilities used external assistance, through their local utilities’ “track & tune” program, to help optimize efficiency and track reductions. More than 20 projects contributed to energy savings of 8.1 million kWh, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by over 1,700 metric tons, ConAgra says.

The water resources category – covering conservation and wastewater management – was won by ConAgra Foods’ Lamb Weston plant in Hermiston, Ore. This facility reviewed all plant water systems and piping and subsequently introduced a water use reduction plan that cut daily water use by 24 percent.

In August last year, law firm Milberg LLP invited consumers to submit claims against companies using the term “natural” on their foods, as the attorneys pursued a class-action lawsuit against ConAgra. The attorneys said ConAgra’s Wesson oil contains genetically modified ingredients and therefore doesn’t qualify as “natural.”

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