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Dean Foods Increases Recycling 50%, But Revises Missed GHG and Water Goals

Dean Foods has reduced its solid waste output by 21 percent and increased recycling by more than 50 percent, compared to 2009 levels, and exceeded – two years early – its goal of reducing its distribution fleet’s CO2-equivalent emissions by 50,000 metric tons by 2013 compared with 2009 levels, the company says.

But the food and beverage company is also pushing back the targets in its 2013 Environmental Roadmap, saying that at its current pace, the company would miss its 2013 goals of a 20 percent cut in greenhouse gases (from a 2007 baseline) and 30 percent reduction in water use (from 2008). As of the end of 2011, the company says it had cut greenhouse gas emissions 8.4 percent, and water use 10.5 percent.

Dean Foods said it missed the goals because of unforeseen volume declines and more water-intensive processes from an expanding product portfolio, which it says is a common occurrence across the food industry.

Its new goals, to be achieved by 2020, include decreasing greenhouse gases 25 percent (from a 2007 baseline), water use 35 percent (2008 baseline), energy use 20 percent (2007 baseline) and CO2-equivalent from its distribution fleet by 95,000 metric tons (2007 baseline).

The 2013 goals, initially set in 2008 and updated in 2010, also called for a 30 percent reduction in solid waste, compared to 2009. Dean Foods has updated this to a 50 percent reduction by 2020, with the same baseline. The company also says it will set zero-waste goals for its plants, packaging and recycling supply by the end of 2013.

Dean Foods’ 2020 goals align with the Innovation Center for US Dairy‘s comprehensive industry goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020.

The company’s combined heat and power projects located at its facilities in City of Industry, Calif., and Franklin, Mass. each will produce about 2 MW of electrical power and 4.5 MMBtu/hr of thermal energy from clean natural gas, in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Dean Foods is an Energy Star Partner and has ranked as one of the top two consumer products companies on the Carbon Disclosure Project’s Leadership Index for the past three years.

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