The path to reducing our carbon emissions is paved with reductions in natural gas and electricity use per pound of milk processed and traversed by our dedicated energy teams, focused on solutions that fit our operations.
Reducing how energy intensive we are in processing dairy products isn't a hope, it's an actionable goal we are working towards. Energy teams at each of our plants are finding big and small ways to fix problems, create efficiencies and implement our Energy Plan.
ELECTRICITY AND NATURAL GAS CONSUMPTION
Electricity makes up nearly one-quarter of our total energy consumption, with natural gas accounting for the remaining three-quarters. Together, they account for more than 90% of all our carbon emissions. Increasing our energy use efficiency is an area of opportunity we are addressing tactically with:
- in 2012, launched a sophisticated energy conservation program across the corporate level and every one of our plants.
- an energy team in every plant that drives the energy conservation efforts at their site.
- each team leader serves as a member of our Darigold corporate-wide Energy Team.
- an Energy Management System closely modeled after the ISO 50001 Global Energy Management Standard.
In the plants, it is exciting to see the work underway. Teams are actively seeking out and fixing air and steam leaks; installing lighting retrofits; improving pipes, pumps and compressors; adding insulation, and making HVAC upgrades. Along with the capital investments we have made toward energy conservation, these efforts have resulted in significant progress toward reducing our energy use and thus our carbon footprint.
We have been able to achieve substantial improvements in our use of natural gas. Between 2012-2016, we reduced overall natural gas consumption nearly 3% and lowered natural gas intensity by 2%. This resulted in important decreases in our total carbon footprint and carbon footprint intensity (CO2 per pound of milk processed).
Read our recognition letter from the U.S. Department of Energy about our improvements.