Air. Water. Land. All three need to be healthy for life to thrive. We’re taking positive steps to help protect each by continuously improving our environmental impact at our 5 wet pet food, 9 dry and 4 litter plants in the United States.
To help conserve this precious resource, we’ve put a significant amount of focus on where we use the most water: the 5 wet pet food manufacturing sites. In these factories, we’ve decreased water usage by more than 23 percent from 2004 through 2012.
We work hard to avoid losses of our pet food during the manufacturing process. A specific recent initiative targeting food waste began at our dry factories in 2010, and has achieved an 11 percent reduction since then. This program will be expanded in our wet pet food factories in 2013.
We are working hard to make more product using less energy. Our continuous improvement efforts have helped us reduce energy usage by 7.2 percent per ton of pet food produced from 2004 through 2012.
Purina is increasing its use of renewable energy at a number of sites to supplement our power mix, although it still makes up a very small percentage of our overall energy requirements. Here’s a look at the types of power we’re discussing.
Purina continues to expand our generation of solar power. We currently have solar arrays at three manufacturing plants, including a 100kw array in Denver, CO, a 427kw facility in Flagstaff, AZ and our newest facility, a 450kw solar array at our Atlanta, GA plant. We also have a 25kw solar array at our learning center on the St. Louis campus. Purina now generates 1 megawatt of solar power each year, some of which is returned to the local utility. Solar power represents a small but growing part of our energy mix.
Purina’s Dunkirk, NY plant derives about 65 percent of its total electricity from renewable sources – mostly hydroelectric power from Niagara Falls.
In addition, we have implemented cogeneration, the production of two types of energy from one source, at our Maricopa, CA facility to get the most out of the energy that we use there. The 1 megawatt cogeneration unit powers nearly 82 percent of the plant’s electrical usage.
Energy Reductions at Purina's U.S. Pet Food Manufacturing Facilities
At Purina, we’re working to improve our building efficiency. New buildings are designed to incorporate leading efficiency standards from the beginning. For example, in 2011, we received LEED Silver certification for our Purina Farms Event Center in Gray Summit, MO and our St. Louis Learning Center was built to LEED Gold criteria. Existing buildings are optimized whenever possible. So far, two existing buildings at our St. Louis, MO, headquarters have earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Certification. In addition, skylights were installed in parts of several Purina warehouses to take advantage of natural lighting, and light sensors are in use at headquarters and several warehouses and plant sites to help us to use energy resources effectively.
Read about how we're pushing our sustainability efforts forward with our new solar array in Atlanta.