Companies that manufacture or process food and beverages are increasingly important to the economy of Massachusetts. While size, market, and product type vary, they all use and pay for energy, water, chemicals (cleaning products or others), and waste management. They also share an interest in reducing and/or avoiding costs so they can sustain and expand business while ensuring their products are safe for consumption. This sector has untapped opportunities to prevent pollution by increasing energy efficiency, renewable energy use, water efficiency, and reducing waste and the use of toxics.
Green Your Bottom Line in Food and Beverage Businesses is an initiative to support food and beverage businesses in making pollution prevention improvements to their facilities and processes, which will benefit both their businesses and the environment:
- Increase energy efficiency
- Increase renewable energy use
- Use safer cleaning and sanitizing products
- Reduce waste
- Improve operations
- Reduce operating costs
We are holding a series of interactive workshops for food and beverage businesses to share experiences, challenges and successes to date and plan future actions. Workshops will include case studies and lessons learned, technical topics, and opportunities to learn from peers. Our team of experts will connect participants with the appropriate resources - many of them free - and incentives or funding to help with energy and environmental improvements. We have held five workshops across Massachusetts since May 2016, and participants have given very positive feedback, citing the networking opportunities and connection with resources as particularly helpful.
For more information, email us
or follow us @foodbeverageMA
We are currently planning our webinars/workshops for 2018. Check back or email us
for more information, or let us know if you are interested in hosting a workshop.
As a result of this initiative:
- Several companies connected with the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (CEERE) at UMass Amherst, which conducts free, in-depth energy audits through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Industrial Assessment Center program. In audits of participating food processing facilities and a brewery, CEERE has made six or seven recommendations each, with total projected energy and water cost savings ranging from $40,000 to $190,000 per year.
- Kettle Cuisine, a handcrafter of all natural soups for restaurants, foodservice operators and grocery retailers, connected with the Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) for assistance reducing their use of sodium hydroxide for cleaning. With a $30,000 grant from TURI, the company is working with the UMass Lowell Food Safety Lab to find safer cleaning and sanitizing formulations or methods that are less hazardous than sodium hydroxide. If a safer substitute that works is found, Kettle Cuisine could reduce the use of sodium hydroxide by 45,000 pounds per year.
- Cape Cod Chips learned about TURI’s business grant program. The company applied for and received a $5,000 grant to purchase new lab equipment that has reduced both the labor and hazardous chemical use required for testing of frying oil, while reducing costs by over $1,500 per year.
Stories of other food and beverage businesses that are greening their bottom line:
- Stop & Shop (host of our April 2017 workshop) green energy facility generates heat and power from food waste
- Gorton's (host of our May 2017 workshop) green initiatives address energy and water use and packaging materials
- Merrimack Ales (host of a tour for our September 2017 workshop) tested and implemented safer cleaning and sanitizing technology
- Ocean Spray (panelist in our April 2017 workshop) sustainability efforts include water conservation, managing energy use, reducing packaging and reducing waste
- Frito Lay combined heat and power system increases reliability and reduces emissions