Green Your Bottom Line in Food and Beverage Businesses
Companies that manufacture or process food and beverages are increasingly important to the New England economy. While products and facility size vary, they all use and pay for energy, water, chemicals (cleaning products or others) and waste management. Reducing these costs can help to sustain and expand a business, while ensuring that your products are safe for consumption.
Green Your Bottom Line is an initiative to support food and beverage businesses in making improvements to their facilities and processes, which will benefit both their businesses and the environment:
Increase energy efficiency
Increase renewable energy use
Increase efficiency of water use
Use safer cleaning and sanitizing products
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 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 several workshops across Massachusetts since 2016, and participants have given very positive feedback, citing the networking opportunities and connection with resources as particularly helpful.
Kettle Cuisine, a handcrafter of all natural soups for restaurants, foodservice operators and grocery retailers, has done extensive work to improve sustainability and reduce operating costs, with free assistance from organizations introduced through this initiative. CEERE did an assessment and made recommendations with projected savings of 12% of the Lynn facility's total energy costs. Learn more in this case study. Kettle Cuisine also 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 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 participating 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 with assistance from TURI
Ocean Spray (panelist in our April 2017 workshop) sustainability efforts include water conservation, managing energy use, reducing packaging and reducing waste
The initiative is a joint effort of the University of Massachusetts and several government agencies: