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ConAgra Foods Announces Zero Waste Champions

Most of Conagra Foods frozen potato facilities have achieved a 95 percent landfill avoidance rate, and are working to find outlets for the remaining landfill waste.
Two of the last, hard-to-recycle materials for our Taber, Canada facility was their used plastic pallets and surplus plastic material from spiral freezers.
Located in a remote area, the team had to overcome challenges associated with transportation logistics and a downturn in the plastic recycling market. A committed team member successfully identified a local vendor that recycles plastic materials to create 100 percent post-consumer plastic lumber. This new partnership kept an additional 22 tons of material our of the landfill, bringing Taber to a 99 percent landfill avoidance rate.

Continuing in its journey toward zero waste, and in recognition of last week’s America Recycles Day, ConAgra Foods announced its annual Zero Waste Champion award winners. The company recognized 34 facilities that have reached a major environmental milestone: diverting more than 95 percent of solid waste from landfills through donation, reuse and recycling. The facilities represent more than 80 percent of the company’s total waste generation and have helped the company achieve a 94 percent waste diversion rate in fiscal year 2015.

“In our fifth year of this program, we continue to see impressive engagement and commitment from our plant employees, who are key to achieving this kind of success,” said Gail Tavill, vice president, Packaging and Sustainable Productivity, ConAgra Foods. “Adding more locations each year to our list of champions is a great stride forward, and we will continue to work toward having all of our facilities reach this milestone.”

ConAgra Foods’ zero waste strategy focuses on strategically reducing the amount of waste generated in facilities and avoiding the creation of landfill materials by finding the most effective use for unavoidable wastes via donation, recycling, animal feed or other value streams. ConAgra Foods’ 2020 sustainability vision includes reducing waste generated by one billion pounds, while maintaining its commitment to diverting valuable materials from landfills. ConAgra Foods prefers the term “by-products” rather than “waste” to encourage imaginative ways to donate, reuse and recycle materials.

In addition to recognizing its Zero Waste Champions, ConAgra Foods has also earned a position on the S&P Climate Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI), which was released earlier this week in the Carbon Disclosure Project’s annual global climate change report. ConAgra Foods scored 99 out of 100 possible points, making the top 10 percent of companies in the index related to disclosure and transparency of carbon emissions and energy data.

ConAgra Foods’ 2015 Zero Waste Champion award winners include:

American Falls, Idaho; Battle Creek, Mich.; Brantford, Canada; Boardman, Ore. (two winners – Boardman East and Boardman West); Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Connell, Wash.; Columbia, S.C.; Cranbury, N.J.; Delta, Canada; Dresden, Canada; Excelsior Springs, Mo.; Forest Park, Ga.; Hamburg, Iowa; Hanover, Penn.; Hermiston, Ore.; Irapuato, Mexico; Kent, Wash.; Lake View, Iowa; Lakeville, Minn.; Lancaster, Ohio; Maple Grove, Minn.; Park Rapids, Minn.; Pasco, Wash. (two winners – Columbia Basin Blends and the Pasco plant); Paterson, Wash.; Quincy, Wash.; Richland, Wash.; Sparks, Nev.; Taber, Canada; Tolleson, Ariz.; Tonawanda, N.Y.; Twin Falls, Idaho; and Warden, Wash.