Vikas is a staff writer for the Sustainable Development news and editorial section on Justmeans. He is an MBA with 20 years of managerial and entrepreneurial experience and global travel. He is the author of "The Power of Money" (Scholars, 2003), a book that presents a revolutionary monetary economic theory on poverty alleviation in the developing world. Vikas is also the official writer...
ConAgra Foods Awards Zero Waste Achievers
ConAgra Foods has awarded 17 of its facilities that have managed to achieve an exceptional environmental milestone by diverting more than 95 percent of solid waste from landfills through recycling and reuse. ConAgra Foods has on the whole achieved a remarkable waste diversion rate of 91 percent in 2012, thanks in large part to these 17 winner facilities.
ConAgra Foods has continued to press forward with its environmental goal of preventing and rescuing food waste. Dr. Al Bolles, executive vice president, Research Quality & Innovation, ConAgra Foods, said: "Keeping food out of landfills is critical to our waste reduction strategy going forward. Our teams are exploring new, creative ways to prevent food from becoming waste and making sure that food gets to the table and not a landfill."
ConAgra's partnership with the Detroit-based Forgotten Harvest is an example of such innovative thinking. In early 2012, the two partners won a Gold Award in the Green Category at the Edison Awards for their creative approach to fighting hunger while reducing food waste. The rescue, re-packaging and distribution of unsalable products and raw materials from ConAgra's facilities has helped the partners prevent more than 300,000 pounds of protein-rich food from going to waste. Forgotten Harvest used its mobile pantry system to make that food available to food-insecure individuals. One of the additional benefits of the program is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions that would have been released in case of food decomposition.
Gail Tavill, vice president, Sustainable Development, ConAgra Foods, said: "Our Zero Loss philosophy recognizes that we need to maximize the use of all of the resources that go into making our food and is founded on the premise that most 'waste' materials have value outside of landfills. Our focus is to systematically and strategically reduce wasted resources, ensuring that any materials that aren't able to reach our consumers are managed for the next most beneficial use, be that donation to feed hungry people, recovering energy value, use for animal feed or making soil rich through composting."
Photo Credit: iprole