Black & Veatch: Food, Beverage Companies Increasingly Eye Sustainability to Improve Operations, Bottom Line

Poll of Food Engineering Magazine readers shows industry looking to boost efficiency, reduce energy use and lower environmental impact
Oct 19, 2021 9:00 AM ET
Press Release

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., October 19, 2021 /3BL Media/ – As consumers and investors demand a greater focus on sustainability a new report finds the food and beverage industry setting more aggressive sustainability goals but still deferential to the bottom line. The Black & Veatch – Clear Seas Research report highlights the industry’s quest to increase efficiency, lower energy usage, and quell or upcycle byproduct waste despite a lack of in-house expertise to set and execute sustainability goals. At the same time, pressures to grow revenue and maintain profit margins complicate matters.

Integrating Production and Sustainability: How Food & Beverage Companies Can Achieve Net-Zero analyzes data from a study by BNP Media’s Clear Seas Research of Food Engineering Magazine readers to provide a glimpse into the sustainability trends gaining traction within the industry, and the areas making or breaking progress toward these goals.

The survey found that three in five respondents see their company’s commitment to corporate sustainability goals as a “high priority.” Respondents defined their sustainability goals as including consideration of corporate waste and recycling; clean energy; sourcing and supply chain responsibilities; raw materials, renewable resources and regenerative farming; carbon reduction; and more.

The survey also found that although many food processors have made basic procedural changes to save energy, they often lack the in-house expertise to ensure the cost-efficient implementation of large-scale sustainable practices and technologies.

“It’s encouraging to see an increase in food and beverage companies evaluating and working to mitigate their personal impacts on the environment,” said David Ziskind, director of engineering with Black & Veatch’s NextGen Ag business. “At Black & Veatch, we hope that by sharing our knowledge and experience in areas like decarbonization, renewables and green infrastructure, we can play an active role in making food and beverage production more sustainable.”

Other key findings include:

  • Half of Food Engineering Magazine’s respondents reported “modifying existing infrastructure” as the top challenge for processors.
  • Resource optimization was judged the most important area of expertise when selecting a sustainability partner, followed by usage optimization, energy and water audits and sustainability reporting.
  • Most survey participants said they are in mid- to late-stage planning of their corporate sustainability goals, with top activities including identifying sustainable solutions; sustainable material selection, sourcing, handling and recovery techniques; and implementing new materials/products/solutions.

Editor’s Notes:

  • Download Integrating Production and Sustainability: How Food & Beverage Companies Can Achieve Net-Zero today.
  • Learn more about Black & Veatch’s Food & Beverage services business.

About Black & Veatch
Black & Veatch is an employee-owned global engineering, procurement, consulting and construction company with a more than 100-year track record of innovation in sustainable infrastructure. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people around the world by addressing the resilience and reliability of our most important infrastructure assets. Our revenues in 2020 exceeded US$3.0 billion. Follow us on and on social media.