As part of Quaker’s holistic approach to environmental sustainability, we have taken special interest in our milling and manufacturing processes. There are tremendous opportunities for improvement in this sector of our business, and we are constantly researching ways to implement new and exciting innovations.
2015 is our target date for reducing water and electricity consumption by 20% and fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 25%. As of 2007, we have made progress on meeting these goals.
We Use the Whole Oat
Rather than simply disposing of the approximately 40,000 tons of oat hulls generated each year, Quaker has partnered with the University of Iowa and found a use for what would otherwise be considered waste. The university burns the hulls for power, producing an important amount of the campus’ energy. By recycling this renewable resource, Quaker helps the university generate a cleaner form of energy than conventional sources.
The Power of the Sun
Our Fullerton distribution warehouse draws nearly 40% of its annual energy from the sun, utilizing a solar power system located on the roof. This clean, renewable energy source enables the building to save the equivalent of 1,000 barrels of oil for each year of operation, which is equivalent to the electricity used by 50 homes over the course of a year.
Accounting for Our Emissions
To offset our use of conventional energy sources, Quaker has purchased three years worth of Renewable Energy Certificates, offsetting 100% of Quaker US factory carbon emissions until 2009.
Big Changes at the Cedar Rapids Plant
We have optimized our operations at our cleaning house mill, and by eliminating over 100 pieces of equipment have managed to cut energy consumption by 2.9 million kilowatt hours per year. At both Cedar Rapids and our Bridgeview facility, we have also installed central vacuum water recovery systems that enable us to conserve 68 million gallons of water each year.