Note from Nao: Some of my readers may view the business mentioned below as playing a role in adversely impacting our food system. Whether or not that is true, I believe in engaging in a dialogue when a company claims that it is trying to be green. In that spirit, I promote the following event.
In June 2012, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) in partnership with Arkansas Manufacturing Solutions, created the “Putting Green to Work” lunches featuring speakers from businesses that have excelled at energy conservation and other sustainable practices. The series aims to help industry leaders learn from each other how to save energy, prevent pollution and conserve resources, all while helping their bottom lines.
The second green-bag lunch will be held from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Thursday, August 30 at ADEQ, 5301 Northshore Drive, North Little Rock. The featured business will be ConAgra.
Through its “Go Green” sustainability program, ConAgra installed energy-efficient equipment; expanded recycling; implemented a more efficient grease-removal process and has marketed the waste grease for reuse in biofuels.
The new equipment has saved ConAgra more than $190,000 and diversion of solid wastes has saved it more than $300,000. The company’s electrical usage declined by nearly one million kilowatt hours; water consumption was reduced 37 percent; and the facility’s “carbon footprint” was trimmed by nearly 114,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.
The series, an effort of the department’s Business Assistance Program, is an outgrowth of the agency’s annual Environmental Stewardship Award. Dubbed, the ENVY award, the honor is given annually to individuals, businesses or groups for exceptional efforts to protect or enhance the environment. ConAgra’s frozen food plant in Batesville was a finalist for the award this year.
Admission is free, but registration is required for the event, as seating is limited. Attendees bring their own lunch. To register, contact Audree Miller at (501) 682-0015 or email email@example.com.
Arkansas Manufacturing Solutions was established in 1995 as a program of the Arkansas Science & Technology Authority and an affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership to provide manufacturing extension services to Arkansas manufacturers. More information can be found online at http://www.mfgsolutions.org/index.asp.
ADEQ’s Business Assistance Program assists businesses with permitting and compliance issues as well as pollution prevention efforts, small business loans and more. For more information, visit http://adeqweb/poa/sba/businessasst.htm.