Natural Resources Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Office of Energy Efficiency Links


Business: Industrial

CIPEC Annual Report 2010

CIPEC Leadership Awards for Corporate Stewardship

Frito Lay Canada

Combining people, leadership and an intense focus on energy efficiency

“The world’s first compostable chip bag comes from a company committed to energy efficiency.”
– Frito Lay Canada

Frito Lay Canada
Fast facts

(Five manufacturing plants and 18 distribution centres across Canada)

Winning edge: Combining people, leadership and an intense focus on energy efficiency

  • Canada’s largest snack food manufacturer.
  • Reduced water consumption 33 percent per bag of product.
  • Reduced natural gas and electricity consumption 20 and 18 percent, respectively per bag of product.
  • Recycled 92 percent of manufacturing waste.

Energy efficiency initiatives included heat recovery systems, upgraded insulation, retrofitted lighting, compressed air audits and improved energy use metering. Since 1999, such initiatives reduced water use 33 percent, electricity 18 percent and natural gas 20 percent per bag of chips.

“We are one hundred percent committed to energy efficiency, from our CEO all the way down to the production floor,” says Anne-Marie Renaud, Vice President of Operations.

Frito Lay Canada has a seven-point approach to reducing energy consumption.

An energy policy with specific energy efficiency improvement targets supported by senior management

In the 1990s, the company created employee-based green teams that established energy efficiency goals exceeding those of the parent company. But, they did not stop there. “We aspire to even greater achievements,” noted Helmi Ansari, Sustainability Director. In 2007, the company increased its sustainability goals to reducing manufacturing fuel use 50 percent, electricity use 45 percent, water use 75 percent and fleet fuel use 50 percent per bag of product.

A corporate plan for energy management

An energy conservation plan targets annual reductions of 3 percent to 5 percent in electricity, natural gas and water use.

The manufacturing facilities use heat recovery systems that allowed the company to strategically take natural gas boilers offline and reduce the company’s annual energy consumption by billions of BTUs.

At the Cambridge plant, a $2-million steam stack heat recovery project decreased natural gas consumption, offsetting roughly 13.5-million BTUs each hour of operation, thus substantially reducing the greenhouse gas emissions. The three-year payback period proved that sustainability projects reduce the organization’s carbon footprint and the bottom line.

An energy management team with executive-level participation and energy management champions

The national energy management team includes front-line employees and senior management. The plant teams feed ideas to the national team and align on direction. The Green Team monitors compliance with environmental regulations, the Resource Conservation Team focuses on energy efficiency, and the Zero Landfill Team works on reducing landfill waste and increasing recycling.

A program to upgrade and replace aging equipment with more energy efficient equipment

The company partnered with ENERGY STAR® in process improvement projects. All new equipment is ENERGY STAR® rated. Frontline teams benchmark their performance against Frito-Lay facilities across North America. This information helps develop plans for sharing best practices and continuous improvement.

The company upgraded two-thirds of its tractor-trailer fleet and is testing six fully electric, zero-emissions delivery trucks. “Our vehicle fleet is one of the five biggest private fleets in Canada, so there are good opportunities for us to reduce our footprint even further,” says Ryan Merrick, Sustainability Resource.

Ongoing quality assurance

Frito Lay Canada’s environmental program is aligned with the ISO 14001 environmental management standard. An annual audit verifies each facility’s compliance with the environmental program. From the results, management develops an action plan.

Waste minimization

The company’s waste reduction and recycling program diverted 92 percent (28 million kilograms) of manufacturing waste from landfill sites in 2009.

Working with external partners

In addition to CIPEC, the company partners with such organizations as the University of Waterloo and the Guelph Food Technology Centre.

CIPEC is a great resource for us. The networking we have done at various CIPEC events has been very valuable. One of the reasons we go to the CIPEC conferences is to establish contacts to help with energy efficiency initiatives down the road,” Ansari says.

The company is reaching even higher. “We are moving from doing the best with what we have to pushing the boundaries with new technologies such as custom energy recovery systems, zero landfill waste manufacturing and solar power. Our leading conservation plant in Casa Grande, Arizona, is reducing electricity and water consumption by 90 percent and its natural gas use by 80 percent. They are setting the pace for us on conservation,” Ansari says.

Top of Page

La fromagerie St-Guillaume

Targeting energy efficiency through corporate policy

La fromagerie St-Guillaume has won many prizes in Canada for delighting the taste buds of the most avid cheese lovers. This cooperative cheese dairy is also earning kudos due to its appetite for energy efficiency.

La fromagerie St-Guillaume
Fast facts

(St-Guillaume, Quebec)

Winning edge: Targeting energy efficiency through corporate policy

  • La fromagerie St-Guillaume turns 22 million L of milk into cheese every year.
  • About 50 milk producers from St-Guillaume got together to create La Société Coopérative Agricole de Beurrerie de St-Guillaume in 1940.
  • Energy consumption was cut by 45 percent.
  • More than 1,700 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year were avoided.
  • An up-front investment of $975,000 has yielded annual savings of $300,000.
  • The cheese maker now uses more silos to store water for heat exchange than for milk.

The St-Guillaume Cheese Dairy, about 100 kilometers east of Montréal with a staff of 110, annually processes about 22 million L of milk into cheeses such as Cheddar, Brick, Monterey Jack, Swiss, and salted cheese curd. But the dairy still found time to institute a program to upgrade to more energy-efficient refrigeration systems and process-drying equipment.

The cheesemaker, which is also a CIPEC Leader in the dairy sector, reduced overall energy consumption by 45 percent annually in the first slice of a big serving of energy-efficiency measures. These improvements have also avoided more than 1,700 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year. Overall, the return on investment allowed a payback period of about 3.3 years. The up-front investment in the project was $975,000, with annual savings of $300,000.

“Our board of directors was motivated by the potential costs savings, as well as the environmental benefits; but they did not expect we could save so much,” says Pierre Tremblay, Plant Manager and Energy Efficiency Champion.

This success stems from a corporate policy that targets energy efficiency and fosters teamwork. The policy includes supporting an energy efficiency champion who is responsible for managing audits and implementing energy efficiency projects.

“We had the complete support of our board of directors, so it was easy to mobilize our team. I took the mandate seriously, and our team worked hand-in-hand to target energy efficiency,” says Tremblay. “We assembled a work team from all the different parts of the factory and met regularly during the first year for measuring and planning.”

The three major projects to emerge from the evaluating and planning phase were upgraded systems for refrigeration, process drying and heat exchange.

The refrigeration system was upgraded to use outside air for cooling in the winter.

Installing variable speed drives on the HVAC system also reduced the energy required for cooling. And the variable speed drives helped regulate air temperature more precisely, thus enhancing the dairy’s ability to manage milk temperature and other key inputs.

Process drying of whey was a key energy efficiency focus because it uses the most energy of any activity in the dairy. A new pre-concentration system that relies on reverse osmosis allowed the dairy to remove more than 70 percent of the water in the whey. These upgrades allowed the process drying system to use 20 percent less make-up air, which in turn reduced natural gas consumption.

Heat exchange upgrades now capture most of the waste heat from whey evaporation that used to be vented. This heat is being reused to heat water for cleaning. And much of the factory is now heated and air conditioned using residual energy from production.

“We are close to being a model factory,” Tremblay says. “We now have more silos to store water for heat exchange than we do to store milk.” Reusing water has also reduced the waste water sent for municipal treatment by 50 percent – producing a 50 percent reduction in those costs.

These accomplishments were recognized at the Energy 2009 Leadership Awards, where Tremblay and Ghislain Gervais, President of the cooperative’s board, accepted the corporate stewardship award. After returning inspired and energized by the success of the first phase of the dairy’s energy efficiency upgrades, Tremblay and the team are now implementing phase two. Reducing the use of process steam is high on their list.

“There is so much potential for energy efficiency gains to go to the bottom line. It’s incredible,” Tremblay says.

The quality of its products has established la fromagerie St-Guillaume as a perennial winner of prizes and other distinctions, such as “grand champion all categories” for its flavoured Cheddar cheeses at the Canadian Western Agribition in Regina. La fromagerie St-Guillaume also earned an honourable mention for its Swiss cheese as “reserve champion all categories” at the prestigious Royal Winter Fair in Toronto.

If the dairy continues to focus on energy efficiency with as much dedication as it brings to the quality of its cheeses, it might just find itself vying for another CIPEC Leadership Award in 2011.

Top of Page