Land O’Lakes Inc. has worked to reduce its environmental footprint through resource conservation, transportation, logistics and manufacturing efficiencies, and renewable energy on the farm, according to the company’s 2014 Corporate Responsibility report.
The Arden, Minn.-based dairy cooperative and processor reduced its overall energy use by 7% from 2008 to 2013 and has set a goal of 25% by 2018. To cut natural gas consumption and electricity use, Land O’Lakes has installed systems to recover waste heat, bolstered piping insulation and used steam turbines in place of electrical motors, the company stated.
“That’s a dual win. It helps our environmental footprint and leads to reduced costs,” Sustainability Manager Jessica Wingert told Dairy Foods.
Land O’Lakes has committed to reducing water use by 25% from a 2008 baseline, and by the end of 2013 effluent water had been cut by 10.5% per pound of product. The company has been reusing water that originated in milk, mostly using the preserved H2O to wash milk transport trucks, Wingert said.
The company also had made progress in the area of sustainable packaging. One example is the change from a round to a square tub for its buttery spreads. That increased pallet efficiency by 55%. Land O’Lakes has saved 575,000 gallons of diesel fuel and 6,440 tons of carbon dioxide emissions by switching from truck transport to rail in 2012 and 2013, according to its CSR report.
Down on the farm, Land O’Lakes sustainability pilot participants have been auditing their energy use and have generated more than 4.5 kilowatt hours per year of renewable energy, reducing carbon dioxide by 3,100 metric tons.