Increased revenue and productivity plus reduced energy, waste, materials and turnover are the opportunities waiting to be uncovered for those embarking on a continuous improvement journey of energy management and sustainability!
Our second in a three-part Energy Management best practices networking series was hosted by Sons Bakery in Brampton. We were also pleased to have a complimentary case study on our Host presented by Provision Coalition as well.
Meena Hassanali, Industry Program Manager with Provision Coalition, and Hasan Mustafa, Plant Maintenance Engineer with Sons Bakery, jointly shared their thoughts and perspectives relative to achieving success through adoption of energy management programs and sustainability initiatives. Resultant opportunities, challenges and risks along the way are also part and parcel of any continuous improvement journey.
It was agreed by all in attendance that food manufacturers are under a great deal of pressure from a number of forces and the timing is right now more than ever for setting opportunistic goals. A sustainability initiative involves balancing economic, social and environmental elements and there are lots of potential savings and plant betterment to be found in each of these areas that would make our targets realistic and viable.
We had a great discussion on what it takes to gain engagement from the workforce and how you identify sustainability champions. The challenge is always changing behaviours into positive action.
Building a business case for sustainability needs to include the element of risk. For a Processor, trying to define the value of a corporation's reputation may be difficult to calculate, but it is one of the reasons for action or implementation.
Meena cited findings from Bob Willard (source: The New Sustainability Advantage) who has recalibrated and developed more compelling business case for sustainability strategies. Bob shows that if a typical company were to use best-practice sustainability approaches already being used by real companies, it could improve its profit by at least 51% to 81% within three to five years, while avoiding a potential 16% to 36% erosion of profits if it did nothing. The fully revised business case is organized around seven easy-to-grasp bottom-line benefits that align with current evidence about the most significant sustainability-related contributors to profit.
2. Reduce energy expenses
3. Reduce waste expenses
4. Reduce materials and water expenses
5. Increase employee productivity
6. Reduce hiring and attrition expenses
7. Reduce strategic and operational risks
Provision Coalition's Online Sustainability Portal is a phenomenal one-stop source of benchmarking tools and valuable resources designed specifically for food and beverage processors looking to improve their sustainability performance. It happens that our host, Sons Bakery, was the first company to apply and test the tools of this portal.
The main driver for Sons Bakery was customer demand. As a supplier to McDonald's, they must have a sustainability plan in place and maintain an environmental scorecard that has aggressive energy and water targets. An endeavour of this nature, requires commitment from the top on all Sustainability initiatives. For Sons Bakery, this meant that they needed an engaged management team and workforce focused on continuous improvement and achievement of those targets. This resulted in a fresh business vision, mission and goals. Since then, adoption of this mantra has led to improved efficiency, reduced environmental footprint and savings of $45,000 savings annually (12% energy reduction, 6% gas, 4% in water consumption) - incredible achievements!
Sons Bakery also has a zero waste to landfill objective and makes an effort to recycle everything. Waste is shipped and burned for hydro via UPAK. They have yet to find a way to recycle safety gear (ie. hair nets and ear plugs) and if anyone has ideas in that regard, they would be pleased to hear from you.
Their journey began in the summer of 2012 with a general feeling that the bakery was below industry average. Today they participate on the Sustainability Council with 20 other bakeries all focused on Sustainability. Hasan admits that the cherries at top are hard to reach, but through their targeted approach, they are systematically taking steps forward and measuring many things that were never measured before. Food services and retailers are becoming regulators and drivers for aggressive sustainability measures - and, as manufacturers, we need to stay abreast and forward thinking in our initiatives to stay competitive.
Meena explained that Provision Coalition's Online Sustainability Portal is designed to help food and beverage manufacturers assess, monitor and improve their sustainability performance, offering a quick peek at where you are today and where you can go in the future. It's a great resource for manufacturers looking to begin or expand their focus on sustainability. Global requirements (ie. Walmart, McDonald's) were incorporated into its development in an effort to help indentify industry gaps and opportunities. Tools such as the Self-Assessment Survey allows manufacturers to see how their facility's sustainability performance measures up and compare results to industry benchmarks. The Key Performance Indicator Scorecard allows facilities to use their production data, along with natural gas, electricity, water and waste figures, to generate environmental key performance indicators (KPIs) and track performance targets. And for those working towards an ISO 50001 Environmental Management System, the Portal could also be very useful in guiding your company's progress.
Food in Canada featured the portal in their November/December 2013 issue - "Opening the Door to Sustainability".
Where to start? Here are some preliminary questions to consider if you are considering a Sustainability Journey:
- Do you have a shared vision?
- Do you have the right people in place?
- How are you driving accountability?
- Are you disciplined enough?
- Do you understand the tools available to your business?
One of the biggest challenges we face - regardless of the continuous improvement project itself - is engagement. How do you get people on the floor motivated about achieving goals that align with, in this case, energy management targets and sustainability goals? Companies are seriously exploring how to motivate others in this regard and trying different means in which to seek involvement. At the end of the day, we need to stay focused on what brought us to this point in the first place - "we are doing this because...." - and gain participation and input from that aspect.
Hasan then provided a bit of an overview on the company and shared insight on some of the ways in which they are looking to mitigate the cost of energy and broaden their sustainability program.
Sons Bakery was started in 1983 in Calgary and the Brampton facility was acquired in 1994. It is presently owned by two families. Between the two companies, they produce 53% of all Canadian McDonald's bagels and 25% of the US market (which is supplied by Calgary operations). In one day they can produce 1.1 million buns and at any time hold a 2-day buffer. Buns go straight to the freezer and have a 60-day shelf life. A large user of water, which just on its own from a product standpoint makes up for almost a good portion of their recipe.
This is a very proactive and forward thinking company. They understand the value of networking and learning from others and are very interconnected to other bakeries and community stakeholders.
A recent winner of a Canadian Sustainability Award, they have worked diligently at their programs in this regard. Keeping sustainability forefront, they re-engineered their vision and mission statement to incorporate their commitment to making a difference.
We all agreed that SME's resources are limited. To that end, Sons Bakery receives support from other organizations which certainly helped when they were going through the "boot camp" process of transitioning to a sustainable organization.
We had talked earlier about engagement, and Hasan echoed how imperative it is to keep people involved. He mentioned that you have to include Shift Supervisors - take that hands on approach and meet as needed.
They work to the ISO 14001 template. Through their involvement on reducing energy costs, they have found substantial savings in electrical, gas and water, and have taken advantage of rebates and feasibility studies when they can.
Some of the areas which they have targeted and tracked include:
- Lighting inventory - (quickest payback)
- Compressed air
- Tray wash
- Glycol chiller
- Irrigation Water usage
- Chlorine Filter Water usage
- Blow Down Water usage
- Sugar Silo Water Usage
- Tray Wash City Water usage
Key elements they review include:
- Utility versus production
- Control limits
- Kwh chart
- Gas chart
- Water chart
Real time data is one of the best outcomes.
If you would like to learn more about Provision Coalition and the Online Sustainability Portal - please contact Meena at email@example.com or visit their website at: www.provisioncoalition.com. They would be delighted to hear from you and would be happy to extend an invitation to explore the Portal!
Our next Energy Management session was held on November 13th at Marsan Foods in Toronto. Bonduelle North America presented their best practices with respect to Energy Management. Provision Coalition also took part and shared another great case study!
Very special thanks to our Host, Sons Bakery, and to Provision Coalition for joining us for this Special EMC Food Sector Event - great topic - great day - great discussion!!
All the best as always!
Bren de Leeuw, Director - EMC Food, Beverage, Bio & Ag Program Canada
Excellence In Manufacturing Consortium - firstname.lastname@example.org - 519-372-6009