Companies are increasingly looking at practices to adopt that will enable them to counter the cost of rising energy. Adding to this ongoing challenge, there is also a growing pressure from the value chain at large for greater sustainability measures. Bonduelle Canada has made considerable strides in their efforts to mitigate costs and promote sustainable initiatives.
Our Host, Brian Muscat, Energy Manager for Bonduelle Canada, has participated in our previous EMC GF2 Food, Beverage, Bio and Ag Sector Energy Management Networking Events and was excited to welcome everyone to southern Ontario and to their plants in Strathroy and Tecumseh. Brian provided an excellent overview of the Bonduelle organization and highlighted the considerable initiatives the company has undertaken to understand and mitigate costs relating to energy.
It was interesting to learn of some of the projects that this organization has completed, has underway and is considering for the future. Energy costs (water, air, gas, electrical and steam) account for about 10% of their operating costs – a significant amount particularly when you consider that some days, they use enough energy to power 3000 homes!
Energy costs are variable in nature, but you can have some control over them through monitoring, adjusting and updating. Bonduelle’s Energy Management Program takes these concepts into consideration.
As an example, pretty much on a minute by minute basis, Bonduelle can monitor an element like the refrigeration processes. This monitoring produces daily and weekly reports that drill down to show how much it actually costs to operate the plant and certain processes. Based on KPIs like kWh/lb, or m3/lb of product (using energy, water, gas, etc.), they produce a “Utility Ratio Report” which can be analyzed on a daily basis if needed.
One of their goals is to save kWh wherever they can – and just by turning equipment off, a significant impact is possible. They are also looking at optimizing the efficient operation of compressors and fans.
Some of their completed projects include:
*Engineering studies and audits (building envelope, insulation – roofs, refrigeration system, compressed air)
*Control projects (high pressure water, air compressor, and refrigeration control system)
*Demand response (DR3) (shut down waste water and cold storage)
*Monitoring projects (BEnMs for monitoring WAGES, daily/weekly reports with KPI’s and targets, dash-boards and charts with real time, moving initiatives from three plants to all 11)
*Planned projects (demand response expansion in Strathroy)
*Retrofit projects (LED lighting – exterior and interior, VFD on condensers and evaporators, compressed
air system upgrade, high pressure water control systems
Our Host highlighted some of the challenges faced in their Energy Management journey to date including maintaining momentum and ambition of Energy Team Members, finding financing for both large and small projects, and balancing priorities during the busy season when people are required elsewhere, etc.
It was an excellent presentation and there were lots of questions from participants which included processors and community partners. A tour of both the Strathroy and Tecumseh facilities enabled attending manufacturers to gain a better perspective of Bonduelle’s journey to date. These are two very different facilities with of course different types of equipment and processes and our tour took place at the height of their canning season.
Cher Mereweather, the Executive Director with Provision Coalition was also invited to join us for this special session. Provision Coalition has developed a comprehensive Online Sustainability Portal that offers manufacturers the opportunity to monitor energy inputs. This subsequently enables the processor to seek means to reduce costs via tracking and analytical opportunities, benchmarking with others, utilizing guidelines, suggestions, resources etc. all specifically designed to help food and beverage manufacturers be more competitive in this regard.
Our Speaker shared an awesome video on Understanding Sustainability and if you have a moment, please check it out! It includes comments and thoughts from manufacturers and retailers and looks at what sustainability means to them.
Cher also mentioned that Provision recently worked with Deloitte Consulting to identify the top five sustainability issues facing the Canadian food and beverage industry. Top issues included (in no particular order):
1. Responsible Supply Chain Management
2. Industrial and Agricultural Water Consumption and Pollution Prevention
3. Local/Seasonal/Immigrant Labour Rights
4. Sustainability Reporting
5. Sustainable Farm and Food Plans (the need for whole farm information in a transparent manner)
Some of the challenges companies face when looking to improve their sustainability performance include the actual execution of a sustainability plan, how to take part in initiatives, and balancing short term needs against the long-term scope. To assist with integrating sustainability into day to day operations, Provision Coalition has created some amazing tools and resources such as the 'how-to integrate sustainability framework' available on their online portal.
Provision Coalition demonstrated other capabilities of the portal and provided case study examples and videos from processors who have found this to be a very useful tool (such as Beau's Brewery). Everything is very well laid out with sections including:
1. Getting Started (based on the Plan Do Check Act principles)
2. Self-Assessment Tools
3. KPI Scorecards
4. A Consultants/Vendor Database
5. Tools for Environmental Benchmarking
6. A Funding Database
7. Tools for Wastewater Management
8. A Comprehensive Library
We encourage participants to register online, populate information and tap into the incredible resources available at no charge to food and beverage manufacturers!
For more information please check out the Provision Coalition website at: www.provisioncoalition.com, or contact Cher directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Overall, this was an excellent session for attendees to make connections with others in industry interested in Sustainability and Energy Management and everyone enjoyed sharing experiences and learning about scenarios that clearly demonstrated savings.
We also had a very interesting discussion on Cogen facilities and Campbell’s Company of Canada looks forward to hosting a 2016 Food Sector Energy Management Event with an overview of their new Cogen operation.
Very, very special thanks to our Host for the warm welcome, excellent overview and plant tour – and to our Presenter – Cher Mereweather from Provision Coalition and Brian Muscat from Bonduelle Canada for sharing their Energy Management and Sustainability Journey to date and to all those who participated in this Special EMC Food Sector Event!!
All the best as always!
Bren de Leeuw, Director - EMC Food, Beverage, Bio & Ag Program Canada
Excellence In Manufacturing Consortium - email@example.com - 519-372-6009
EMC receives funding under Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. However, the comments or opinions expressed on this blog are solely those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Government of Canada or the Province of Ontario.