Case Study: Biogas Recovery

Case Study: Biogas Recovery – Smithfield Foods, Inc.

Smithfield Foods, Inc. implemented biogas recovery and used biogas as a fuel source in two 700 HP boilers at its Tar Heel Facility in North Carolina. The system typically reduces the facility’s natural gas use by 10 percent. The project has added benefits:

  • Combusting the biogas, as opposed to venting it to the atmosphere, reduces the facility’s carbon emissions.
  • Covering anaerobic digesters and capturing biogas for energy recovery reduces odors.
  • Storm water intrusion from covered anaerobic lagoons provides wastewater treatment savings.

The system includes a synthetically lined and covered anaerobic basin with gas collection piping, blowers, condensate system, gas pipeline, flare and dedicated biogas fuel trains for the boilers. The boilers also operate using natural gas. This technology has been in use at the Tar Heel facility since the 1990s.

This case study originally appeared in The GEMI Quick Guide on Renewable and Alternative Energy.


Images and Source: Smithfield-Farmland Tar Heel, NC Covered Anaerobic Digester. Smithfield-Farmland Tar Heel, NC Biogas System diagram from SCADA

Case Study: P&G – Wind Turbine

In 2011, Procter & Gamble (P&G) installed its first wind turbine at a P&G Petcare place in Coevorden, Netherlands.  P&G owns the 2.1 megawatt hour turbine and installed it on company land. The project had an internal rate of return that met P&G internal hurdles for capital spending. The electricity is sold to the grid to take advantage of the local feed-in tariff incentive. RECs are repurchased so the plant continues to own the environmental attributes.

This case study originally appeared in The GEMI Quick Guide on Renewable and Alternative Energy.



E3 and Sustainable Manufacturing Training

On June 3, GEMI held a webinar discussion with Tom Murray and Pam Swingle of the US EPA to learn more about the Federal’s government’s E3 initiative, and tools/resources available through the program.

E3 is a technical assistance framework helping communities, manufacturers, and manufacturing supply chains adapt and thrive in today’s green economy. E3 supports the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP), a new Administration-wide initiative designed to accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing and help communities cultivate an environment for businesses to create well-paying manufacturing jobs in cities across the country.

Through its E3 work, EPA’s Region 4 has developed the ‘Sustainable Manufacturing Curriculum: Greening the Future by Educating Tomorrow’s Workforce’ to help address the growing demand for employees who are trained to identify opportunities for improving process efficiencies and preventing environmental wastes.

Opportunity to Engage?

The webinar concluded with a discussion of potential opportunities to work together with EPA to modify the EPA’s Sustainable Manufacturing Training for corporations internal use to increase understanding of sustainability concepts among employees across the US.

If your company might be interested in participating in a collaborative GEMI effort focused on companies’ sustainable manufacturing training needs, please contact GEMI Program Manager Kellen Mahoney.

Case Study: Project Clean Stream – Perdue

Case Study: Project Clean Stream

Perdue has long supported the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay though corporate sponsorship and board involvement. Perdue pursued the partnership with the organization due to the Alliance’s experience in bringing together broad spectrums of stakeholders into collaborative efforts. In 2008, Perdue provided financial support for the Alliance’s Project Clean Stream, through a grant from the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation, and put out a call for associate volunteers on Delmarva (the Delmarva peninsula encompasses portions of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia).

The partnership’s first event was modest:  30 volunteers at a single site not far from Perdue’s corporate office in Salisbury, Maryland. The volunteers included the company’s Chairman and other senior leaders, who waded into the mucky shoreline of two local waterways collecting everything from cans and bottles to rusted bicycles and used car tires. Organizers shared photos of the event through company-wide communication channels.

Following the inaugural event, an effort led by associates expanded the program across Perdue facilities in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. When associates saw the opportunity to do something in their own communities, and of their own choosing, interest spread.

Project Clean Stream is now a company-wide event. Environmental managers at each location work with their local management teams to recruit volunteers. The Corporate Communication department identifies an individual on each team to report on the local results and provide photographs of the team. The communications team publishes the information on the company Intranet and Facebook page. As a result, there is now a friendly rivalry between locations to outdo each other and the volume and pounds of trash and debris collected from their local waterways continues to increase.

In 2014, more than 890 Perdue associates and family members harvested more than 74,000 pounds of trash and debris from 52 sites across nine states. Since 2008, more than 4,100 Perdue employees have collected more than a quarter million pounds of trash.

[This case study was featured in the GEMI Quick Guide for Engaging Employees in Sustainability.]