Thursday, July 05, 2012 by Lee Mannering
Sustainability stories: Grimmway Farms’ energy efforts
Last week via Twitter, I read a Tweet about Grimmway Farms’ sustainability programs. Since it’s been a few weeks since the last sustainability story here on Field to Fork and since members have told us they’re interested in the energy aspect of sustainability as a way to reduce costs or to improve operational efficiencies, I thought I’d share a few highlights on what Grimmway is doing in this area.
- To offset energy use, Grimmway built a 233kW solar array at one of its pumping plants, resulting in a 50 percent energy reduction.
- They also implemented energy efficiency projects, such as lighting changes to utilize the latest in fluorescent technology, and upgraded compressed air systems and improvements to high volume air conditioning equipment.
- Concerning emissions, controls were installed on carrot harvesters, forklifts were enrolled the California Air Resources Board Large Spark Ignition program (to retire older gas-powered lifts and replace them with either energy efficient propane models or electric lifts), and diesel engines were replaced/retrofitted with electrical motors.
- Grimmway also converted metal halide lamps containing lead to lead-free fluorescent tubes, and has recycled fluorescent tubes to prevent landfill contamination.