Taylor Farms Awarded TRUE Platinum Certification For Zero Waste
- by Anne Allen
SALINAS & GONZALES, CA - Taylor Farms, one of the industry’s leaders in value-added fresh food, has been awarded TRUE (Total Resource Use and Efficiency) Platinum Certification. The TRUE Zero Waste certification system prepares facilities to define, pursue, and achieve their zero waste goals, enabling companies like Taylor Farms to better cut their carbon footprint and support public health.
According to a company press release, this certification showcases Taylor Farms’ continued efforts of ingraining sustainable practices into its culture and reducing waste at all operating facilities.
Spearheaded by Director of Sustainability, Nicole Flewell, the company launched the Zero Waste Program in April, 2017.
“We are very honored to receive the highest level of recognition through the TRUE certification program for our Gonzales facility,” said Flewell. “We’re striving for certification across all operations at Taylor Farms and are focused on enabling employees with the correct tools and training to help us meet this goal.”
Since its launch, Taylor Farms noted that the facility has decreased landfill contribution by 56 percent, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 30,923 MTCO2E—the equivalent to taking 6,510 cars off the road annually.
The Gonzales Green Team, led by Sam Chaidez, Director of Operations, is comprised of managers from departments across the facility including production, receiving, shipping, facilities, sanitation, purchasing, and quality assurance. The Green Team and employees worked together to reduce incoming materials, reuse existing materials when possible, and recycle what remained throughout the facility, completing this initiative in 14 months.
“Taylor Farms recognizes that by pursuing zero waste they are helping us build a sustainable future for all,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, President and CEO, U.S. Green Building Council and GBCI. “Waste impacts all facets of business and changing the way we use resources will deliver public health benefits, reduce our environmental impact, and advance a greener economy.”
In addition to the efforts behind this recognition, the Gonzales facility utilizes various renewable and alternative energy resources to help meet Taylor Farms’ sustainability goals. The site features a three-part system that includes a wind turbine, solar and cogeneration energy systems. These systems together generate 4.2 MW of energy, a 90 percent energy offset, which is used to run the 192,000-square-foot fresh processing plant.
“This is a great achievement for Taylor Farms,” said Zach Freeze, Senior Director of Sustainability, Walmart. “As a participating supplier in Walmart’s Project Gigaton, Taylor Farms is showing their commitment to reduce waste and emissions in their operations, while continuing to provide fresh products for our customers and we are glad to see them be recognized for their efforts.”
A key element of this program focused on working upstream to eliminate wax carton from the supply chain. Led by the raw product procurement team, the group worked with Taylor Farms’ growing partners to move to 100 percent reusable bins and totes, eliminating all single use and wax cartons.
To complete this project, Taylor Farms partnered with Measure to Improve, an organization that specializes in helping growers, shippers, packers and processors measure, improve, and promote sustainability efforts. Throughout the implementation, Measure to Improve provided onsite support, training, and data tracking.
Congratulations to Taylor Farms on this achievement!