SALINAS — Taylor Farms, North America’s largest producer of ready-to-eat vegetables, celebrated Earth Day today with the announcement that it has seen a reduction of 12,190 metric tons of CO2 emissions over the course of the year—a 94 percent increase from 2017.
That is the equivalent to the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 2,588 vehicles driven per year.
The company says that this milestone is a direct result of its use of renewable and alternative energy sources nationwide; a combination of solar, wind, fuel cells and cogeneration.
Taylor Farms also uses advanced water-efficient wash tanks, waste reduction and recycling, food waste diversion programs and educational curriculums across all facilities, aiming to ensure sustainable practices run through all aspects of the company.
The farm was the first in the fresh food industry to achieve TRUE (Total Resource Use and Efficiency) Platinum Zero Waste Certification, diverting over 94 percent of materials from landfill, incinerators and the environment.
“It’s very exciting to be see this amount of positive environmental impact growth within one year,” said Nicole Flewell, director of sustainability at Taylor Farms. “There’s so much enthusiasm internally with our team members and externally with our partners, customers and consumers around our environmental sustainability initiatives. We’re continuing to evolve our sustainability program with a focus on resource conservation across our facilities nationwide.”
Taylor Farms currently utilizes four different types of renewable and alternative energy systems to power their operations with clean energy:
1) Five solar arrays at Taylor Farms’ facilities in Gonzales, Salinas, Tracy, Smyrna, TN and Dallas, TX, total over 18 acres of solar panels and generate 7.3 million kilowatt hours (kWh) per year. This is equivalent to taking 1,096 cars off the road each year.
2) The company’s wind turbine generates 3.8 million kWh/year of clean energy and offsets 15 percent of annual power needs at the Gonzales-based facility. This is equivalent to 328 homes’ energy use per year.
3) The Concentric Power Cogeneration plant is a natural gas-powered engine that provides firm energy to offset 64 percent of annual energy usage at the Gonzales facility. When combined with power from solar and wind, the facility’s annual energy usage is offset by over 90 percent. The GHG emissions saved directly from the Cogeneration plant is equivalent to taking 734 cars off the road or 414 homes’ annual energy use.
4) The Bloom Energy Fuel Cells at the plant in Salinas generates firm power with each kilowatt hour 21 percent cleaner than the traditional utility grid. The GHG emissions saved is equivalent to taking 163 cars off the road each year.
“The trailblazing team at Taylor Farms continues to impress with their sustainable energy goals and creative approach to transitioning completely off-the-grid, while shrinking their environmental footprint,” said CEO and founder of Concentric Power Brian Curtis. “It’s been an honor to be part of their renewable energy solutions, providing cogeneration as a consistent and flexible capacity for firm power generation.”