"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."
Taylor Farms' Gonzales, CA based facility launched the Zero Waste Program in April 2017. Over the lifetime of the program, the facility decreased landfill contribution by 56 percent, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30,923 MTCO2E, equivalent to taking 6,510 cars off the road annually.
"We are very honored to receive the highest level of recognition through the TRUE certification program for our Gonzalesfacility," said Nicole Flewell, director of sustainability, Taylor Farms. "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."
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 sq. ft. 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."
Spearheaded by Taylor Farms' director of sustainability, Nicole Flewell, the Gonzales 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. The Gonzales Green Team, led by Sam Chaidez, director of operations, Taylor Farms, Gonzales is comprised of managers from departments across the facility including production, receiving, shipping, facilities, sanitation, purchasing and quality assurance.
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.