Foodservice Supply Chain Addresses Facility Energy Efficiency

by | Mar 17, 2010

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MWVheadquartersWhether it’s a facility expansion or new construction, foodservice companies including U.S. Foodservice and MeadWestvaco are joining the ranks of many organizations that have made the decision to incorporate energy-saving features into their building retrofits and new construction to reduce energy costs and energy use as well as greenhouse gas emissions.

As an example, U.S. Foodservice-Kansas City recently completed a 50,000-square-foot expansion project at its now 355,000 sq.-ft distribution facility in Topeka that incorporates numerous energy-efficient measures (PDF) ranging from high-efficiency lighting to reduced heat island effect.

In addition to the high-efficiency fluorescent bulbs for the warehouse, dock and office space, the facility also uses motion sensing controls to reduce energy use. The expansion also integrated draft elimination features including the addition of vertical levelers and fourth-side draft seals to dock doors, which is expected to save about $800 to $1,000 per dock position annually.

Another energy-saving feature is the addition of a white thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) roofing membrane and concrete paving to reduce the facility’s heat island impact.

The project also included recycling and reuse of materials. As examples, material from demolishing the covered truck yard with the exception of the roofing insulation was salvaged for reuse or recycling, and all rack materials for the dry storage area were salvaged from other USF projects across the country.

The facility will also undergo a full energy audit by Cascade Energy Engineering, which will also install an energy management system.

To further reduce the company’s emissions, U.S. Foodservice-Atlanta recently claimed to be the first major foodservice distributor in Georgia to fuel its entire delivery fleet with biodiesel, reducing the fleet’s CO2 emissions by nearly 788,000 pounds or about four percent annually.

Foodservice supply chain company MeadWestvaco’s (MWV) new headquarters building in Richmond, Va., has received a four Globes rating under the Green Globes environmental assessment and rating system for commercial buildings. Only two other buildings in the U.S. have earned a four Globes rating, according to MWV.

Some of the measures that helped MWV, a packaging manufacturer, earn the high rating include an energy-efficient HVAC system, energy-efficient windows, light harvesting and use of natural light, LED lighting and smart technology to control lighting and temperature in the building.

The project also reduced water use through native landscaping, plumbing and control systems and used low-VOC-rated eco window shades, carpeting, paint and other materials.

By using non-traditional building methods, the new headquarters yielded a 21 percent improvement in overall energy efficiency and energy use.

During construction, the project also recycled 95 percent of construction waste.

In addition, MWV’s foodservice paperboard line for cups, trays, and takeout containers recently was certified by the Biodegradable Product Institute (BPI) and can be commercially composed with food waste. The MWare-coated cupstock is made with polylactic acid (PLA), a plant-based plastic derived from renewable resources. All MWare paperboard material is made from sustainably sourced paperboard and up to 30 percent post consumer recycled fiber.

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