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Heinz Aiming to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 20 Percent by 2015

As part of its corporate sustainability vision, The H. J. Heinz Co. intends to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2015.

"From using potato peels to generate energy to reducing the amount and size of our packaging, every day we're finding new ways to reduce our environmental footprint and improve the efficiency of our company," said Heinz c.e.o. Bill Johnson. "Everyone in the Heinz community is involved in this sustainability effort -- from our employees to many of our largest customers and suppliers."

Heinz is focusing on eight specific areas to achieve its goal by 2015:

--Energy consumption: 20 percent reduction through improved operational efficiency.

--Packaging: 15 percent reduction by the introduction of alternative packaging materials and the reduction of existing packaging use.

--Transportation: 10 percent reduction through improved efficiency of the distribution network.

--Renewable energy: 15 percent to come from renewable sources, including solar, biomass and bio-gas.

--Agriculture: 15 percent reduction of carbon footprint, 15 percent reduction of water usage, and improvement of yields by 5 percent through the use of hybrid tomato seeds that require less water, fertilizer, pesticides, and fuel to harvest.

--Water: 20 percent reduction through reuse and improved sanitation techniques.

--Solid waste: 20 percent reduction through increased recycling and reuse of waste.

--Employees: Increase employee engagement through a voluntary personal sustainability campaign.

Heinz is undertaking a variety of different initiatives to achieve these targets, including:

--Using potato peels to generate energy and save water: At the Pittsburgh-based company's facility in Ontario, Ore., Heinz is in project development stages to convert potato peels into biofuel, which will then be distributed to a central natural gas pipeline for sale and distribution. The project is expected to generate enough energy to heat 4,000 Oregon homes for a winter (390,000 MMbtu's).

The same project in Ontario is slated to treat and recycle 90 percent of the water used for daily potato production. The project is expected to save 1 billion gallons of water per year, or enough to supply 11,000 Oregon homes with water for a year.

--"Green" tomatoes: Heinz is expanding its growing regions into China, Egypt, and Eastern Europe, providing more local sources of tomatoes and lessening the need to transport tomato paste around the world.

--Reducing waste through recycling: In Fremont, Ohio, Heinz is on track to reduce solid waste -- which would normally end up in a landfill -- by 10 percent, or 800,000 pounds of recyclable material. The Heinz facility in Dundalk, Ireland is already recycling 95 percent of the plastic and 99 percent of the cardboard, wood, and steel it uses.
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