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10/28/2020

KeHE Lowers Emissions at California Facility

Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
Bridget Goldschmidt profile picture
KeHE Lowers Emissions at California DC Bloom Energy
Bloom Energy’s fuel cell technology will reduce the KeHE facility’s annual carbon dioxide emissions by 431 metric tonnes compared with its current grid alternative.

As part of its quadruple bottom line focusing on people, purpose, planet and profit, KeHE Distributors LLC will power its food distribution center in Stockton, California, with fuel-efficient Bloom Energy Servers.

Bloom’s fuel cell technology will reduce the Northern California facility’s annual carbon dioxide emissions by 431 metric tonnes compared with its current grid alternative. According to the distributor, that’s equivalent to the greenhouse-gas emissions from 756 miles driven by an average passenger vehicle, or the burning of 336 pounds of coal.

The fuel cells will additionally help slash smog-forming pollution and particulate matter by more than 99%.

“As a certified B Corp, one of our main values at KeHE is to use our business as a ‘force for good’, which includes reducing our carbon footprint,” explained Laura McCord, the company’s executive director of sustainability and corporate responsibility. “We are extremely pleased to partner with Bloom Energy to eliminate pollution and create a more sustainable future for everyone.”

The partnership enables KeHE to lower the demand on an already overextended electrical grid in the Golden State. The 600-kilowatt Bloom Energy Servers will employ fuel cell technology to generate energy using an electrochemical process. Ultimately, this will enable KeHE to reduce its carbon footprint with lower carbon dioxide emissions than displaced alternatives on the local electric grid. The fuel cells will also provide cost savings benefits, as well as more reliability and resiliency.

“As a respected leader in natural and organic food distribution, sustainable living is engrained in KeHE’s corporate ethos,” noted Asim Hussain, VP of commercial strategy at San Jose, California-based Bloom Energy. “Bloom Energy is proud to work with companies like KeHE on sustainability efforts to reduce harmful air pollutants – one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide – while simultaneously helping them to secure cost-effective, resilient power.”

“As KeHE moves towards becoming the next-generation distributor, the company has also implemented a sustainability commitment as part of its strategic plan,” observed Richard Sanderson, director of operational indirect purchasing at KeHE. “As our company continues to grow, we further realize the impacts that has on our people and the planet, which is why we have developed partnerships to focus on reducing our overall emissions throughout our operations.”

KeHE’s sustainable moves include adding low-carbon emission trucks fueled by renewable natural gas to its California fleet, and a partnership with Boston-based Spoiler Alert to reduce food waste.

KeHE is the largest pure-play distributor of natural and organic, specialty, and fresh products to more than 30,000 natural food stores, chain and independent grocery stores, e-commerce retailers, and other specialty product retailers throughout North America. The Naperville, Illinois-based company has more than 5,000 employees.

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