Kraft Heinz Sets Major Sustainability Goals Thanks to Federal Funding

CPG company aims to reduce carbon emissions with new technology at 10 U.S. plants
Emily Crowe, Progressive Grocer
North York, Toronto, Canada - October 12, 2020: The Kraft Heinz Canada head office in North York, Toronto. Kraft Heinz is an American food company. ; Shutterstock ID 1902171325
Kraft Heinz will use funds from the Department of Energy to meet some of its sustainability goals.

The Kraft Heinz Co. plans to beef up its clean energy projects at 10 of its plants in the United States following its selection for award negotiations to receive up to $170 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstration. The company is aiming to reduce annual emissions at those locations by more than 99% from 2022 levels, while also implementing technologies that can eventually be replicated across a wide range of food and beverage manufacturers.

The funds will allow Kraft Heinz to install heat pumps, electric heaters, electric boilers, anaerobic digestors, biogas boilers, solar thermal, solar photovoltaic and thermal energy storage to help the company reach its carbon emissions reduction goal. Overall energy use after the implementation of the measures is expected to decline by 23%, natural gas use will decline by 97% and total water use will be reduced by 3%.

“At Kraft Heinz, we’re on a journey to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” said Marcos Eloi Lima, chief procurement and sustainability officer at Kraft Heinz. “This investment will give us critical resources to make necessary improvements in our plants to help increase their energy efficiency and reduce emissions. This investment recognizes our continued efforts to reduce our environmental footprint, and we’re eager to get started.”

The 10 plants where the project will be undertaken include Champaign, Ill.; Columbia, Mo.; Fremont, Ohio; Holland, Mich.; Kendallville, Ind.; Lowville, N.Y.; Mason City, Iowa; Muscatine, Iowa; New Ulm, Minn.; and Winchester, Va. Kraft Heinz expects to create about 500 construction jobs across the sites.

“The infrastructure changes made at these 10 plants will allow us to replicate successful technologies and processes across our remaining U.S. plants and globally, making us more efficient as we continue to make upgrades to more locations,” said Helen Davis, SVP and head of North America operations. “I’m proud of the impact this project and award will have on our facilities, but also on our current and future workforce and the communities that surround our operations.”

Meanwhile, Kraft Heinz has seen major changes to its c-suite over the past several months. As 2024 kicked off, the company welcomed new CEO Carlos Abrams-Rivera and announced five new members of its senior leadership team. All of the leadership team promotions have come from within the organization. 

Pedro Navio was elevated to president, North America, Willem Brandt took over as president, Europe and Pacific developed markets, and Bruno Keller took on the position of president, West and East emerging markets. Additionally, Cory Onell was elevated to chief omnichannel sales and Asia emerging markets officer and Diana Frost was appointed chief growth officer, expanding her previous role as chief growth officer for North America.

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