Re-imagining global agriculture requires a wider focus than crops and farming techniques. Our Strategic Energy Management Plan (SEMP) has led to powerful initiatives that tackle climate change and are saving energy across our global operations.
Starting with our onion and garlic business in the US, our Fernley plant in Nevada is now the only geothermal vegetable drying facility in the world. The plant delivers approximately 216,982 MBTU (one million British thermal units) of carbon-free hot water annually, saving the equivalent of 11,500 metric tonnes of CO2.
In 2019, our Firebaugh plant in California will adopt solar power, offsetting 40% of the site’s electricity usage with solar energy and saving the equivalent of approximately 1,750 MT of carbon. The system will run alongside an existing 1.3 MW cogeneration unit, where heat recovery is used in the dehydration process to further save energy.
Our Gilroy plant is also being made more efficient as we convert the steam coils to natural gas to create a 10% improvement in heat intensity.
Alongside these major projects, we are converting all warehouse and exterior lighting at our plants to LED, saving energy and reducing costs and maintenance time. This is complemented by our Energy Monitoring Programme at the Firebaugh and Fernley plants, which monitors utility usage for gas, steam, electricity and waste-water to fields.
The programme provides an overview of energy use and ensures smoother running of operations by tracking usage and identifying trends that show higher than normal usage and highlight where improvements can be made.