Simplot Processing Plant Recognized for Sustainability Practices
The Idaho Plant was recognized as the 2016 Industrial Project of the Year at the 31st Annual WateReuse Symposium held in Tampa, Florida Sept. 11-14. On the heels of this award, the plant also achieved the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Standard.
“The JR Simplot Company has a long history of sustainability and these achievements reflect our respect for resources—linking long term business sustainability with environmental sustainability,” Simplot Food Group president Mark McKellar said. “We built the Idaho Plant to operate the way it does because it makes good business sense and, as we often find, it also makes good environmental sense.”
The WateReuse Symposium recognizes extraordinary leadership in water reuse each year. The awards program highlights utilities, businesses and people that provide leadership in advancing water reuse.
Among the innovative aspects of the Idaho Plant is the facility’s zero-liquid discharge system. The plant can reclaim up to 1.7 million gallons of water a day and returns it for reuse in the potato production process. Remaining discharge is used for irrigation of crops or eliminated through spray evaporation technology.
The LEED certification reflects a set of standards for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of green buildings in the United States. Buildings are inspected and given points in different areas for meeting or exceeding environmental and energy standards.
The Idaho Plant participates in an energy conservation program that helps save enough electricity to power more than 850 homes every year.
“The cost savings in water and energy will more than make up for the technology costs,” plant director Erik Brandenburg said. “And the impact on the environment is significantly smaller than a traditional processing plant would be – it’s a win for everyone.”
The J.R. Simplot Company, a privately held agribusiness firm headquartered in Boise, Idaho, has an integrated portfolio that includes phosphate mining, fertilizer manufacturing, farming, ranching and cattle production, food processing, food brands, and other enterprises related to agriculture. Simplot’s major operations are located in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, and China, with products marketed in more than 40 countries worldwide. The company’s mission statement is Bringing Earth’s Resources to Life. For more information, visit http://www.simplot.com .
About the Idaho Plant
The Idaho Plant is a state-of-the-art potato processing plant in Caldwell, Idaho that opened in 2014. Simplot was able to consolidate three processing plants in the western U.S. into the single plant which maximizes energy and water-use efficiency through a variety of innovative technologies. More than 500 people work at the Idaho Plant campus, making it one of the largest employers in Canyon County.