We’re excited to bring you another episode in our series “The Green Scene.” This series showcases the “Green Teams” at each of our plants who help Frito-Lay achieve its sustainability goals, as well as the environmental coordinators who are responsible for ensuring compliance with numerous state and federal environmental regulations, supporting environmental sustainability projects within the plant and leading the plant’s Green Team.
I recently sat down with Heather Belanger, environmental coordinator (or EC) at our plant in Killingly, Conn. Heather has been with Frito-Lay for 25 years, and has spent the last four years as the Killingly EC. She’s held a variety of roles within the plant, including working for the sanitation and food safety team for 17 years.
Check out Heather’s answers below to learn more about her job and what she loves about it.
What inspired you to pursue a career in the sustainability field?
It really was my love for learning something new. I was in my prior position for a long time when this job became available. I’m someone who loves a challenge, so I jumped at the opportunity. Plus, I’ve always had a passion for the sustainability field outside of my work life, participating in things like river cleanups and bio-assessments of our area streams to test their cleanliness.
It definitely was a challenge to make the transition, but it’s been a perfect fit for me, and I continue to grow and learn.
What do you like best about being an environmental coordinator?
I enjoy the challenge of keeping up with all the environmental laws, required permits and PepsiCo guidelines. I am constantly learning new and exciting information. I also love my Green Team! They are the best support group any environmental coordinator could ever have.
What is one project you’ve worked on that makes you the most proud?
I am so proud of our annual Maple Street Cleanup. Each year, we “adopt” the road leading to our facility and clean up the street. It brings together the facility team members to take pride in our workplace -- and the residents who live in the area really appreciate it.
What’s your favorite way to incorporate sustainable practices in your home life?
I recycle everything! I recently began recycling all of my coffee grounds to use in my garden compost. They’re a great source of nitrogen to help with the composting process.
What’s your favorite Frito-Lay snack?
I love Ruffles Sour Cream & Onion potato chips.