Our Casa Grande, Arizona plant turns more than 500,000 potatoes into Lay's and Ruffles brand potato chips every day. To us, though, it's a lot more than just a Frito-Lay manufacturing plant.
Our Casa Grande facility is also a great example of how Frito-Lay is working to minimize its impact on the environment. In fact, Casa Grande’s goal is to run almost entirely on renewable energy and recycled water while producing nearly zero waste.
Frito-Lay and PepsiCo decided to conduct a sustainability experiment at Casa Grande. They asked themselves, "What if we incorporated all of the groundbreaking water and energy reduction technology and expertise we had learned from our plants across the country into a single plant?"
What if we incorporated all of the groundbreaking water and energy reduction technology and expertise we had learned from our plants across the country into a single plant?
"Could we create a model that our other plants could follow to drastically reduce our impact on the earth?"
Casa Grande was chosen because of its size (it's big enough to be effective, but small enough to be manageable) and its desert location (so we can gather plenty of that free, renewable solar energy, and because water conservation is so important in Arizona).
Some of the resource-saving measures at Casa Grande will include:
1) Using solar concentrators to collect solar power to help cook our chips.
2) Utilizing breakthrough technologies to reuse the water used in the process of making chips by filtering it until it is cleaner than drinking water.
3) Burning biofuels, or natural waste sources, to produce additional heat and electricity.
And almost every piece of waste generated at the plant will either be reused or recycled – for instance, potato peelings and cornhusks will be sent to livestock farms for use as feed.
Our goals? When all the technology is in place, nothing less than using 90% less water, 80% less natural gas 90% less electricity, and keeping 99% of our waste out of landfills. Then we can take what we've learned at Casa Grande and apply it all over the country, from California to New York.
Making snacks with minimal impact is a big ambition, but with people, commitment, technology and hard work, we can find ways to solve the environmental challenges we face as we head toward the future.
photo credit: gbdmagazine