Doing What’s Right for the Environment: Rich’s Becomes ENERGY STAR Partner

As part of Rich’s commitment to “Do What’s Right,” the company recently began participating as an ENERGY STAR® Partner with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  ENERGY STAR is a voluntary partnership introduced by the EPA to promote energy efficiency and environmental protection.  The partnership represents Rich’s fundamental commitment to protect the environment through the continuous improvement of company-wide energy performance.

“Sustainability is a natural fit with The Rich Promise and our company values,” said Deb Gondek, Director of Sustainability, Rich Products. “Simply put, it’s about doing what’s good for business and good for the environment, focusing on: long-term efficient use of resources, reducing waste, and creating products that delight our customers and have minimal impact on the environment.”

As an ENERGY STAR partner, Rich’s commits to:

  • Continually improve energy efficiency;
  • Measure, track, and benchmark energy performance, utilize tools offered by ENERGY STAR;
  • Develop and implement a plan to improve energy performance in manufacturing facilities and operations by adopting the successful energy management strategy promoted by ENERGY STAR; and
  • Educate associates and the community about the ENERGY STAR partnership, and highlight achievements.

Many of the ENERGY STAR partnership commitments are already in practice throughout Rich’s as part of ongoing energy and water initiatives. In 2012, Rich’s Director of Energy & Water Management, Todd Musterait, P.E., LEED Green Assoc., worked with the ENERGY STAR program to develop an energy guide for Bakery manufacturing facilities entitled Energy Efficiency Improvement and Cost Savings Opportunities for the Baking Industry – An ENERGY STAR Guide for Plant and Energy Managers.  

The project gave Rich’s the opportunity to be a leading partner in the development of a guidance document for all food manufacturers to follow.  In addition, Musterait’s involvement with the American Bakers’ Association Energy & Environment Committee supports Rich’s commitment to improving energy and water efficiency and knowledge sharing among industry peers. 

“Rich’s is committed to developing industry-leading energy and water management programs for our manufacturing operations and leveraging the resources gained through the ENERGY STAR partnership,” said Musterait. “We are sincerely invested in our core belief to care of the communities in which we manufacture our world-class products. Through environmental stewardship and sustainable business practices we can deliver the highest quality products with minimal impact to our environment.” 

Under the leadership of Dave Konst, Senior Vice President Operations, energy and water productivity initiatives are continuously driven by Rich’s manufacturing operations.

“We believe that an organization-wide energy management approach will help Rich’s enhance our business and aid in preserving the environment for future generations,” said Konst. “As a family company that cares about the communities in which we live and work, Rich’s is committed to environmental protection. The ENERGY STAR partnership will support Rich’s pledge to Do What’s Right for the environment.”

Rich’s is conducting ongoing energy and water assessments at manufacturing sites to identify further opportunities to reduce the environment impact of production. 

“As a frozen food manufacturer, increasing energy efficiency provides a significant opportunity to reduce our company’s carbon footprint,” said Gondek. “Escalating energy costs and market conditions continue to drive increased focus and opportunities to do what’s good for business and good for the environment, as we look for both cost savings and environmental benefits.”

In terms of energy, the company is looking for ways to optimize the use of lighting, compressed air, boiler and cooling towers, and heat recovery. Renewable energy sources, such as solar power, are also being explored. Rich’s is investing in the installation of Energy Management Systems (EMS) and Refrigeration Energy Management Systems (REMS) to reduce electrical consumption and demand at manufacturing facilities.

The production facilities are continually targeting water reuse and minimization, as well as water harvesting projects. Waste water pre-treatment upgrades have been made to improve the quality of wastewater discharge, while sustainable outlets for wastewater discharge are under consideration. The Fort Erie, Ontario, production facility recently celebrated a zero waste-to-landfill designation after a conscientious effort to reduce waste.