ABA Challenge focuses bakery energies
There is no lack of policy issues on which ABA is working to benefit the baking industry. Issues such as commodity volatility, nutrition labeling, workforce, proof box emissions, etc., are all front-of-mind in Washington and the states. However, I want to focus this month on an important initiative ABA recently launched–the ABA ENERGY STAR® Challenge.
Specifically, ABA is leading the baking industry to solve a key challenge–becoming more energy efficient. ABA recently signed an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop and implement meaningful and measurable steps to reduce the industry’s energy usage in the next five years. The ABA ENERGY STAR Challenge is designed to accomplish this goal.
By partnering with the EPA, ABA hopes to reduce the industry’s energy usage by 10 percent over the next five years. ABA will be conducting a webinar Nov. 8 with EPA to outline the steps needed to achieve the targets of the ABA ENERGY STAR Challenge. ABA is looking for full participation by bakers and allied partners.
In addition to being good corporate stewards of the environment, lowering the electricity usage in bakeries will significantly reduce costs for bakers. Regardless of whether you are an independent baking company or corporate multi-bakery company, anything to reduce operating costs should be wholeheartedly embraced.
This summer I had the opportunity to visit a new bakery recently brought on line by a small family baking company. Not only was I impressed by the willingness of the family to take such a risk in the current economic climate, I was blown away by the substantial energy savings built into the new plant. By designing energy efficiency into the construction, layout and equipment purchases, they increased their capacity three-fold while reducing their energy footprint in excess of 50 percent over their original plant. They proactively addressed one of their top cost items and are poised for a substantial return on their investment.
At IBIE 2010, the industry for the first time recognized and celebrated the suppliers who are embracing sustainability, including energy efficiency, with the Best in Baking awards. We will be measuring progress on sustainability and the ABA ENERGY STAR Challenge at IBIE 2013.
I encourage every baker to work with their suppliers in order to step up to the plate and take the ABA ENERGY STAR Challenge.
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