Pilgrim’s Pride Themselves on 'Ecomagination'

US - Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation recently received an 'ecomagination' award for achieving reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, waste solids, and water usage at its El Dorado, Arkansas facility.
calendar icon 19 February 2008
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Presented at a general meeting of Pilgrim’s Pride executives in Atlanta, Georgia, the ecomagination award honors the company for achieving nearly $500,000 in annual operational savings and numerous environmental benefits.

A new ecomagination-certified GE wastewater treatment system, using entrapped air flotation technology (EAF), enables the El Dorado plant to reduce the amount of waste solids produced in the wastewater treatment system by 425,000 pounds per week. This eliminates the need to transport the waste solids offsite, and reduces the associated greenhouse gas emissions from trucking by more than 800,000 pounds per year—or the amount of carbon dioxide that would be removed from the atmosphere by a one hundred acre forest.

"We are extremely pleased to honor Pilgrim’s Pride today for its commitment to making changes that produce big wins for the business and the environment."
Jeff Garwood, president and CEO, GE Water & Process Technologies.

The reductions are possible because the EAF system eliminates the use of 286,000 gallons per year of ferric sulfate, a chemical that is commonly used to help remove contaminants from wastewater but can result in large amounts of waste solids. Pilgrim’s Pride also captures and reuses the high quality effluent produced by the system, and currently recycles about 30,000 gallons of water per day to wash down outdoor areas and for non-contact cooling.

“GE’s extensive portfolio of advanced equipment and chemical treatment technologies is helping companies throughout the world to expand their sustainable business practices and achieve significant operational and environmental benefits,” said Jeff Garwood, president and CEO, GE Water & Process Technologies. “The solutions implemented by Pilgrim’s Pride not only provide positive benefits for the business, but also the community at large—by reducing the number of trucks on the road and the associated GHG emissions, waste solids going to landfill, and demands on potable water supplies. We are extremely pleased to honor Pilgrim’s Pride today for its commitment to making changes that produce big wins for the business and the environment.”

Pilgrim’s Pride claims they are continually exploring and implementing new technologies to use water more efficiently at its plants. To date, the company has implemented water reuse systems that save well over 3,000,000 gallons of water every day at its combined plants. Such strategies are particularly important not only to conserve potable water supplies, but also to ensure that facilities continue to operate at full capacity during times of water shortage. Pilgrim’s Pride recently intensified the examination of ways to implement additional water savings at its plants in Georgia in light of the unprecedented drought conditions the state is currently experiencing.

The Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and GE Water & Process Technologies recently hosted the Georgia Water Solutions Forum in Atlanta on Dec. 10, 2007. Speakers at the forum, which included Senator Johnny Isakson, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, Georgia Environmental Protection Division Director Dr. Carol Couch and GE Vice Chairman John Rice all addressed the need to implement sound water stewardship practices and expand on everyone’s role in developing technology, policy, and conservation strategies that can help the region reduce, reuse and replenish water supplies in Georgia.

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