US Foodservice-Phoenix goes green

May 4, 2010
US Foodservice-Phoenix is conserving energy, water, and fuel while generating cost savings through a variety of environmental efforts.

US Foodservice-Phoenix is conserving energy, water, and fuel while generating cost savings through a variety of environmental efforts.

The foodservice distributor’s largest savings come from a lighting project done at the end of 2006 that replaced 400-watt bulbs throughout its facility with 250-watt bulbs. That measure alone has played a large part in saving more than 1.7 million kilowatt-hours of electricity through January 2010—enough to power 155 average US homes for a year—and reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking 233 cars off the road.

Additionally, the company has reduced electricity use by: deploying software to control the fan-cycling of evaporators throughout the warehouse, turning them off at optimum temperature instead of leaving them on a continuous run; installing programmable thermostats; and installing high-efficiency HVAC systems throughout.

On the road, one initiative is saving 22,000 gallons of diesel gasoline per year while reducing idle time by 1%. All of the Phoenix division’s 115 tractor-trailer tops are painted with white insulator paint to help “pre-cool” the vehicles by using the lower evening temperatures to reduce the need for extra cooling during the daytime by reflecting the heat away from the truck’s surface rather than absorbing it.

Other environmental efforts include:

•Recycling—US Foodservice-Phoenix recycles cardboard, shrinkwrap, cans, plastic, and paper products. It recycles an estimated 350 tons of these materials each year, saving more than 1,150 cubic yards of landfill space and sparing nearly 6,000 full-grown trees.

•Water reduction—A new cooling water treatment system, installed in October 2009, is expected to save up to 4 million gallons of water per year.

•Waste oil—Used oil from trucks, compressors, or other equipment is reused to heat the hot water tank. No waste oil leaves the site.

The division is also exploring options including a power protection and power factor system to further reduce its energy consumption by 15%, as well as solar power.

US Foodservice-Phoenix earned Green Business Certification from the Institute for Green Business Certification. The institute evaluated the facility’s green initiatives across 10 categories, including activities ranging from waste reduction to water conservation to reduced emissions. The Phoenix division is also a member of the local chapter of the Refrigerating Engineers and Technicians Association, focused on energy reduction.

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