Supply Scan

News and Trends From Across the Food Supply Chain


Data from the report shows that 65 percent of the respondents always locate their site away from floodplains, prime farmland, habitats for endangered or threatened species, and wetlands. And 67 percent always eliminate all pollution from the building to control erosion, runoff to storm sewers or local waterways, and dust generation.

Another finding shows how advancements in controls technology have led to greatly increased efficiencies in buildings and facilities. Controls for HVAC, lighting, CO2 and other systems are now being managed with total building systems to optimize the comfort and safety of occupants and minimize energy, water and emissions.

» GMA TO CO-LOCATE AT PACK EXPO INTERNATIONAL
The Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) is partnering with the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI) and co-locating the first ever Manufacturing Excellence Conference during this fall’s PACK EXPO International.

The Manufacturing Excellence Conference will deliver two days of education on topics including product safety, sustainability and operational reliability. The event will be held Monday, November 1 and Tuesday, November 2, as part of the four-day PACK EXPO International tradeshow being held October 31—-November 3, 2010 in Chicago at McCormick Place.

» UNITED NATURAL FOODS TO USE FUEL CELL POWERED LIFT TRUCKS
United Natural Foods Inc. plans to adopt hydrogen fuel cell technology to power the lift truck fleet at its Sarasota, FL distribution center, with a targeted completion date in June 2010.

The company will add 29 new hydrogen fuel cell-powered lift trucks, to its fleet, and 36 existing lift trucks will be retrofitted to hydrogen fuel cell technology.

“We consider environmental stewardship an essential component in every facet of our business. This hydrogen fuel cell project is further proof of UNFI’s leadership as an environmentally-conscious organization by advancing the use and development of alternative-fuel technologies,” commented Steve Spinner president and CEO of the Providence, RI-based company.

As part of the Sarasota initiative to replace lead acid batteries and their associated charging equipment with hydrogen fuel cells, UNFI has partnered with a number of companies to implement the roll-out, including Plug Power Inc., Air Products and Chemicals Inc. and Abel Womack Inc.

A hydrogen fuel cell produces energy by combining hydrogen and oxygen in an electrochemical reaction that yields electricity, heat and water. Hydrogen is non-toxic, non-poisonous, the lightest of all gases and the most abundant element in the universe. By converting UNFI’s Sarasota lift truck fleet to hydrogen fuel cells, the company expects carbon emissions will be reduced by approximately 132 metric tons annually, an amount equivalent to the annual emissions of 35 automobiles.

“Hydrogen fuel cells provide greater productivity and lower operating costs and will be an important component of a clean energy future,” says Tom Dziki, senior vice president of sustainable development. “Once implemented, this fuel cell project is expected to create annual energy savings of approximately 640,000 kilowatt hours.”

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