It’s estimated that $35 billion in perishable food is wasted each year, half of it because of improper temperature management. Intelleflex’s ZEST Data Services together with RFID readers and tags combined with intelligent Returnable Transport Items (iRTIs) play a key role in tracking and tracing product in the food supply chain and reducing unnecessary waste due to lack of visibility or improper handling.
Jane’s Dough Foods (www.janesdoughfoods.com)
Jane’s Dough Foods makes premium quality dough and pizza products. Last summer, the company transitioned from traditional pizza boxes to eco-friendly sleeves, reducing cardboard by 24 percent in both size and weight. With 2.2 million pizzas expected to be sold, this seemingly simple switch has eliminated over 280,000 pounds of cardboard. The smaller format sleeves have also reduced 58 truck shipments.
In the food/bev business, it’s all about speed. Jungheinrich’s lift trucks and equipment have a longer run time off a single battery, which helps reduce hydrogen gas emissions (occurs when an electrical battery is charged) and keeps a warehouse operation running more efficiently. The company was the first to develop its proprietary 3-phase AC technology, used to capture wasted mechanical energy and convert it to electrical energy.
JustFoodERP understands the unique requirements of its food and food-related customers, many of whom are looking for solutions to reduce paper and manually intensive functions with automated processes. The result is real time information, increased visibility, and improved tracking and tracing capabilities, which translates to reduced waste and more sustainability. JustFoodERP prides itself in matching up the best software technology with the best business practices.
Kane is Able (www.kaneisable.com)
Collaborative Distribution, or the sharing of transportation among various shippers, is not a new concept, but KANE has been at the forefront. One of its customers, Sun-Maid, saw a 62 percent reduction in cost per hundredweight using KANE’s consolidation program. Sun-Maid now consolidates close to half of its orders and plans to grow that number.
Recently, Kenco introduced new sustainability dashboards that bring together 13 metrics to provide “a good assessment of site specific sustainability,” said the company’s leader of sustainability, Deni Albrecht. The dashboard tracks metrics such as electricity, natural gas and water usage, as well as labor costs and other inputs. Kenco advises customers to start with the easiest things first, like simply turning out lights that aren't in use, then building from there.
Murphy Warehouse Company (www.murphywarehouse.com)
Over the past year, Murphy Warehouse Company continued its ongoing sustainability initiatives, which include native prairie and tree plantings, rain gardens and storm water retention ponds, as well as solar installations and LEED and Energy Star certifications. Its new 350,000 square foot Eagan, MN campus is the largest building in the Midwest with an LED lighting system of its kind, which includes LED fixtures outfitted with motion detectors.
Next Generation Logistics (www.nextgeneration.com)
Inverness, Illinois-based Next Generation Logistics’ FreightMaster TMS offers sophisticated functionality to minimize a shipper’s carbon footprint and leverage alternative modes of transportation, such as rail and intermodal. KPI’s validate the transportation cost savings and deliver “green results.”
Paragon Software Systems (www.paragonrouting.com)
Paragon’s advanced routing and scheduling solutions are used by a wide range of food/bev companies, and its flexibility and scalability are two key selling points. Fleet operators can typically reduce the size of their truck fleet by 20 percent with Paragon’s solutions, which benefits individual organizations and the environment as a whole. National foodservice distributor McLane Company uses six Paragon systems to plan delivery routes for its US-wide operations
MillerCoors saved $8 million by using Paylode’s reusable cargo protection systems. Instead of using disposable corrugated dunnage to protect cans and bottles during transit it trucks and rail cars, the reusable and recyclable plastic-based systems from Paylode not only offered superior protection, but boosted sustainability at the same time.
Randall Manufacturing (www.randallmfg.com)
The GREEN InsulWall is the only flexible curtain wall made from recycled insulation. It provides food/bev facilities with a LEED contributing, energy-saving modular wall system that minimizes a company’s environmental footprint by conserving energy and lowering operating costs. The insulated curtain wall also features an ASTM E84 Class A fire rating. US-wide operations.
Raymond Corporation (www.raymondcorp.com)
Raymond’s Eco-Performance design philosophy is an indicator of how the company approaches the material handling needs of its customers, including those in the food/bev space. The idea is to move more product and pallets in a shorter time frame, using the least amount of energy as possible, made possible with Raymond's ACR System technology. One customer expects to get 20 percent more lifts per battery charge with Raymond's proprietary system.
Retail Handling Solutions (www.retailhandlingsolutions.com)
Retail Handling Solutions’ ADS Box provides grocery retailers with a flexible and reusable solution for displaying and promoting palletized products. The four-sided customizable “billboard” wraps around and conceals the pallet while delivering products at a comfortable height to shoppers. The ADS Box helps reduce discarded display material and is built to last for years.
Retalix (now a division of NCR), is focused on automating processes and reducing paperwork. For example, its Power Delivery proof of delivery system increases successful deliveries while cutting down on manual processes and paper. Retalix offers its solutions via SaaS, making them more affordable and scalable.
Confectionary manufacturers are a strong customer base for Memphis, Tennessee-based ReTrans, and they’ve worked with one in particular to shift truckload reefer shipments to intermodal rail where possible, dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions and driving supply chain cost savings. Secondary benefits include reduced truck and dock congestion.
Retrotech, Inc. (www.retrotech.com)
Retrofitting and modernization an existing facility is a true expression of sustainability—waste is reduced, energy saved, and downtime minimized. Retrotech can seamlessly upgrade existing automated or manual material handling systems with best-in-class components and non-proprietary software to help a client’s operations maintain a competitive edge. Earlier this year, Retrotech worked with a Cargill facility in Alberta, Canada to design and install an improved process.
Reverse Solutions (www.reversesolutions.com)
Reverse Solutions, and its division Reverse Recycling, provide waste and diversion management for large food DCs in the Northeast. It starts with analyzing current processes and implementing more sustainable solutions that keep food and packaging out of landfills. The company also provides services such as return management, asset recovery and liquidation.
RLS Logistics (www.rlslogistics.com)
As a follow-up to a solar project at RLS Logistics’ headquarters in Newfield, NJ, the company embarked on an LED lighting retrofit project that will potentially save RLS Logistics 80-90 percent in lighting costs annually. The company’s goal is to generate 50 percent of its total energy requirements. RLS Logistics specializes in temperature-controlled logistics services.
ROOFLIFTERS USA (www.rooflifters.com)
This company’s approach is to think “above the box,” and raise the existing roof of a building to increase clear height. The lessened impact on the environment is “fairly obvious,” says the company, which has completed several projects for food distribution and manufacturing clients. A project for Fiera Foods in Toronto, Canada included raising the clear height from 12 feet to 21 feet and expanding the cubic feet of the facility from 504,000 to 882,000.