Frito-Lay and its parent company PepsiCo probably aren’t the first companies that come to mind when you think about green businesses, but with the unveiling of Frito-Lay’s new facility in Arizona, the company just took a big step towards bolstering its green cred. The Casa Grande plant is ‘near net zero,’ meaning that it will be mostly run on renewable energy sources, like solar power. Additionally, the facility will be water efficient, recycling and reusing most of its own water, and the plant will divert most of its waste from local landfills.

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The Casa Grande plant, which produces everything from Cheetos to Doritos, was built in 1984, and it’s an ideal site for an energy-efficient overhaul – particularly considering the plentiful sunlight and dearth of available water in Arizona. Last year, the company brought in a group of consultants to install a water recovery system that recycles up to 75 percent of all the water used in the facility. Five solar photovoltaic solar systems were also installed on site, covering 36 acres, enabling it to source roughly two-thirds of its power from renewable energy.

The net zero team also focused on waste reduction – less than one percent of the plant’s waste currently ends up in the landfill, as much of the food byproducts are used as cattle feed. For the waste products that can’t go to the trough, Frito brought in a biomass boiler that turns agricultural products into steam, enabling the plant to reduce its natural gas usage by a reported 80 percent.

+ PepsiCo

Via Fast Company