Environmental Upgrade a Winner

By Lisa Baran

Three entities came together to protect the environment and increase worker safety: an innovator, a packer, and a trade association. The innovator is Diversey, Inc., a global provider of commercial cleaning, sanitation, and hygiene solutions. The packer is Indiana Packers Corporation, a leading processor of premium pork products. And the trade association is the American Meat Institute (AMI), the largest and oldest meat and poultry trade association in the United States.

Indiana Packers Corporation, located in the heart of the Corn Belt in Delphi, IN, has, since its start-up in 1991, invested over $100 million in new construction and plant improvements to grow its production capacity from 4,200 to 16,800 hogs per day and deliver fresh pork products such as ham, bacon, and sausage to the retail and foodservice industries.

One such investment was in the ReNew wet air scrubber, a revolutionary technology developed by Diversey. Based in Sturtevant, WI, the company has regional headquarters in The Netherlands and Singapore, as well as local offices around the world.

Diversey’s ReNew wet air scrubber is a multi-functional technology designed to improve rendering plant odors by lowering unpleasant odors and removing harmful volatile organic compounds released into the air from clogged or dirty wet air scrubbers; increase the safety of plant workers by providing pH-neutral chemicals that reduce the use of cleaning acids and chemicals that are hazardous to handle and store; provide a dosing system that replaces the oxidizers and delivers a 60 percent reduction in water usage while lowering off-line cleaning costs by up to 28 percent; and allows a better cost/time investment for compliance requirements under rulings from federal, state, and municipal regulatory agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, to name a few.

According to Diversey, Indiana Packers implemented the ReNew wet air scrubber program in 2009 as a component of the company’s commitment to improve worker safety, enhance the efficiency of its operations, and increase the sustainability profile of its rendering facility.

The odors that result from processing grease and inedible animal by-products in rendering plants normally require the use of caustic chemicals such as chlorine gas, sodium bromide, caustic soda, and concentrated sulfuric acid, all of which are hazardous. Indiana Packers has seen a significant decrease in the volume of use of these chemicals and worker labor time since initiating Diversey’s proprietary ReNew program. Paul Gomes, regulatory compliance engineer at Indiana Packers, stated, “Before ReNew, we had weekly and monthly cleaning processes for the scrubbers that usually took a technician an entire shift to clean. The ReNew program has eliminated four to five hours of labor per week required to clean the scrubbers, along with the use of 20 gallons of caustic soda and five gallons of concentrated sulfuric acid per month, generating significant cost savings.”

While not only improving the safety and health of Indiana Packers’ facility workers by reducing exposure to these harmful chemicals, the company is enjoying a significant savings in water cost and consumption to the tune of 400,000 gallons per year. Because the ReNew system cleans on-line continuously, it also reduces scrubber downtime and costs of maintenance. The products used in the program provide a balance of enzymes and surfactants for the cleaning process that are free of alkylphenol ethoxylates, phosphates, chloride, and oxidizers, and have eliminated the necessity of using hazardous chemicals allowing for a savings of $100,000 per year.

“Indiana Packers is very dedicated to operating our business safely while reducing its environmental impact,” said Jon Revord, vice president of Engineering at Indiana Packers. “Partnering with Diversey on an innovative program like ReNew has delivered significant benefit to our facility, improving its safety and environmental metrics. We value Diversey’s expertise and thank the team for its efforts in bringing the ReNew system to our facility.”

The initiation of the ReNew wet air scrubber program was a win-win for both Indiana Packers and Diversey. It was this collaboration that lined up Indiana Packers to become first place recipients of the 2011 AMI Environmental Achievement Award under Category 3, Advancements in Environmental Technology, presented earlier this year at the 2011 AMI Foundation’s Conference on Worker Safety, Human Resources, and the Environment.

“We congratulate Indiana Packers Corporation on this major achievement,” said Ed Lonergan, president and chief executive officer at Diversey. “IPC [Indiana Packers Corporation] deserves recognition for its work to improve the environmental performance of its operations, and we’re honored to be their partner.”

Headquartered in Washington, DC, AMI presents the award to member companies that have taken measures to perform beyond environmental compliance by either designing a ground-breaking new plant technology or process, or implementing an innovative upgrade or environmental program. AMI’s Environmental Achievement Award is given in five categories:

1. Resource Conservation (reduced use of water, electricity, natural gas);
2. Pollution Prevention (reduced solid or toxic waste, recycling, cleaner production practices);
3. Advances in Environmental Technology (advanced technology, upgraded systems, software);
4. Environmental Outreach to the Public (including green marketing); and
5. Environmental Training Programs.

Indiana Packers participated in the Environmental Achievement Award program by submitting data to document and support the achievements realized through introducing Diversey’s ReNew wet air scrubber program into its facility to win the award under Category 3. Indiana Packers was first a Tier 2 recipient of the 2011 Environmental Recognition Award during the same AMIF conference, qualifying them to be considered for the Category 3 award.

Information about the award program and an environmental worksheet are available on AMI’s Web site at www.meatami.com

Newsline – June 2011 RENDER | back