DENVER, COLORADO, U.S. — New recycling standards and electrical service upgrades are among the steps Ardent Mills has taken to reduce its environmental impact, according to a sustainability report released by the company on July 29.
In the company’s Newton, Kansas, U.S., flour mill, new recycling standards resulted in 400 tons of recycled waste last year. This is equivalent to more than 1,300 cubic yards of waste diverted from the landfill and more than 6,700 trees saved, the company said.
Electrical service upgrades completed on the same mill last year resulted in a 10.19% reduction in energy waste, according to the company. Beginning next year, the Newton flour mill will receive 90% of its energy from the Soldier Creek Wind Energy Center. Ardent Mills said this new green energy program will reduce its total carbon footprint by more than 7,000 tonnes annually.
The company also is working with Kellogg Co. to support farmers in Utah, Idaho and California, and is partnering with Unilever to support farm-level sustainability efforts in eastern Colorado. Ardent Mills said it is working with ag tech firm Agrible on a pilot project for spring wheat farmers in the Snake Valley of Idaho.
In addition to investing in breeding and grain genetics, the company is focused on diversifying its specialty grain portfolio through The Annex by Ardent Mills.
The Annex has partnered with Colorado farmers to grow quinoa. The crop not only supports soil biodiversity, but also promotes water conservation. Quinoa requires 12.5 inches of water per growing season per acre, compared with 21.6 inches for barley, 23.5 inches for potato and 40.8 inches for Alfalfa, according the company.
“The Annex is a dedicated team committed to exploring and promoting what’s next in whole grains, pulses, mixes, custom multigrain blends and finished breads,” said Daniel P. Dye, chief executive officer at Ardent Mills. “This is just one of the many examples of how we’re investing in portfolio grains to meet consumer demands and doing so sustainably.”
On the procurement end, the company said it modified its palletization process to reduce fuel emissions as well as stretch wrap usage. The company said these changes cut plastic consumption by 120 tons, reducing the amount of plastic received by customers.
Other sustainability initiatives include composting at the company’s Denver headquarters, employing 118 fuel saving compressed natural gas trucks and a zero-waste program encompassing 12 facilities.
“We believe our investment in sustainability delivers a product that brings value to both our customers and the environment,” Dye said. “We believe sustainability is everyone’s business.”