FORT MILL, S.C., (Oct. 19 PRNewswire)—U.S. Foodservice - Fort Mill is among the newest members of the South Carolina Environmental Excellence Program (SCEEP), a voluntary leadership initiative designed to recognize facilities that have demonstrated "superior environmental performance."
The Fort Mill division is the group's 34th member.
"U.S. Foodservice - Fort Mill has demonstrated its commitment to both the environment and the community through diligent efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, conserve water and electricity, limit its waste stream by recycling, and provide organic and locally grown products to its customers," said Myra Carpenter, chairman of SCEEP. "This aggressive, holistic approach is a definite benefit to our state's environment."
Since 2007, a dedicated sustainability team has aggressively sought new ways to reduce energy consumption, eliminate waste, and add recycling programs. These efforts have resulted in a number of innovations that demonstrate the Fort Mill division's commitment to sustainability in three key areas: environment, products and community. This includes:
- Using strategic route-planning technologies to reduce its fleet's "idle time" by 4.3 percent and raise its fuel efficiency by 1.2 percent, collectively saving 13,000 gallons of fuel in its service area which includes the upstate region of South Carolina as well as the western half of North Carolina.
- Decreasing water consumption for its facility by 21 percent - or by approximately 1.6 million gallons - between 2007 and 2008.
- Dramatically reducing its waste stream by strictly monitoring and documenting recycling totals for 29 different items each month. This included more than 118 tons of cardboard, 25 tons of wooden pallets, 17 tons of scrap metal, 65,000 plastic bottles and nearly 3,800 gallons of used motor oil in 2008 alone.
- Reducing electricity use by 13 percent between 2007 and 2008, a statistic it expects to replicate during 2009. Upgrading warehouse and workspace lighting to high efficiency bulbs, maximizing efficiency of its HVAC system and installing a new roof were among improvements done to achieve these levels.
- Shrinking its use of shrink wrap by 11 percent - or nearly 100,000 pounds of clear plastic wrap per year - by using large, reusable rubber bands to secure select food products for delivery.
"We will use our SCEEP membership as a resource to continue to improve our performance and serve as an example to other facilities within our company, to our customers and to the industry of what can be achieved through forward thinking and team work," said Dan Harris, president, U.S. Foodservice - Fort Mill.
Additionally, U.S. Foodservice - Fort Mill recently earned Green Business Certification from the Institute for Green Business Certification. Fort Mill completed a 38-page audit with 220 questions that evaluated the facility's green initiatives across 10 major categories. These include activities ranging from waste reduction to water conservation to reduced emissions.