Our dairy production plant in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, is widely known among Land O’Lakes, Inc. member-owners and employees for LAND O LAKES® butter. But it's becoming well-known for another reason: Sustainability. This past spring, the Carlisle plant was certified to the Superior Energy Performance (SEP™) program and the ISO 50001 energy management standard, the first ever dairy plant in the U.S. to achieve this certification.
ISO 50001 is an international standard for a systematic approach in achieving continual improvement of energy performance. SEP™, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) program, recognizes manufacturing plants that exceed ISO 50001 certification standards through verified performance improvement. Certified facilities earn Silver, Gold or Platinum designations based on the level of energy performance improvement achieved.
Carlisle received designation at the Silver level for improving its energy performance by 5.7 percent over three years. Achieving this level of energy reduction is worth a cost savings of approximately $280,000 per year. The plant has also realized a significant decrease in greenhouse gas emissions.
Carlisle’s Energy Management System Tracks Efficiency Improvements
In June 2012, Carlisle and three non-Land O’Lakes plants were accepted into the DOE-sponsored SEP Demonstration project. All four plants received project implementation assistance from the Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program (PennTAP) at Penn State University. During a span of 18 months, participating plants received SEP coaching and trainings from PennTAP technical advisers.
To achieve SEP certification, Carlisle set up a robust energy management system (EnMS), tracked energy performance improvements and had the results independently verified by an accredited SEP™ Verification Body. Certification to the ISO 50001 standard is an integral part of the SEP™ certification process.
Employees in every area of the plant contributed: operations, engineering, maintenance and environmental. Among the tasks employees accomplished include energy awareness training, developing energy control SOPs for all plant areas and performing air leak inspections, all of which were tracked by an Energy Action Plan.
"This was really an 'all hands on deck' effort," says John Mulligan, butter & powder technical services manager. "Employees at all levels—including the plant manager—contributed to the successful outcome of the certification process."
Following the uniform, structured EnMS eliminates the need for the team at Carlisle to continually look for the "best" way to track and report data. They are adhering to the standard as they continue to increase energy efficiency and make positive impacts on the environment.