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Kettle Chips' New Green Potato Chip Factory Earns LEED Gold Certification


Wind turbines and native prairie grasses have nothing to do with potato chips, but they're helping Kettle Foods earn recognition for building the greenest food manufacturing plant in the US.

The U.S. Green Building Council today awarded the company Gold level certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), recognizing its efforts to minimize the environmental footprint of its new potato chip factory in Beloit, Wis.

"Investing in green building was a conscious decision on our part to demonstrate our values in a very tangible way," said Tim Fallon, president of Kettle Foods North America. "Our employees have always encouraged us to look at ways to minimize our impact on the environment - from rooftop solar power panels to biodiesel fuel from our used cooking oil. Sustainable initiatives are business as usual at Kettle Foods."

With close proximity to the rich potato farms of America's heartland, Beloit, Wis. was a natural choice for Kettle Foods' second U.S. potato chip factory. The new 73,000 square foot plant met ambitious green-building standards with:
  • Installation of 18 wind turbines on the factory's roof, which will generate enough energy to produce 56,000 bags of potato chips each year
  • Filtering and reusing 1.65 million gallons of potato wash water
  • Installing premium, high efficiency equipment to reduce the use of natural gas and electricity
  • Offsetting 100 percent of electricity use with renewable wind power
  • Converting used cooking oil into biodiesel
  • Dedicating five acres to restoration of native prairie land
  • Sourcing over 35 percent of building materials from within 500 miles of the project site
  • Protecting indoor air quality with Green Seal building material and extensive ventilation for fresh air
  • Providing quality work environments with natural light and outdoor views for all levels of workers
"Kettle Foods is setting a new standard for sustainable food manufacturing in the U.S.," said Connie Lindholm, Executive Director, Wisconsin Green Building Alliance. "It's demonstrating through action a commitment to the environment that goes far deeper than its leadership in the natural food industry. We hope other businesses look to Kettle Foods as an inspiration for their own facilities."

The Wisconsin facility was constructed with the goal of creating a great work environment for employees with particular attention to the physical space and indoor air quality, using such materials as YOLO Colorhouse zero VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint. "Our factory is a great place to come to work. Nine out of 10 employees have access to daylight views throughout the facility, and the break room area occupies the best real estate in the building," said Fallon.





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