McCain Foods wins environmental leadership award

TORONTO, Nov. 25 /CNW/ - McCain Foods (Canada) was recognized for its environmental leadership and energy conservation achievements at an awards dinner in Toronto on Nov. 24.

The company received the award for its energy recovery system at its potato processing plant in Carberry, MB. The system captures heat from the fryer and uses it to pre-heat water used in the manufacturing process, reducing the use of natural gas. The award was presented by Natural Resources Canada and the Canadian Industry Program for Energy Conservation (CIPEC) as part of the Energy 2009 Lean and Green conference.

"The CIPEC Leadership Awards showcase the outstanding achievements of companies that have distinguished themselves in their work to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions," said Glenn Mifflin, Chair of the CIPEC Executive Board. "We received many high quality submissions as part of this awards program and McCain Foods (Canada) is being recognized in the category of Process and Technology Improvements for its excellent effort towards improving industrial energy efficiency."

Justin Walsh, manager of the Carberry plant, said energy conservation is an important part of McCain's continued commitment to the environment.

"We have a strong focus on water and energy conservation," he said, "and we are always looking for new ways to help protect the environment."

Last month, the Carberry plant announced that it had turned a former wastewater lagoon back into a natural habitat for waterfowl and native plants. The facility is also expected to become the first McCain plant in Canada to receive its ISO 14001 certification, an international standard for environmental management systems.

Walsh said the energy recovery system was implemented in early 2008 at a cost of more than a million dollars but that it will pay for itself in energy savings within two or three years.

"It's a great example of a win-win. It's great for the environment and it makes good business sense as well."

Jean-Pierre Rajotte, Vice President, Operations, said similar energy recovery systems are in place at the other McCain potato processing plants across the country.

"We also generate and use biogas at several of our plants," he said. "In Canada, renewable energy now accounts for more than 15% of our total energy use."

Rajotte said McCain works hard to minimize its environmental footprint partly because customers and consumers are demanding it, but mainly "because it's the right thing to do."

He also said that "you don't need million-dollar projects to make a difference," noting that McCain is upgrading its lighting systems at its two plants and warehouse in Grand Falls, NB to make them more energy efficient.

"Small things really can make a big difference," he said.

McCain Foods (Canada) is a division of McCain Foods Limited, an international leader in the frozen food industry and the world's largest processor of French fries and specialty potato products. To learn more about environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility at McCain Foods, go to www.mccain.com and download the company's first global CSR report.

SOURCE McCain Foods (Canada)

For further information: For further information: Calla Farn, Vice President, Government/Public Relations and Corporate Affairs, McCain Foods (Canada), (506) 392-3277, calla.farn@mccain.ca

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