ALEXANDRIA — SunOpta, a Minnesota-based global pioneer powering the future of sustainable plant- and fruit-based foods and beverages, announced it has achieved “zero waste to landfill” at its two Minnesota-based manufacturing facilities. Alexandria.
Alexandria is SunOpta’s newest zero-waste facility location. SunOpta’s Allentown, Pennsylvania. the factory achieved zero waste in 2021. By the end of 2022, SunOpta aims to have its 12 manufacturing plants around the world be zero waste to landfill.
SunOpta has achieved zero waste to landfill at its two Alexandria facilities by reusing and recycling materials such as batteries, metals, oils, pallets, bulk bags and drums. For example, SunOpta recycled 100,000 pounds of scrap metal and additionally reused over 11,000 pallets, saving natural resources as well as costs.
“Anything that cannot be reused, recycled or recycled is turned into energy to power the hospital, technical school and manufacturing plant in the community,” said Joe Gerhardt, SunOpta’s plant manager on Third Avenue in Alexandria. “We have trained ourselves to think and act with a ‘zero waste’ mindset to make sustainability a reality.”
“As a sustainable plant-based food and beverage company, we are proud to achieve this sustainability goal in Alexandria,” said Cody Emery, Minnesota Street Plant Manager, SunOpta. “Sustainability is personally important to me because I want to make sure all the natural resources that surround us in our beautiful state are there for my son and the next generation.”
In 2020, SunOpta made a $26 million investment to manufacture oat milk at its Third Avenue plant, highlighting the importance of the company’s presence in Alexandria. SunOpta has ambitious goals to double its plant-based business by 2025, with a particular focus on oat milk.
For decades, SunOpta has partnered with some of the most eco-friendly brands on the planet, including the world’s largest coffeehouse chain, to provide oat milk and other non-dairy plant-based alternatives.
Zero waste is just one of SunOpta’s sustainability goals. Earlier this year, it released its 2021 ESG Report, outlining progress and the way forward in four key areas: products, planet, people and governance. SunOpta’s sustainability strategy includes saving carbon emissions, recyclable packaging, food waste recycling and water conservation.
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