Bettering the World Through Business

Bettering-the-world-though-business.jpg

UNI MBA Graduate Devotes Career to Improving Food Service Manufacturing

Paul Greene (MBA '86) has devoted his life and career to creating positive changes.

In his 18 years as manager of Industrial Services for Nestlé USA in Waverly, Iowa, he has spearheaded major initiatives and garnered international attention. The plant employs about 280 people and produces all the powdered drinks for the United States.

Under Greene‘s direction, the Waverly facility helps set benchmarks for environmental practices utilized across the nation. A recent example is full implementation of a massive "Zero Landfill" project.

In late 2014, Waverly was among five factory locations that reached "zero waste to landfill status," reported Nestlé USA. The other sites include Anderson, Ill., Freehold, N.J., Jacksonville, Ill., and Medford, Wis.

Definitions of zero-landfill can vary. For example, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines the concept of Zero Solid Waste as "consuming only as much energy as produced achieving sustainable balance between water available and demand, and eliminating solid waste sent to landfills. It suggests guidelines, but there are no official standards, and regulators don‘t necessarily establish expectations or criteria, Greene explained.

"In some companies, landfill free can mean 90 percent or more waste doesn‘t go to the landfill," he said. "For Nestlé, it means nothing goes to the landfill."

How this happened is what made achieving zero-landfill status a multiyear process.

Much of the work began with addressing various areas of energy conservation. Reduction in water usage was a particular concern, because the plant‘s production used hundreds of millions of gallons of clean drinking water each year and discharged the used byproduct in Waverly‘s sanitary system and a nearby river. To change this, the facility installed the Marley Cooling Tower, which replaced a once-through water cooling system. "The savings is about 100 million gallons of clean, drinking water each year," Greene explained.

It had an additional positive impact on the local river and surrounding area, too.

"We have reduced our discharge to the Cedar River by the same 100 million gallons of water," Greene noted. "This has helped to eliminate potential issues with chlorinated water being discharged into the river. It has also allowed us to eliminate the related National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit."

Second, installation of a Hydrothrift Closed-Loop saved an estimated 85 million gallons of clean drinking water per year by replacing a once-through water cooling system originally installed to cool the factory‘s air compressors. This change eliminated the same 85 million gallons of water that was previously discharged into the Cedar River and the related NPDES permit, as well as concerns over chlorinated water discharge.

The facility also replaced its original once-through water system, which previously discharged to the city‘s sanitary system. It was replaced with Combination Cooling, a closed-loop and fresh water unit that resulted in an estimated annual savings of 65 million gallons of water.

The Combination Cooling system was designed to take advantage of the cost savings of a closed-loop system but needed to address two obstacles, Greene recalled.

"First, we were unable to justify the cost of a system that would handle cooling during the hottest days of summer. Second, because we experience product in our returned vacuum air, we need to keep the cooling solution fresh," he explained. Thus, the Combination Cooling solution was a hybrid that utilized the advantages of both by providing fresh water needed for additional cooling on hot days and make-up water to keep the cooling system fresh. "The system (gave) the plant a 75 percent savings in the volume of clean drinking water required and the subsequent sanitary sewer fees from the city," Greene said.

As Greene‘s team continued to review the system, water savings improved even more. Recently, this system was replaced with one that uses no water, for further savings. In 10 years‘ time, these savings amounted to a 96-percent decrease in the plant‘s water use --- or 2 billion gallons. The plant‘s move to zero landfill waste inspired the beverage division to do the same, and now Nestlé USA has challenged all its North American plants to become zero landfill.

Another area the Zero-Landfill project addressed was solid waste. Greene implemented a practice of recycling as much waste as possible. This included common, obvious recyclables like paper, cardboard, chipboard and plastics. But it also meant the plant had to find a way to recycle its "out of spec" beverage  product. As a result, the unusable powdered products are now a key, vitamin- and nutrient-rich ingredient in animal feed. "The farmer‘s love it, because it‘s better than a lot of fillers," said Greene.

Items that can‘t be recycled amount to roughly 4 percent of the factory‘s total waste. It was essentially a wall standing between the plant and "Zero-Landfill" Although a small and respectable amount of waste, Greene believed it could at least be repurposed in some way. Through the project, Greene devised a way to incinerate this waste to create energy. "The overall process is good business, and it saves us money," he said. "More than that, we‘ve created a win-win-win, because what we‘re doing is great for the environment, great for our community and great for those who benefit from use of the recycled materials. The bottom line is that we‘re not sending waste to the landfill."

The plant had actually hovered around 95 to 96 percent landfill-free for a decade, Greene noted. While a major accomplishment, he viewed that remaining 4 percent as an obstacle. It took a properly equipped incinerator to clear the barrier, which took a few years. Once this was accomplished, Waverly became one of the first Nestlé plants to reach Zero-landfill. Considering the size and scope of Nestlé‘s U.S. operations, reaching the goal was a major accomplishment for the small town Iowa factory.

Nestlé USA is part of the Swiss-based Nestlé S.A. As the world‘s largest food company, Nestle‘s most recent published reports, total annual sales are $98 billion. For 16 consecutive years, Fortune magazine has listed Nestle among "The World‘s Most Admired Food Companies." The company‘s U.S. brands include Lean Cuisine and Nestle Toll House.

A major part of Nestlé‘s public work is its environmental sustainability programs. Since 2010, the company has reduced 41 percent of waste per ton. The company also remains on the forefront of efforts to reduce water used in operations and production. As a result, the innovations in Waverly have positioned Greene as a leading key-player in company-wide environmental programs.  

"Reaching Zero-Landfill status was a major thing for us," he said. "It positioned the factory as a catalyst on the national scale. Other plants look to us and what we did as they work toward the same sorts of goals." His work, community advocacy and innovative spirit come from a desire to ensure everyone‘s gifts are included, he added. "It‘s always a group effort," Greene explained. "Earning my MBA gave me a platform to make a bigger difference. It allowed me to do things that will change the world on a broader scale."

 

Posted on 06-Feb-17


  






UNIBusiness News

Bettering the World Through Business

Bettering-the-world-though-business.jpg

UNI MBA Graduate Devotes Career to Improving Food Service Manufacturing

Paul Greene (MBA '86) has devoted his life and career to creating positive changes.

In his 18 years as manager of Industrial Services for Nestlé USA in Waverly, Iowa, he has spearheaded major initiatives and garnered international attention. The plant employs about 280 people and produces all the powdered drinks for the United States.

Under Greene‘s direction, the Waverly facility helps set benchmarks for environmental practices utilized across the nation. A recent example is full implementation of a massive "Zero Landfill" project.

In late 2014, Waverly was among five factory locations that reached "zero waste to landfill status," reported Nestlé USA. The other sites include Anderson, Ill., Freehold, N.J., Jacksonville, Ill., and Medford, Wis.

Definitions of zero-landfill can vary. For example, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines the concept of Zero Solid Waste as "consuming only as much energy as produced achieving sustainable balance between water available and demand, and eliminating solid waste sent to landfills. It suggests guidelines, but there are no official standards, and regulators don‘t necessarily establish expectations or criteria, Greene explained.

"In some companies, landfill free can mean 90 percent or more waste doesn‘t go to the landfill," he said. "For Nestlé, it means nothing goes to the landfill."

How this happened is what made achieving zero-landfill status a multiyear process.

Much of the work began with addressing various areas of energy conservation. Reduction in water usage was a particular concern, because the plant‘s production used hundreds of millions of gallons of clean drinking water each year and discharged the used byproduct in Waverly‘s sanitary system and a nearby river. To change this, the facility installed the Marley Cooling Tower, which replaced a once-through water cooling system. "The savings is about 100 million gallons of clean, drinking water each year," Greene explained.

It had an additional positive impact on the local river and surrounding area, too.

"We have reduced our discharge to the Cedar River by the same 100 million gallons of water," Greene noted. "This has helped to eliminate potential issues with chlorinated water being discharged into the river. It has also allowed us to eliminate the related National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit."

Second, installation of a Hydrothrift Closed-Loop saved an estimated 85 million gallons of clean drinking water per year by replacing a once-through water cooling system originally installed to cool the factory‘s air compressors. This change eliminated the same 85 million gallons of water that was previously discharged into the Cedar River and the related NPDES permit, as well as concerns over chlorinated water discharge.

The facility also replaced its original once-through water system, which previously discharged to the city‘s sanitary system. It was replaced with Combination Cooling, a closed-loop and fresh water unit that resulted in an estimated annual savings of 65 million gallons of water.

The Combination Cooling system was designed to take advantage of the cost savings of a closed-loop system but needed to address two obstacles, Greene recalled.

"First, we were unable to justify the cost of a system that would handle cooling during the hottest days of summer. Second, because we experience product in our returned vacuum air, we need to keep the cooling solution fresh," he explained. Thus, the Combination Cooling solution was a hybrid that utilized the advantages of both by providing fresh water needed for additional cooling on hot days and make-up water to keep the cooling system fresh. "The system (gave) the plant a 75 percent savings in the volume of clean drinking water required and the subsequent sanitary sewer fees from the city," Greene said.

As Greene‘s team continued to review the system, water savings improved even more. Recently, this system was replaced with one that uses no water, for further savings. In 10 years‘ time, these savings amounted to a 96-percent decrease in the plant‘s water use --- or 2 billion gallons. The plant‘s move to zero landfill waste inspired the beverage division to do the same, and now Nestlé USA has challenged all its North American plants to become zero landfill.

Another area the Zero-Landfill project addressed was solid waste. Greene implemented a practice of recycling as much waste as possible. This included common, obvious recyclables like paper, cardboard, chipboard and plastics. But it also meant the plant had to find a way to recycle its "out of spec" beverage  product. As a result, the unusable powdered products are now a key, vitamin- and nutrient-rich ingredient in animal feed. "The farmer‘s love it, because it‘s better than a lot of fillers," said Greene.

Items that can‘t be recycled amount to roughly 4 percent of the factory‘s total waste. It was essentially a wall standing between the plant and "Zero-Landfill" Although a small and respectable amount of waste, Greene believed it could at least be repurposed in some way. Through the project, Greene devised a way to incinerate this waste to create energy. "The overall process is good business, and it saves us money," he said. "More than that, we‘ve created a win-win-win, because what we‘re doing is great for the environment, great for our community and great for those who benefit from use of the recycled materials. The bottom line is that we‘re not sending waste to the landfill."

The plant had actually hovered around 95 to 96 percent landfill-free for a decade, Greene noted. While a major accomplishment, he viewed that remaining 4 percent as an obstacle. It took a properly equipped incinerator to clear the barrier, which took a few years. Once this was accomplished, Waverly became one of the first Nestlé plants to reach Zero-landfill. Considering the size and scope of Nestlé‘s U.S. operations, reaching the goal was a major accomplishment for the small town Iowa factory.

Nestlé USA is part of the Swiss-based Nestlé S.A. As the world‘s largest food company, Nestle‘s most recent published reports, total annual sales are $98 billion. For 16 consecutive years, Fortune magazine has listed Nestle among "The World‘s Most Admired Food Companies." The company‘s U.S. brands include Lean Cuisine and Nestle Toll House.

A major part of Nestlé‘s public work is its environmental sustainability programs. Since 2010, the company has reduced 41 percent of waste per ton. The company also remains on the forefront of efforts to reduce water used in operations and production. As a result, the innovations in Waverly have positioned Greene as a leading key-player in company-wide environmental programs.  

"Reaching Zero-Landfill status was a major thing for us," he said. "It positioned the factory as a catalyst on the national scale. Other plants look to us and what we did as they work toward the same sorts of goals." His work, community advocacy and innovative spirit come from a desire to ensure everyone‘s gifts are included, he added. "It‘s always a group effort," Greene explained. "Earning my MBA gave me a platform to make a bigger difference. It allowed me to do things that will change the world on a broader scale."

 

Posted on 06-Feb-17







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Contact Us | Safety | Equal Opportunity/Non-Discrimination Statement
Maintained by UNIBusiness webmaster
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