Frito-Lay, the company that brings you Cheetos, Doritos, and lots of other tasty snacks, has made substantial changes to its manufacturing plant in Casa Grande, Arizona to create what it can arguably state is the “greenest” manufacturing plant in the U.S. The plant, which is the first food plant to achieve LEED Existing Building Gold Certification, now generates two-thirds of all its energy from renewable sources. It also recycles 75% of its water and has reduced natural gas usage by 80%. Frito-Lay (which is owned by Pepsico), is aiming to achieve off the grid status – zero net energy usage.
To do this, Frito-Lay installed five solar arrays (including one that doubles as a solar carport) that produce 10 million kilowatt hours of electricity, a Membrane Bio Reactor with Low-Pressure Reverse Osmosis tech to recycle 75% of the plant’s water, and a new biomass boiler that runs on wood and agriculture waste to produce steam and reduce the use of natural gas by more than 80%. The company also now uses food waste for cattle feed, which enables them to send less than 1% of its waste to landfills.