Retailer and consumer demand for more sustainable practices is one factor driving Campbell Soup Company's development of major solar power generation projects in California and Ohio, according to the company's vice president of infrastructure engineering and environmental programs.
Campbell announced a new agreement to construct a 2.3 mega-Watt solar power system on 14 acres of the company's Sacramento, California facility last month - in addition to a 10 mega-Watt system in Napoleon, Ohio, which is due to be operational by the end of November.
The move to solar power forms part of the company's sustainability goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% per tonne of product produced, with an aim to convert 40% of energy to renewable sources by 2020.
Speaking to FoodNavigator-USA, Bob Shober said there were three main drivers behind the project for Campbell: Greater environmental sustainability, financial benefit from locking in electricity rates for the portion generated by solar power over the next 20 years, and responding to customer and consumer demand for more environmentally sustainable practices across the food industry.
The Sacramento solar power plant is expected to generate about 10% of the energy required by the Sacramento facility annually, the company said.