A penny saved often becomes a well-deserved penny earned, even in the most efficient bakeries today. However, those copper coins start to add up in a big way when the currency is converted to fewer megawatt hours of electricity, metric tons of greenhouse gasses or countless other measurements that gauge energy usage.

Calculating carbon footprint involves totaling the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other compounds emitted due to the consumption of fossil fuels to produce energy. In the grand scheme, however, it’s much more than chump change.

Campbell Soup Co., Camden, N.J., reaffirmed its dedication to climate action by joining more than 2,600 businesses, colleges, government and other groups in signing the “We Are Still In” declaration in 2017.

“Our commitment to addressing the risks of climate change and reducing our environmental impact is unwavering,” said Megan Maltenfort, senior manager, corporate social responsibility, Campbell Soup Co., which owns Pepperidge Farm.

“Environmentally responsible business practices are integrated throughout the Campbell organization, enabling us to sustainably grow, source, produce and share our food for generations to come,” Ms. Maltenfort continued. “We take our commitments seriously and will continue to work across the organization and along our value chain to drive progress.”

Another leader in sustainability, Clif Bar & Company, Emeryville, Calif., also joined the “We Are Still In” initiative.

“We value doing business in a different way, with a commitment to ‘sustaining the planet’ as one of our Five Aspirations, or five bottom lines, that guide our company,” said Elysa Hammond, vice-president of environment stewardship. “Climate action has been a fundamental part of our sustainability program from the start, and climate change puts our farming systems, the places we care about most deeply, and our communities at risk.”

Throughout its operations in Indianapolis and Twin Falls, Idaho, Clif Bar continuously works to improve its systems and increase efficiencies in its bakery processes by reducing waste generated onsite and energy usage, said Michael Monahan, senior manager, environmental, health, safety and sustainability, Clif Bar & Company.

“We see efficiency as the most important internal step since the greenest power is the power you never use,” he said.

Clif Bar also is driving renewable energy into its supply chain.

“We treat energy like an ingredient,” Ms. Hammond said. “Just like the care we take to source organic and sustainable ingredients for our bars, we also work to use clean, renewable energy to make our products. That’s why we are working with our suppliers to drive green power into our supply chain through our 50/50 by 2020 program.”

The program’s goal is to transition 50 supply chain facilities to 50% or more green power for the electricity used on Clif Bar’s behalf. In support, the bar company provides these partners — including logistics, ingredients, packaging and manufacturers — with free consulting from an expert in renewable energy procurement and recognizes participating companies with awards at its Supplier Summit.

Started in 2014, the program now includes 43 facilities sourcing more than 18 million kWh of green power each year. In 2017, partnership grew significantly with 29 new participating supply chain facilities representing nearly 12 million kWh of green power.

Since 2016, 30 commercial bread and roll bakeries have earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star certification. Of that, 24 received the award last year. In 2017, these certified bakeries avoided 2,126,406 BTUs, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 153,110 tonnes CO2e, noted Rasma Zvaners, vice-president, regulatory and technical services, American Bakers Association.

To achieve measurable goals, many bakeries rely on established Energy Performance Indicators that allow U.S. bakeries to compare their energy performance to similar facilities in the industry. At Campbell Soup, sustainability and engineering teams work hand in hand to collect, measure, manage and report on facility-level emissions throughout its global network.

The engineering team leads on data collection, benchmarking and initiating projects to reduce natural resource consumption.

“Collaboration with the sustainability team helps to ensure a holistic approach that captures sustainability benefits,” Ms. Maltenfort said.

To reduce its carbon footprint, Pepperidge Farm’s bakeries have invested in efficient LED lighting and motion sensor technology, which can nearly halve the electricity demand for lighting in some facilities. By converting to low-charge ammonia and CO2, four bakeries have phased out R22 refrigerants, which deplete the ozone layer.

“The use of these natural refrigerants significantly improves energy efficiency, lowers energy costs and reduces greenhouse gas emissions,” Ms. Maltenfort said.

Campbell Soup also is investing in renewable energy projects at the Pepperidge Farm bakery in Bloomfield, Conn., with a 1 MW solar array, and 1.2 MW and 1.4 MW fuel cells — the latter of which is equivalent to enough power for about 1,400 homes.

Likewise, Clif Bar works to fine-tune its process and operations to increase efficiency and improve yield at its Indianapolis and Twin Falls plants.

“We have a manufacturing execution system that allows us to track the bakery energy, waste and water usage down to a very granular level and include these KPIs in monthly reviews,” Mr. Monahan said. “This has allowed us to take a closer look at both bakeries to understand trends and fluctuations.”

Specifically, Clif Bar reviewed the energy consumption of its ovens in Twin Falls to tune them. Today, the bakery produces three times as many bars with less energy than at the project’s beginning. Additionally, variable-frequency drives (VFDs) on mixers, the refrigeration system and compressed air units capture low-grade heat that contains enough energy to provide hot water and space heating. Latent heat harvesting on oven exhaust stacks recirculates excess heat for baking and adds to the efficient use of energy at the bakery. Efficient refrigeration equipment and processes trim about 40% off typical bakery refrigerant emissions. In addition, 100% of the electricity required to power the bakery is covered by renewable energy credits from an Idaho wind farm.

It doesn’t stop there. When equipment suppliers submit a proposal, Clif Bar strongly encourages them to study its Planet Aspiration initiatives.

“We ask them to bring their creative planet solutions to the table, which usually means solutions that have sustainability benefits,” Ms. Hammond explained.

Clif Bar works with NativeEnergy and the HelpBuild Carbon Offset program to run a carbon-neutral business.

“Clif Bar has helped support the development of 36 renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction projects, including five school-owned wind turbines in Indiana, inspiring a new, statewide clean-energy curriculum available to grades K-12,” Ms. Hammond said.