ORRVILLE, OHIO — The J.M. Smucker Co. has entered into a long-term power purchase agreement with Lincoln Clean Energy that will help finance the creation of a utility-scale wind project called the Plum Creek Wind Farm in Wayne county, Neb.
The agreement is for 60 megawatts of the utility-scale 230 megawatts Plum Creek Wind Project, and a portion of the renewable energy produced is expected to offset approximately 50% of Smucker’s total electricity use by 2020.
“This agreement is an important step forward in our organization-wide effort to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions intensity,” said Julia Sabin, vice-president of government relations and corporate sustainability for The J. M. Smucker Co. “In 2017, electricity accounted for more than half our greenhouse gas emissions. This agreement will not only reduce our carbon footprint but will also allow us to make a lasting contribution to our nation’s renewable energy capacity.”
The Plum Creek Wind Farm’s 230-megawatt output will generate enough renewable electricity to power more than 100,000 homes annually, Smucker said.
“In addition to creating high-paying local jobs, the Plum Creek Wind Project will result in over $3 million in local community benefits annually in the Wayne county area,” said Declan Flanagan, founder and chief executive officer of Lincoln Clean Energy. "We are excited to begin a successful relationship with The J. M. Smucker Co.”
Smucker’s commitment to sustainability follows similar environmental stewardship pledges from other consumer packaged goods companies.
In July, The Kraft Heinz Co. unveiled plans to focus on sustainable packaging and carbon reduction. The company set a goal to make 100% of its packaging globally recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.
Nestle S.A. made a comparable commitment in April. Citing an “urgent need to minimize the impact of packaging on the environment,” Nestle unveiled plans to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.
Earlier in April, Grupo Bimbo S.A.B. de C.V. signed a virtual power purchase agreement with Invenergy, an independent renewable energy company. As part of the agreement, Bimbo expects to reduce overall carbon dioxide emissions by 260,000 tons annually and will receive 100 megawatts of wind energy.