Like so many baking companies, Aspire Bakeries is prioritizing sustainability at every level, from ingredient sourcing to energy output. That has led to significant investment and improvements in the sustainable footprint of La Brea Bakery’s Van Nuys, Calif., facility.

Not only is the Van Nuys facility zero waste to landfill, but it has also reduced its water usage. During the past year, the bakery reduced water intensity consumed by operations by 12.7%, which conserved more than 1.5 million gallons of water. That’s enough to fill 74 average-sized in-ground swimming pools.

And the bakery has aggressively pursued energy reductions, a priority for California manufacturing facilities. Over the past 12 months, the bakery lowered its electricity intensity of kilowatt per pound of product by 8.1%. By doing this it conserved 1,059,07 kWh of electricity, enough to power 98 homes in a year.

In the spirit of continuous improvement, the Van Nuys facility is exploring an Energy Management System to better understand current energy usage to more effectively identify ways to reduce energy consumption further. The bakery is also looking at VFD opportunities to cut energy consumption on large motors and is working toward 100% LED lighting status by the end of 2021. The Van Nuys bakery has also partnered with Bloom Energy to implement a fuel cell on site.

“This alternative energy generation project will drastically reduce electricity consumption from the grid and reduce emissions,” said Ashley Hoover, manager of corporate responsibility and sustainability, Aspire Bakeries.

All of this is done not only with improved efficiencies and technology, but also with the support of the Green Champion program. This Aspire Bakeries program assigns a person at each bakery to keep the company’s sustainability initiatives top of mind. This person can act as a go-between for bakery management as well as the corporate sustainability team to ensure goals are met in a realistic way all without compromising the product quality customers expect.

This article is an excerpt from the May 2021 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on ANA and La Brea Bakery, click here.