THOMASVILLE, GA. — The United States Department of Energy (DOE) Better Plants program has recognized Flowers Foods’ Flowers Baking Co., Batesville, Ark., with a Better Practice Award for its energy efficiency projects, which have reduced annual energy use by more than 13,000 MMBtu — equivalent to nearly 250 homes per year. 

 The bakery partnered with local utility providers to leverage tiered incentives that enabled energy-saving practices during capital projects. From 2016 to 2021 the bakery implemented 13 efficiency projects including boiler, compressed air and LED lighting upgrades, waste heat recovery and variable-frequency drives for exhaust fans, among other projects.

 “When planning equipment upgrades, Flowers Baking Co. of Batesville incorporated energy efficiency throughout the project design, reducing energy usage and costs long-term,” said Margaret Ann Marsh, vice president of sustainability and environmental at Flowers Foods. “Across the Flowers network, this program has become a case study in how to look at every operational upgrade project as an energy efficiency opportunity.”

 As part of the DOE’s Better Building Initiative, Better Plants works with manufacturers and water and wastewater utilities to boost energy efficiency, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction, water efficiency and waste reduction. DOE supports these efforts with technical expertise and national recognition. The annual Better Practice Awards are awarded to partners for accomplishments in implementing and promoting practices, principles and procedures of energy management.

 “Better Plants partners are combating the climate crisis through meaningful energy, water and waste reduction efforts,” said Carolyn Snyder, deputy assistant secretary for Energy Efficiency at the DOE. “The Better Plants Better Practice and Better Project awards highlight innovation in industrial sustainability and a willingness to share good ideas.”

 More information about the Better Plants partner results, showcase projects and innovative solutions being shared with others can be found in the 2021 Better Plants Progress Update.