Can We Create Renewable Energy with Your Favorite Ice Cream Flavors?
If you know us, then you know that we want to make the best possible ice cream in the best possible way.
Well, we’re excited to share the news that “the best possible way” now means turning waste from the ice-cream-making process at our largest factory in Vermont into renewable energy!
From Cookie Dough to Renewable Energy
We love making ice cream, but we also recognize that our company has a big impact on the planet and the climate. It’s our responsibility to do everything we can to address that impact. Which is why we spend so much time asking ourselves questions like, Can we use ice cream to create renewable energy?
We, and now you, know the answer to that one. In fact, our factory in the Netherlands has been running, in part, on the energy generated by its own ice cream waste for years!
For a long time we’ve had the goal to do something similar here in Vermont. After a 5-year planning process, our technology partner broke ground on an anaerobic digester next to our St. Albans factory this spring! An anaerobic digester is basically like a giant stomach where microbes break down organic matter (like food waste) to produce biogas, a mixture of gasses that can be used to create electricity.
Powered by Ice Cream
Thanks to this new digester next door to our factory, food waste will soon help create one megawatt (1 MW) of clean energy a year, enough to power 800+ Vermont homes!
Our Impact on the Local Environment
We can’t wait for this project to start generating clean energy, but it’s going to do so much more than that. It will also:
Prevent the phosphorus in ice cream waste from entering the Lake Champlain watershed, resulting in cleaner water and a cleaner environment
Eliminate the greenhouse gas emissions from hundreds of tanker trucks each year for hauling ice cream waste
Provide other companies the option to use anaerobic digestion for their food waste (more than 50% of the waste will come from our ice-cream-making process), resulting in cost savings and an overall reduction of greenhouse gas emissions
Turning our waste into a resource fills us with hope and excitement. This may be a lot to digest (sorry!), but the fact that our new facility will also be able to benefit our neighbors, the lake we love, and the communities we call home makes it all the sweeter.
Aligning Operations with Our Values
Our St. Albans project is another important step toward making sure that we operate our business, at every level, in a way that best aligns with our values.
From installing manure digesters on our farms and working on sustainable-packaging ideas to collaborating with Fairtrade International to ethically source our ingredients in ways that help both farmers and the planet, we’ve been working for years to protect the environment and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.
We don’t have all the answers to the climate crisis, but we’re constantly learning more about how we can be part of the solution. Watch this space for more updates on how we’re taking action to reduce our impact on the environment and protect the planet!