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Dean Foods

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Dean Foods Targets 20% GHG Reduction

Dean Foods is the largest processor and distributor of dairy products in the United States. Today, Dean Foods Company accounts for approximately 35% of total milk sales in the United States. We have more than 100 manufacturing facilities located in 36 states, and 1 manufacturing facility in the United Kingdom. We believe that there are opportunities throughout the business to be more energy efficient. We have set a goal to reduce our carbon footprint by 20% by 2013. We plan to achieve this reduction through energy-efficiency initiatives, renewable energy investments and industry collaborations. In 2007, we compiled our first comprehensive greenhouse gas inventory consistent with the principles and guidance of the World Resources Institute’s Greenhouse Gas Protocol. Since then, we have submitted overall data for our 2006 and 2007 emissions to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and facility-level data for our California operations to the California Climate Action Registry. We plan to continue providing data to the CDP. We will report our 2009 carbon footprint to the Climate Registry in 2010. For our initial footprint, we chose to include emissions from operations that we operate and control. This includes the plants we operate across the United States, the trucks and trailers we operate nationwide and the two organic dairy farms we own and operate in Idaho and Maryland. We have not included:

1.) The upstream emissions associated with agricultural inputs and the packaging or products provided to us by third-party suppliers or

2.) The downstream emissions from third-party distributors and haulers of our products or from the retail stores where our products are sold.


Our total calculated annual emissions for 2007 were approximately 1.6 million metric tons of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalents), or 1.03 pounds per gallon of product produced. Our three largest sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are from:

  • Purchased electricity and onsite fuel combustion to operate our plants (64%)
  • Mobile fuel combustion and refrigerants to operate our trucks and trailers (32%)
  • Our farms in Maryland and Idaho and waste treatment operations (4%)
  • Retrofitting/replacing inefficient equipment and lighting
  • Adopting high-efficiency technology
  • Upgrading insulation and reducing thermal loss
  • Investing in methane recovery systems
  • Recovering unused heating/cooling stream systems
  • Installing state-of-the-art and real-time controls and software in our production facilities



Based on the work we completed in measuring and understanding our footprint, we have set a target to reduce our carbon emissions by 20% per gallon of product by 2013.

Our plant operations are the largest component of our carbon footprint. We are committed to removing at least 200,000 metric tons of CO2e by 2013 by replacing current amounts of purchased electricity and onsite fuel combustion with renewable or clean energy and reducing energy demands with investments in more energy-efficient equipment and machines.

To assist in achieving this goal, we have conducted energy audits at several of our larger manufacturing facilities. All of these audits have identified opportunities to reduce our use of electricity and fuel and resulting carbon emissions. Specific examples of projects we expect to implement in our facilities include:

  • Converting biogas into energy          
  • Utilizing Cogeneration (CHP) plants as a viable, cleaner alternative to traditional energy sources.


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