Making an effort

Robert J. Shearer, CEO of Shearer’s Foods Inc., wants his company to be on the cutting edge of the global effort to operate with more sustainable means. That is why his company has embarked on a comprehensive energy management program, addressing environmental responsibility in its offices, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers.

One example is a project to recover energy currently wasted through the exhaust of steam as a byproduct of cooking potatoes in the chip-making process. The project centers on the installation of a custom liquid chimney to recover this energy. The energy will be redirected to supply 11 makeup air units necessary for combustion processes throughout the plant, which are currently fired by natural gas.

When the project is completed, all heat recovery controls will be tied together into a central software package allowing complete measurement and verification of all project sustainability savings.

It’s estimated that the project will save 52 billion BTUs of natural gas and electricity yearly, equating to a simple return on investment payback of 1.93 years. The project also creates savings of 1.4 million gallons of water by condensing water from exhaust steam.

When it’s executed, the project will employ 26 members of Ohio’s skilled trade profession and degreed engineers.

The total cost savings is estimated at $260,430. In terms of environmental impact, the energy saved is estimated to be the equivalent of what is needed to power 171 homes with natural gas, seven homes with electricity and 897 homes with water.

Shearer’s prides itself on executing strategies based firmly on innovation and agility to be able to keep up with the ever-changing world around us. The company has joined the North American Green Purchasing Initiative, which provides many tools and shared best practices aimed at improving the sustainability of supply chains.

Some of the other initiatives the company has undertaken include recycling all finished goods and wet waste for animal feed and converting to high-efficiency lighting in its plant production areas.

The company is also using a new series of new oil filtration equipment to eliminate the rendering of vegetable oils using a scorecard to track its weekly performance against conservation goals.

How to reach: Shearer’s Foods Inc., (330) 767-7160 or