ConAgra Foods, Inc., Omaha, NE,  announced the winners of its 2012 Sustainable Development Awards, an internal awards program intended to drive and reward innovative approaches to sustainability that produce tangible business results. The more than 100 entries collectively achieved the following:

  • Reduced carbon emissions by more than 43,600 metric tonnes;
  • Eliminated 61,000 tons of landfill waste and 4,800 tons of packaging material;
  • Conserved 295 million gallons of water.

Additionally, the projects delivered more than $28 million in savings, demonstrating the economic value of the company's commitment to sustainable development.

ConAgra Foods started the Sustainable Development Awards in 1992 to encourage and incentivize employees to proactively look for ways to eliminate waste, reduce energy and conserve water through smart design. Winning teams are awarded a $5,000 grant from ConAgra Foods to apply toward a sustainable community service project.

“The evolution of this annual awards program has been very exciting,” says Gail Tavill, vice president of Sustainable Development at ConAgra Foods. “ConAgra Foods employees and leaders are collaborating to create innovative ideas that reduce the environmental impacts of doing business and really drive results.”

Sustainable Packaging, Product & Process Innovation – ConAgra Foods Packaging Development

The Packaging Development team redesigned and converted PAM® cooking spray and Reddi-wip® dessert toppings cans from traditional three-piece cans to new, innovative two-piece cans. The new cans reduced average package weight by 10%. That amounts to more than 5 million pounds of packaging saved per year.