WhiteWave Foods, the maker of Silk soy milk and other beverage products, has earned U.S. Green Building Council LEED certification for its Dallas manufacturing facility.
The facility, which produces Horizon organic milk, International Delight coffee creamers and Silk soy milk, is the first in the company to achieve green certification, Broomfield, Colo.-based WhiteWave Foods said.
Built in 2012, the 325,000-square-foot facility earned LEED certification for new construction. Nearly 90 percent of all demolition and construction waste associated with the project was diverted from landfills, according to WhiteWave Foods.
Other green features include:
- Landscaping that requires no irrigation.
- Fixtures that use 30 percent less water.
- Wood-based building materials certified sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council.
- Nearly half of all building materials manufactured within 500 miles of the site.
The facility, which employs nearly 300 people, also uses materials and design techniques that facilitate solar reflectivity, helping to address “heat island” challenges associated with Dallas’s urban development. According to EPA, the annual mean air temperature of a city with 1 million people or more can be 1.8 to 5.4 F warmer than its surroundings, increasing summertime peak energy demand, air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and heat-related illness.
“WhiteWave is committed to changing the way the world eats for the better, and we recognize that how we make our products is just as important as what we make,” said Blaine McPeak, president of WhiteWave Foods. “Improving the environmental profile of our manufacturing process helps us to offer consumers more sustainable food choices, and reinforces our commitment to reduce our environmental impact.”
The Cincinnati-based architectural firm Hixson designed the Dallas manufacturing plant.
“We implemented a master plan and complied with a schedule based on WhiteWave’s aggressive requirement for production of saleable product by a time-sensitive date,” said Bill Sander, Hixson’s senior vice president and project manager. “This required close collaboration and the use of the collective knowledge of the entire team, including the general contractor, to identify the long-lead equipment issues, to overcome the difficulty associated with staged construction permitting and to keep a keen awareness of the LEED certification objective.”
WhiteWave’s Broomfield, Colo., corporate office also has earned LEED certification.
On a per-gallon basis, WhiteWave has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 32 percent since 2006, waste-to-landfill by 28 percent since 2007 and non-ingredient water use by 6 percent since 2008, according to the company.