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The centerpiece of our Sustainability efforts is the installation and operation of the Advanced Energy Recovery System (AERS), which converts 100% of our onion waste into ultra-clean, virtually emissions-free electricity. AERS produces 100% of the baseload electricity required at our Oxnard facility and has allowed us to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by nearly 2,000 tons of CO2 per year. Read more about it in Waste-to-Energy.
By converting to drip irrigation in our fields, we are conserving enough water to meet the annual needs of 2,400 homes in California. In our processing facility, we are developing water conservation measures to reduce water consumption by 30% in 2011.
Air & Climate Change
We continue to calculate, publicly report and verify our carbon footprint through The Climate Registry and an independent third party. We use our footprint to establish our GHG inventory and further reduce GHG emissions. Read more about Air and Climate Change in Validation.
Gills Onions has set a goal of achieving zero waste. We estimate that by implementing a comprehensive recycling program, expanding our waste reduction initiatives, and quantifying material usage, waste diversion will amount to 99.5% by the end of 2010.
Since its inception, Gills Onions has consistently researched and upgraded its growing practices to improve Sustainability. We also donate land to protect valuable farmland from development.
Transportation & Shipping
Gills Onions has reduced its consumption of diesel fuel by eliminating the hauling of its onion waste by converting it onsite to electricity and high-value cattle feed – eliminating 750 annual truck trips. Moreover, we converted our transportation fleet to cleaner, more fuel efficient engines and lighter truck bodies, which allowed us to save up to 70,000 gallons of fuel and meet California’s 2017 smog regulations. Read more about it in Transportation and Shipping.