SOURCE: The Solae Company

October 12, 2006 10:12 ET

Two Years Later, Landfill Gas Project Effectively Displaces 67 Million Gallons of Gasoline

Innovative Project Is Reflective of Solae Company's Push for Eco-Sustainability

ST. LOUIS, MO -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 12, 2006 -- An innovative Memphis landfill gas energy project had the equivalent effect of taking thousands of cars off the road and displacing the use of more than 67 million gallons of gasoline in its first two years of operation, according to updated U.S. Environmental Protection Administration estimates.

The project creatively converts methane, a greenhouse gas, into energy that is used by The Solae Company, a food innovation and ingredient manufacturing organization, at its Memphis manufacturing facility. Since September of 2004, the initiative has utilized the methane in the landfill gas to offset the use of natural gas and fuel oil.

"Through this project, The Solae Company's Memphis facility has shifted a considerable amount of its energy dependency away from traditional fuels to a novel type of renewable energy," said Robert Schmalz, a senior director in The Solae Company's operations division. "We're committed to growing our business in an environmentally sustainable fashion. This project enables our company to improve its profitability and competitiveness without compromising resources for future generations."

Landfills are the largest source of U.S. methane emissions, where the greenhouse gas is generated as bacteria decompose organic waste. In many landfills across the country, methane escapes and ultimately makes its way into the atmosphere. Instead of allowing it to escape, the Memphis project involves capturing the gas and using it in place of fossil fuels to generate electricity, heat or steam. The gas is a reliable and renewable fuel option that remains largely untapped at many landfills across America.

In Memphis, landfill gas from a 474-acre Allied Waste landfill is collected, compressed and sent to The Solae Company through a five mile pipe installed and maintained by Memphis Light, Gas and Water. CPL-LEI Systems, Inc. designed, built and operates the landfill gas equipment to optimize the gas used by The Solae Company.

"We know that to thrive, healthy businesses like Solae need healthy communities," Schmalz said. "We continually aim to minimize our environmental footprint in every community where we operate, and are committed to the conservation of natural resources, energy and bio-diversity."

Schmalz cited three other examples of how The Solae Company is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

Wastewater Treatment:

In 1988, The Solae Company pioneered a state-of-the-art anaerobic wastewater treatment process in Pryor, Oklahoma, USA. Today, variations of this process are used in Esteio, Brazil and at our facilities in other parts of the world. This natural process not only ensures that the company's wastewater discharge meets applicable standards but also converts the organic load into bio-fuel used to power manufacturing operations. Excess nutrient-rich solids from the wastewater treatment process are also used to improve the soil quality of local ranchlands.

The company also constructed a multi-million dollar wastewater treatment facility at its Yunmeng, China manufacturing site. Before its purchase by The Solae Company in 2001, the plant lacked a modern purification infrastructure, and untreated organic waste routinely spilled into the local waterways. A similar improvement project was recently completed at Solae's Zhengzhou, China manufacturing facility. These facilities typically remove 98 percent of the organic load from the wastewater.


The Solae Company first championed a global industrial recycling initiative in 2000 and many of its manufacturing sites have since dramatically reduced the amount of trash sent to landfills. Between 2001 and 2005, for example, the company's largest plant (Memphis, TN, USA) reduced its solid waste by 95 percent; some 3,400 tons of annual waste is today reduced, reused or recycled at the Midwestern facility. Other noteworthy reductions have occurred in South America and Europe.

Internal Audits and Measurements

A world-class internal auditing and measurement program ensures that The Solae Company's environmental footprint is well managed. Each of its manufacturing plants is subject to an exhaustive, comprehensive environmental audit at least once every three years. A multidisciplinary team of auditors reviews each plant for compliance with environmental regulations and policies, and also collects success stories to share across the manufacturing network.

Plants are also required to report a detailed set of environmental data each month. A specialized safety, health and environment team closely monitors the metrics, continually looking for improvement opportunities. Such data give the company the ability to monitor environmental impact and take immediate action when performance falls below its own high standards.

About The Solae Company

The Solae Company is a food innovation and ingredient manufacturing organization, providing meat, food and beverage manufacturers across the world with better ingredients for better living™. Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, with annual revenue exceeding $1 billion, the company was formed through an alliance between Bunge Limited (NYSE: BG) and DuPont (NYSE: DD). For more information, visit

Editor's Notes:

This project involved significant cooperation and investment by four partners: The Solae Company, Allied Waste, the City of Memphis (Light, Gas and Water) and CPL-LEI Systems, Inc. Its success demonstrates how significant community benefits can be achieved through cooperation among businesses, utility providers and government organizations.

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