SunOpta Inc. is a leading global company focused on natural, organic and specialty foods products. The Company specializes in sourcing, processing and packaging of natural and organic food products, integrated from seed through packaged products; with a focus on strategically significant vertically integrated business models.
“This project was originally focused on developing a solid waste footprint and waste analysis for SunOpta Foods, a 1900 employee food sourcing and manufacturing company. However, the data collected by the company for the proved to be inadequate to determining the current state of waste diversion at SunOpta’s facilities. Instead, the project was split into two, one project for waste data collection and one focusing on monetizing a particular waste output
For the first project, the Presidio team discovered that SunOpta is already using a software tool called Perillon to track greenhouse gas emissions. This software can also be used to track solid waste data. The Presdio team developed a cost analysis and implementation plan for training factor managers to input the numbers for solid waste generated at each site as well as volumes and types of waste diverted from landfill.
For the second project, the Presidio team visited SunOpta’s Modesto Aseptic facility where soy milk and almond milk are produced. Among the insights gained from the site visit was the sheer volume of soy by-product, okara, created by the facility’s production of soy milk. Currently, the 6 million pounds of okara produced annually are sold for $.0175 per pound. In 2011 alone, Modesto made $103,595 off of this byproduct. Through market analysis and demand forecasting, the team determined that SunOpta could be making 20 to 50 times the amount they were currently getting for okara if they dried it and sold it for human consumption. The purchase of sorting and drying equipment has a break even point of under 2 years, and creates the opportunity realize over $1.5 million in 5 years.”