Bread is one of the most commonly purchased and consumed foods in the United States. It’s found in almost every home across the country, and anyone who has ever baked bread knows what kind of energy it takes to bake! Still, the average home baker probably isn’t concerned about the energy used to produce baked goods on an industrial scale. As one might imagine, this process demands large amounts of energy, far more than your home oven or even the amount the neighborhood baker uses to make all those delicious treats every day. Rising energy costs have compounded these problems of scale for industrial bakers, and finding more energy-efficient practices has become a strategic priority.
To help in this hunt, ENERGY STAR launched an initiative in 2012 with the American Baker’s Association, McDonalds’ baking suppliers, and individual baking companies to develop a set of resources to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at commercial bread and roll bakeries. A key part of this initiative was creating a benchmarking tool that would measure the energy efficiency of commercial bakeries.
In June 2016, with industry support, ENERGY STAR finalized an “Energy Performance Indicator” (EPI) for large commercial bakeries allowing bakers to evaluate the energy efficiency of their facilities for the first time. Going forward, bakeries that receive a high energy performance score on the EPI also qualify for ENERGY STAR certification by being the most efficient in their industry.
So far there is much to celebrate—in addition to the first certified plants, more than 160 bakeries have pledged to reduce their energy intensity by 10% or more within five years through the ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry. This means that bakeries producing well over half of all the bread and rolls made in the U.S. have set a goal to improve energy performance. Together with ENERGY STAR, the U.S. baking industry is on a path to becoming more energy efficient!
By being more efficient than average performing plants, these bakeries prevented more than 35,294 metric tons (CO2e) of greenhouse gas emissions and saved more than 686,000 MMBtus (source) in energy in 2015—equal to the average annual energy use of approximately 3,800 households.
The first batch of ENERGY STAR certified bakeries was announced at the International Baking Industry Expo on October 9. Eighteen bakeries from five different companies earned ENERGY STAR certification:
- Automatic Rolls of Baltimore, Baltimore, MD
- Bama Frozen Dough, Tulsa, OK
- Bama Pie, Tulsa, OK
- Bimbo Bakeries Oconomowoc, Milwaukee, WI
- Bimbo Bakeries Escondido, San Diego, CA
- Bimbo Bakeries Gastonia, Charlotte, NC
- Bimbo Bakeries Olean, Olean, NY
- Bimbo Bakeries Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ
- Bimbo Bakeries Reading, Reading, PA
- Bimbo Bakeries San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo, CA
- Flowers Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge, LA
- Flowers El Paso, El Paso, TX
- Flowers Lynchburg, Lynchburg, VA
- Flowers New Orleans, New Orleans, LA
- Flowers Modesto, Modesto, CA
- Flowers Norfolk, Norfolk, VA
- Flowers Tolleson, Tolleson, AZ
- Klosterman Bakery, Morristown, IN
Learn more about the ENERGY STAR Food Processing Industrial Focus here: www.energystar.gov/foodprocessingfocus.