Kleinpeter Farms Dairy, which has been offering its products in Lafayette since December 2007, is being honored with a prestigious national environmental award in ceremonies on Capitol Hill today. The Baton Rouge dairy is one of only two recipients of the 2010 Seal of Sustainability, awarded by the Sustainable Business Institute.

According to the SBI, the seal is a trusted symbol that helps the public identify businesses that promote sustainability so consumers can make educated decisions about doing business with those companies. “Policy makers, businesses and consumers are working hard to find new ways to balance economic growth and prosperity with long-term sustainability,” says Jessica Fullmer, founder of the SBI. “This year’s Seal of Sustainability award recipients are using innovation and creativity to truly bring about change in helping preserve and restore our planet’s natural resources.”

Applicants for the seal are evaluated on a 12-point system within three categories: economy, society and environment. Each application is reviewed by the independent nonprofit National Pollution Prevention Roundtable, the largest nonprofit membership organization in the U.S. solely devoted to pollution prevention.

Fullmer says five of Kleinpeter Dairy’s innovative pollution prevention programs stood out to reviewers:
•    Capturing the heat from the ice cream plant’s refrigeration system to heat water used for cleaning and pasteurization. The ammonia gas used in the refrigeration system is piped through a water tank and preheats the water from 70 degrees Fahrenheit to 140 degrees, saving the company between $12,000 and $15,000 and reducing energy use.
•    Reusing solid waste from the ice cream making process for crop fertilizer at the dairy farm.
•    A company-wide recycling program that separates recyclable from non-recyclable waste.
•    Partnering with the City of Baton Rouge and the Recycling Foundation to encourage consumers to recycle used milk jugs and other recyclables. The campaign, which included advertising paid for by Kleinpeter Farms, resulted in a 23 percent increase in recycling in East Baton Rouge Parish in subsequent months.
•    Partnering with Waste Management to collect used florescent lights and ballasts at the business and from Kleinpeter employees.

Jeff Kleinpeter, president and CEO of Kleinpeter Farms Dairy, is in Washington, D.C.,  today to accept the award on behalf of his family-owned dairy. “Our customers understand that we are a large enough company to have some impact upon our environment,” Kleinpeter says. “What we do makes a difference to them. People can often feel that, as individuals, they are not big enough to impact our environment, but if they see a company that is making a difference, they feel that if they support that company, the company can make even more of a difference to the environment.”

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