Certification recognizes ‘green’ Beech-Nut factory

The new Beech-Nut factory in Montgomery County has joined the list of about a dozen Capital Region b
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The new Beech-Nut factory in Montgomery County has joined the list of about a dozen Capital Region buildings to be recognized for minimizing their impact on the environment. The company on Monday announced its $125 million baby food plant in the Florida Business Park achieved LEED Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council and Green Building Certification Institute.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certification is an internationally recognized system that denotes a building meets with strict guidelines aimed at improving energy efficiency and resource conservation.

The Switzerland-based Hero Group and Beech-Nut Nutrition Corp. celebrated completion of the 580,000-square-foot facility last year and moved employees there from its facilities in Canajoharie and Fort Plain in earlier this year.

Beech-Nut President and CEO Jim Schneider expressed gratitude to state agencies and officials in an announcement issued Monday.

“We are extremely grateful for the support of New York state in our efforts to build the first infant food manufacturing facility in the world to receive LEED certification,” Schneider said in the announcement. “The collaboration and assistance from Empire State Development Corporation, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and New York state Department of Environmental Conservation as well as former Assembly member Paul Tonko has made today’s announcement a reality.”

NYSERDA provided the company with a $460,000 worth of incentives to help pay for insulating glass, high-efficiency lighting, occupancy-sensing lighting controls, high-efficiency steam boilers and other features that helped the company achieve certification.

According to Beech-Nut, environmentally friendly construction at the plant included an open floor plan that takes advantage of natural light as well as maintenance-free landscaping.

The company estimates its annual energy savings equates to the energy demands of 2,000 people and that its conservation measures save enough water to supply 10,000 people in a year.

Similarly, reduction in waste water discharge amounts to that which 10,000 people would send down the sewers in a year, according to Beech-Nut.

Nearby, also in the Florida Business Park, Hill & Markes recently finished building a 100,000-square-foot warehouse and 15,000-square-foot office building following LEED standards, company President Andrea Packer said.

The wholesale distributor delivers janitorial, industrial packaging, food service and office products, many of which are themselves “green” products, she said.

In addition to making use of many windows to make use of natural light, the facility in the expanded Florida Business Park features water-saving fixtures, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems and insulation, and other environmentally friendly elements, Packer said.

In the Capital Region, about a dozen facilities are recognized with LEED Certification, including the state Department of Environmental Conservation offices on Broadway in Albany, Kohl’s Department Store in Saratoga Springs, Complexions Spa for Beauty & Wellness in Albany and the state Department of Transportation regional headquarters in Schenectady.

State DEC Commissioner Joe Martens lauded Beech-Nut’s achievement in a statement Monday.

“We commend Beech-Nut for achieving LEED Certification for … their new plant that reduces the use of energy, materials and natural resources and also results in lower greenhouse gases and a smaller carbon footprint,” Martens said in the statement.

Categories: Schenectady County

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