An Ongoing Commitment to Sustainability
Bell-Carter Foods has deep roots in the California environment and the global olive industry. We are the largest table olive producer in the US, and sell well over half the California-grown olives in the nation.
Groundbreaking Environmental Initiatives
Since 1912, Bell-Carter has been focused on delivering you the best olive products, at the highest quality available. To us, sustainability is not a buzzword or an afterthought, it’s what we’ve done all along and will continue to do. It’s what will enable us to continue providing the highest quality olive products for the next 100 years.
We’re making great progress, too, having reduced our production facility’s carbon footprint by 3% since 2007—a significant reduction for a facility of our size.
In fact, our many sustainability initiatives – focusing on water use, energy efficiency and waste reduction – are getting us closer to our goal of becoming a zero waste company.
Water and Power
Bell-Carter Foods has mastered the art of curing olives to ensure the best taste and highest quality. But curing and processing olives is a water- and energy-intensive process. That’s why we’ve made an industry-leading investment in our wastewater treatment facility.
In late 2011 we installed sophisticated aeration and energy management systems at our wastewater treatment facility in Corning, California. Our new system:
- Automatically shuts down motors when they’re not needed.
- Will cut energy consumption by 2.7 million kilowatt hours yearly – enough to power 497 American households.
- Will reduce Bell-Carter Foods’ carbon emissions by 788 tons each year – the equivalent of taking over 1,000 cars off the road.
- Has nearly paid for itself through reduced power use and a significant rebate from our utility provider, Pacific Gas & Electric.
- Constantly adjusts dissolved oxygen levels in the water to ensure optimal aeration with minimal energy use.
Reclaiming water is also a major focus for us. Through a recent redesign, we’re now reusing 84% of the water being used through a major process at our primary processing facility. This will allow us to reduce our water consumption by over 50 million gallons per year—that’s as much as 1,522 Americans use each year.
We capture the value of all renewable resources available to us at Bell-Carter Foods, from the energy of the sun to the natural, reusable byproducts of our manufacturing system.
- We send our pits, culls and other byproducts to an off-site facility for energy cogeneration. This process captures the natural energy in our waste products and feeds it back to the electrical grid.
- Our wastewater treatment system uses a natural, biological digestion process along with ultra-filtration systems.
- Our discharged water is used for agriculture and municipal uses.
- The bio-solids from our wastewater treatment system are helping to support the creation of mulch and other high-grade soil amendments.
- The energy used for powering two of our buildings and one parking lot comes from solar power.
Our goal at Bell-Carter Foods is to operate a manufacturing process that can create as much energy as it uses, and reuse every resource at our disposal – all toward the goal of achieving zero waste.
With that in mind, our future looks bright. We’re hard at work evaluating a number of new initiatives, from using our waste products to produce bio-fuel for our truck fleet, to a solar power water heating system.
It’s all a part of our past efforts and ongoing commitment to sustainability. Plus, saving resources and cutting waste simply makes good business sense.