Shearer’s Foods officially broke ground last week on its long-awaited Massillon, Ohio, production facility.

Shearer’s Foods officially broke ground last week on its long-awaited Massillon, Ohio, production facility.

The facility will be Ohio’s First LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certified Food Manufacturing Plant. The initial phase will house production and temporary staging areas in 63,936 sq. ft. of space. When fully completed, the $100 million project will have 210,000 sq. ft. of space, create at least 210 new jobs and eventually house the headquarters for the company, according to Shearer’s Foods, headquartered in Brewster, Ohio.
According to the company, the building is designed with energy-efficient construction, including high levels of wall and roof insulation, energy efficient windows and a reflective white roof. The heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, as well as the production process equipment, are designed to be as efficient as possible, according to the company.

To be more environmentally friendly, the facility will use the heat off of the production equipment to warm the building, pre-heating outside ventilation air and improving the efficiency of the production equipment.

Additionally, paved surfaces on the site will be light in color to reduce the heat island effect. The site will be planted with native plantings, which are low-maintenance and do not require watering after establishment.

Moreover, low-flow and waterless plumbing fixtures will reduce water usage. Large windows and skylights will be installed to provide ample daylight and views in the working areas to reduce energy use and improve the indoor environment. Materials are selected for their recycled content, for being regionally manufactured or for having low levels of volatile organic compounds.
Around 30 to 35 jobs will be created with the completion of Phase I sometime next year. Production includes several varieties of tortilla chips totaling more than 17 million lb. per year with room to expand production in the future. The new plant will use about 20% less energy per pound than Shearer’s current manufacturing lines.

LEED certification is the recognized standard for measuring building sustainability. The LEED green building rating system - developed and administered by the U.S. Green Building Council, a Washington, D.C.-based, non-profit coalition of building industry leaders - is designed to promote design and construction practices that increase profitability while reducing the negative environmental impacts of buildings and improving occupant health and well-being.

Shearer’s, an ENERGY STAR partner, has made a fundamental commitment to protect the environment through its Energy Management Program, where it addresses environmental responsibility in its offices, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers.

Some examples include landfill reduction programs with a target less than 1% by end of 2009; recycle of finished goods and wet waste for use as animal feed; reclamation of all potato starch in treatment of production water; conversion to high efficiency lighting in plant production areas; and installing a new oil filtration equipment to eliminate rendering of vegetable oils and more.

For more information, go to