Flowers Foods, Inc. was recognized with a 2021 Better Project Award for the successful conversion of an existing bakery in Lynchburg, Va. into a state-of-the-art, energy-efficient, organic bakery producing Dave’s Killer Bread.

The annual Better Project Awards, given by The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Better Plants Program are awarded for outstanding accomplishments in implementing industrial energy, water, and waste projects at individual facilities.

The upgraded sustainability features at Lynchburg Organic Baking are predicted to reduce annual energy 22 percent and water consumption 64 percent. The significant reductions in energy and water use will be met through the sustainability features incorporated into this conversion. These include:

  • A new high-efficiency oven and a heat recovery system that eliminates the need for gas-fired boilers.
  • A new refrigeration system that saves water and energy and eliminates the need for a cooling tower.
  • An energy-efficient air compressor requiring half the horsepower of the previous device.
  • Installation of LED lights throughout the bakery that save energy, improve lighting and reduce the heat in the plant.

Other exciting upgrades were a new pan cooler and enclosed dual cooling towers. This reduces heat levels in the plant, especially during the summer months, making a more comfortable working environment for the bakery team.

“This project is proof that partnership is the key to successful implementation of new ideas,” says Robert Benton, executive vice president network optimization. “What made this project so successful was collaboration across our dedicated engineering and operations team, the experienced bakery team, the commitment of our vendors to meet ambitious timelines along with new sustainability concepts, and the partnership with local and state agencies. A special thanks goes to all involved in making this conversion a success.”

Flowers Foods and other 2021 Better Project Award winners were formally recognized at the 2021 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit—a virtual leadership symposium—on May 18.

As part of the broader Better Buildings Initiative, Better Plants partners voluntarily set long-term goals, typically to reduce energy intensity by 25 percent over a 10-year period across all its U.S. operations. DOE supports these efforts with technical expertise and national recognition.

Read more about Better Plants partner results, showcase projects, and innovative solutions being shared with others in the 2020 Better Plants Progress Update.