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Sustainability

Cooperative Elevator Co. named Michigan’s “2014 Outstanding Green Agribusiness”

New sustainability efforts earn Cooperative Elevator Co. special recognition at 2014 Green Agri-Business Designation Awards

PIGEON – Cooperative Elevator Co. received the 2014 Outstanding Achievement Award at the 2014 Green Agri-Business Designation Awards ceremony hosted by the Michigan Agri-Business Association Wednesday.  The company has undertaken a range of measures, including new programs to recycle office and industrial products, expand site-specific agriculture use and boost sustainability.

“Cooperative Elevator Co. is a clear example of the leadership our industry has shown on sustainability, and the company continues to help set Michigan agriculture apart,” said Jim Byrum, president of MABA. “Its work to boost recycling, save on fuel use and enhance energy efficiency boosted Cooperative Elevator Co. in an accomplished field of award winners this year. We’re looking forward to continuing sustainability efforts in the years ahead, with Cooperative Elevator Co. helping to lead the way.”

The application components for the Green Agribusiness Award Program include an evaluation of agronomic practices, water quality and conservation measures, energy efficiency, facilities improvement, transportation, recycling, and the use of advanced site specific agriculture technology.  Cooperative Elevator Co. has 15 company locations recognized under these criteria for a 2014 Green Agribusiness Designation Award. Sustainability accomplishments within the company have included:

·         Embracing site-specific and precision agriculture technology, which helps farmers optimize fertilizer use and protect water quality;

·         Recycling all used oil;

·         Conducting energy audits on facilities to identify potential energy savings opportunities through energy efficient equipment and infrastructure;

·         Installing energy efficient lighting systems, electric motors and other equipment;

·         Engaging with customers to help them enhance on-farm sustainability;

·         Keeping old computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices for use in a recycling program;

·         Installing double-walled fuel storage tanks as old tanks are replaced;

·         Purchasing new fuel-efficient vehicles as older fleet vehicles are replaced, and taking other steps to reduce and control emissions from company operations;

·         Donating used furniture for use within communities across Michigan;

·         Hosting public recycling collection trailers that allow local residents to turn in recyclables for collection, and transporting newspapers from that program to be used by a company that produces wood pellets.

“Sustainability is more than just a buzzword. Michigan agriculture places special value on protecting our Great Lakes and ensuring our environment is healthy for coming generations, and we know we can do our part while still achieving a strong bottom line,” said Patricia Anderson, chief executive officer of Cooperative Elevator Co. “This simply can’t be a zero-sum game. The measures that earned us the 2014 Outstanding Green Agribusiness Award are important for our future as a business, as well as the future of the communities we call home across Michigan.”

Cooperative Elevator Co. is an agricultural cooperative situated in Michigan's "thumb" – a rich agricultural region offering fertile soils, tiled fields, adequate rainfall, and temperatures moderated by Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay. The cooperative is owned by 1,110 farmer producers and has been in business since 1915.  Cooperative Elevator Co. is headquartered in Pigeon, Michigan and has plants in Akron, Bad Axe, Birch Run, Deckerville-East, Deckerville-West, Elkton Elevator, Elkton Terminal, Fairgrove, Gagetown, North Branch, Pigeon, Ruth, Sebewaing, and Larimore, ND. 

The MABA Green Agri-Business Designation Program is in its fourth year. It recognizes Michigan agricultural or bio-based businesses for excellence in agribusiness and a commitment to environmental responsibility. More information is available at www.miagbiz.org.

Click here for a list of all 93 Michigan companies presented today with the Green Agri-Business Designation Award.