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Posted on Mar 26, 2015

Quincy Foods earns Governor’s Award

Officials with Quincy Foods were headed to Olympia this week to accept the Governor’s Award in Leadership in Energy Performance.

The state award comes six years after Quincy Foods’ parent company, NORPAC, challenged its seven processing plants to reduce its energy consumption by 25 percent in 10 years and by 50 percent in 20 years, said Mark Houghton of Quincy Foods.

Currently, the Quincy plant is at 31.9 percent, which exceeds the company’s 10-year goal, Houghton said.

“Energy now becomes part of our planning process,” Houghton said of the changes the plant has made in six years. “It has had a marked effect on how we do business.”

The winners of the third annual Washington Industrial Energy Leaders awards were announced earlier this year at the Northwest Industrial Energy Efficiency Summit. Washington Industrial Energy Leaders recognizes companies that are leaders in their field by making outstanding progress toward improved energy efficiency.

Gov. Jay Inslee was to make the presentation of the awards to the winners on Wednesday at the state capital.

In applying for the award, Quincy Foods had to demonstrate that it reduced its energy use from 2011 to 2014 more than its competitors or others in the industry, Houghton said.

It’s encouraging that Quincy Foods’ efforts are being recognized on a statewide basis, he said.

“It’s really quite uplifting,” Houghton said.

To reduce its energy consumption, Quincy Foods first formed an energy committee that met monthly and offered guidance on how to meet its goals. Houghton headed up that committee, and among the partners was Columbia Lineage (formerly Columbia Colstor), Grant PUD and the Northwest Energy Efficiencey Alliance, which is an alliance of more than 140 Northwest utilities and energy efficient organizations.

The initial focus was on what the company could do immediately to reduce its energy consumption, Houghton said. The company replaced outdated pumps, motors, lighting and air compressors throughout the plant with more efficient ones.

“It’s just smart spending,” Houghton said of the expenditures.

Today, the company has shifted its efforts away from making capital expenditures to looking at operational and scheduling changes to hit that 50 percent target, Houghton said. He’s confident the company will be able to make its next goal.

“It has become a culture shift,” Houghton said of focusing on reducing energy consumption in the plant. “And as such, it’s permanent.”