Byblos Bakery is western Canada’s number one branded pita maker. Recognizing the company’s commitment to sustainability, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF) selected Byblos for a food and resource conservation
initiative with Provision Coalition to explore and resolve food loss + waste and related utility consumption within their operation.
This initiative involved piloting Provision Coalition’s on-line Food Loss + Waste Toolkit in tandem with a facility food waste prevention assessment conducted by Enviro-
Stewards. A concurrent utility conservation assessment was also undertaken at Byblos that included identifying the associated energy and water reductions where food waste was occurring.
Overall Food & Resource Conservation Opportunities
- $207,000 in resource savings identified with an aggregate payback of 0.3 years ($61, 750 investment required)
- 63,000 kg of food waste (29%) can be reduced
- 2,800 m3 of water (8%), 62,000 m3 of natural gas (13%), and 450 MWh of electricity (26%) can be saved to achieve 500 tonnes/year (21%) of Scope 1 & 2 Greenhouse Gas emissions reduction
Provision’s FLW toolkit, coupled with the assessment, assisted Byblos in understanding how much and where food waste is generated within the facility. From that process, reduction strategies and solutions were then developed. The toolkit and assessment generated nine opportunities to significantly reduce food waste at Byblos, a cost estimated at approximately $725,000 annually for the company.
Food Loss + Waste Reduction Opportunities
The largest source of waste identified was retail product returns due to expiry date, which accounted for about 42% of facility wide waste (by mass) and valued at $500,000 annually. The next largest sources of food waste were seeds (16%), dough (15%) and bagels (13%) during production.
Every year, retail product returns due to expiration total 84,000 kg. The returned product is sold to a local farmer at a steeply discounted price compared to retail price. Improvements to retail inventory management and strategies to sell product at a reduced rate near the end of shelf life could assist in minimizing retail returns.
Within the facility, opportunities identified included:
Opportunity 1 | $80,000
Reducing the length of the seed hopper and fashioning a second reclaim chute could reduce seed losses by 30,000 kg/year valued at $80,000.
Opportunity 2 | $27,000
On the production line, increasing the conveyor capacity before the bagel shaker table, could reduce losses by 8,000 kg/year valued at $27,000.
Opportunity 3 | $25,000
Minimizing process variance in mixing and proofing (with employee training) can further reduce bagel losses by 7,500 kg/year valued at $25,000 with an immediate payback
Utilities Assessment & Conservation Opportunities
The assessment revealed eleven utility conservation opportunities to reduce utility consumption (electricity, natural gas, water) within the operation. Total value of implementing the conservation measures is estimated at $50,000 plus another approximately $14,500 in greenhouse gas-related savings.
Over half of the utility expenditure at Byblos is on electricity. Natural gas consumption accounts for about 31% of the total utility expenditure, while the remaining 15% is on water.
Addressing the cause of the low ammonia compressor suction pressure could reduce energy consumption by 160,000 kWh/year valued at $17,000.
Identifying and eliminating the electrical draw on the main pita line during non-production times could reduce energy consumption by 50,000 kWh/year valued at $5,000.
Canada’s Food Waste Problem
In Canada, 43% of avoidable food waste occurs in processing and manufacturing, presenting enormous opportunity for manufacturers to take action to positively impact the environment—and their bottom line. Avoidable waste costs approximately $49.5 billion each year, reduces the supply of food available to eat and contributes to climate change through methane emissions in landfill.
Thank you to our project partners: