ConAgra Foods Inc., Omaha, Neb., announced last August that it joined several new programs “to reinforce the company’s commitment to reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.”

Specifically, ConAgra Foods said it joined the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Climate Leaders and ENERGY STAR programs and, for the first time, participated in the Carbon Disclosure Project.

“Participation in these programs publicly demonstrates ConAgra Foods’ commitment to taking climate change seriously and doing our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said James Lime, ConAgra Foods’ vice president of Environment, Health and Safety. “Our energy conservation efforts are part of our corporate citizenship responsibilities and critical to our success as a business.”

ConAgra Foods also said it is pursuing energy and greenhouse gas reduction projects to minimize the carbon footprint of the company’s manufacturing operations.ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston, for example, has purchased renewable energy certificates, known as “Green Tags,” from the non-profit Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF).Officials say these Green Tags will offset 100 percent of the electricity used to power Lamb Weston’s administrative offices in Kennewick and Richland, Wash., and Eagle, Idaho, as well as the electricity used to produce 30 million pounds of ConAgra Foods’ Alexia-branded organic and naturally processed potato products.

In total, Green Tags equal 16,656,000 kilowatt-hours of wind energy entering the national electricity grid.

“This is one of many Lamb Weston initiatives designed to ensure that we preserve and protect vital natural resources by minimizing energy and water usage, and by reducing waste and pollution,” said Mark Hayden, senior vice president of Sales and Supply Chain, ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston. “This is of great importance to both our customers and to our business.”

Green Tags replace traditional sources of energy with clean, renewable wind power, offsetting the environmental effects of burning coal, gas and other fossil fuels, thereby reducing CO2 emissions.

About the Carbon Disclosure Project

The Carbon Disclosure Project is an independent not-for-profit organization providing a secretariat for more than 385 institutional investors with $57 trillion of assets under management. CDP holds the largest database of corporate climate change data in the world. CDP was established in 2000 to facilitate dialogue between companies and investors, supported by quality information, from which a rational response to climate change will emerge.

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About Climate Leaders

Launched in 2002, Climate Leaders is a voluntary industry-government partnership that works with companies to develop long-term comprehensive climate change strategies, set corporate-wide greenhouse gas reduction goals and inventory their emissions to measure progress. Companies that participate in the Climate Leaders program report inventory data to the EPA, creating a lasting record of accomplishments and identifying the company as a corporate environmental leader.

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The EPA introduced ENERGY STAR in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce air pollution through increased energy efficiency. The program helps businesses and consumers save energy and money today while protecting the environment for future generations. Last year alone, Energy Star helped Americans save enough energy to power 20 million homes and reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 18 million cars - all while saving consumers and businesses $9 billion.

About Bonneville Environmental Foundation

The Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF), a Portland, Ore.-based nonprofit organization, was established in 1998 to further the development and use of new renewable energy resources and restore watershed ecosystems. Through revenues generated from the sale of green power products, BEF funds projects that support new renewable energy projects from solar, wind and biomass and restore damaged watersheds. Revenues generated from its sales of Green Tags directly support additional new watershed restoration and renewable energy projects such as the national Solar4RSchools program.

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