Frito-Lay North America, Plano, Texas, said its Topeka, Kan., facility became the state's first manufacturing site -- and the nation's second food manufacturing site -- to be awarded LEED Existing Building (EB) Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), as verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI).

"It's only through the efforts of our associates and business partners that we were able to retrofit this nearly 30-year-old-building and make it more environmentally friendly," said Allen Moore, technical manager, Frito-Lay Topeka. "Achieving LEED EB Gold standards is another significant step on our company's sustainability journey, and solidifies our place as a leader in Kansas and in the U.S."

"With each new LEED-certified building, we get one step closer to USGBC's vision of a sustainably-built environment within a generation," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO and a founding chairman of the U.S. Green Building Council. "As the newest member of the LEED family of green buildings, Frito-Lay Topeka is an important addition to the growing strength of the green building movement."

To achieve LEED EB Certification, the company's Topeka sustainability strategy included implementing a number of green design and construction features, water reduction technologies and practices, as well as improved waste management.

Energy reduction:
Officials say the Topeka facility has reduced its natural gas consumption by 39 percent per pound of product and its electricity use by 27 percent per pound of product since 1999 by installing new technologies such as high-efficiency oven burners and new lighting systems with sensors to turn off lights when rooms are not in use.

Water reduction:
The facility has reduced its water consumption by nearly 52 percent per pound of product since 1999 by implementing new operations and sanitation practices, and piloting a company-wide initiative to reduce water used in its corn cooking and transfer process.
As of September 2009, less than 1 percent of the facility's solid waste goes to landfill. The site achieved this milestone through many initiatives including an employee-led recycling program, reusing cardboard shipping boxes multiple times, and allocating waste product for use in animal feed.
Officials say Frito-Lay Topeka is nearly 600,000 square feet in size on 188 acres of land. Frito-Lay Topeka produces Lay's potato chips, Fritos corn chips, Tostitos tortilla chips, Doritos tortilla chips, and Cheetos cheese-flavored snacks.