Green Success: The J.M. Smucker Company Practices Sustainable Demolition
For more than 115 years, The J. M. Smucker Company has been a leading marketer and manufacturer of fruit spreads, retail packaged coffee, peanut butter, shortening and oils. The company's leading peanut butter brand, JIF®, is produced at the company's Lexington plant, which is the largest peanut butter-producing facility in the world.
The Lexington site is on 28 acres, which included eight or nine older buildings recently purchased from a neighboring lumber yard. In order to facilitate an expansion of the plant, Smucker was looking for an environmentally friendly way to remove the buildings from the property.
Environmental responsibility is a natural part of the Smucker Company's heritage. In Lexington, Smucker is a member of KY EXCEL, the Commonwealth's voluntary environmental leadership program. In addition, LEED design and construction has been at the forefront of the company's expansion projects. To date, five of the company’s buildings have achieved LEED certification, including the JIF Learning Center in Lexington. Continuing with this focus on sustainability, it was important to the company to remove the buildings in a way that would have the least impact on the environment, plant operations and neighboring residents.
Scott Rose, Operations Safety Leader for Smucker, said the company obtained demolition permits for the salvage company that was hired to remove the buildings piece by piece and reuse as many materials as possible. One of the buildings was built of concrete blocks and had a wooden roof. The concrete blocks were ground up and the wood reused.
"The buildings had several roll-up garage doors and light fixtures," said Larry Agee, plant engineer. "We reused everything except for one shingled roof. Only seven 40-yard dumpsters of material were sent to the landfill. Since 50,000 square feet of buildings were demolished, we drastically minimized the amount of material that went to the landfill."
Though the cost was more than the conventional way of bulldozing structures and hauling the material to a landfill, Smucker wanted the removal to be done in an environmentally sound manner.
Materials were reused as much as possible, sometimes being sold and bringing in funds. For example, metal siding was sold to individuals to build barns in another county.
"We do things because we feel that it is the right thing to do," said Agee.
"Sustainability is always at the forefront of everything we do," says Agee. "Working together with our contractor, we were able to successfully prepare our property in Lexington for expansion, while also remaining mindful of our impact on the environment and our neighbors."
Read more about the Case Study at Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet.