LIVONIA — The Livonia Country Fresh foods plant of Dean Foods has met the requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Challenge for Industry, reducing its “energy intensity” 12.1 percent, company officials said.

In its efforts, Country Fresh has improved its energy systems controls technology, as well as added high efficiency lighting, solar heating, and thermal recovery and re-use.

EPA established the program to fight climate change and make American industry more competitive by reducing its energy bills. EPA says the U.S. manufacturing sector is responsible for nearly 30 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions and spends $100 billion a year on energy.

Dean Foods is an Energy Star Partner and has ranked as one of the top consumer products companies on the Carbon Disclosure Project’s Leadership Index for three of the past four years. The company first published environmental sustainability goals in 2009. Earlier this year, the company released new 2020 environmental sustainability goals which include reducing greenhouse gases 25% and energy use 20 percent by 2020.

Dean Foods’ Fresh Dairy Direct segment is the nation’s largest processor and direct-to-store distributor of fluid milk marketed under more than 50 local and regional dairy brands and private labels. Fresh Dairy Direct also distributes ice cream, cultured products, juices, teas, bottled water and other products. Dean Foods also holds a majority interest in The WhiteWave Foods Co., which produces and sells an array of nationally and internationally branded plant-based foods and beverages, coffee creamers and beverages, and premium dairy products. WhiteWave include Silk, Horizon Organic, International Delight and Land O Lakes.

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Since its founding in 1992, Energy Star has helped Americans prevent 45 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to the annual emissions from 30 million vehicles, and helped them save nearly $17 billion on their utility bills.

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