At Kettle Brand, we use quality vegetable oils in the production of our chips. After production, the excess vegetable oil is stored in a tank and, when enough accumulates, it is picked up and taken to a biodiesel production facility. At this facility, 100% of our excess oil is converted into biodiesel, a distilled vegetable oil used for fueling vehicles, which emits 74% less CO2 than petroleum diesel fuel.
At Kettle Brand, we’re continuously exploring ways to reduce the carbon footprint of our facilities. In 2003, we partnered with the Energy Trust of Oregon, Portland General Electric, and others to install one of the largest grid-tied solar PV arrays in the pacific Northwest at the time (a 114 KW 3-phase system designed and installed by Advanced Energy Systems of Eugene, Oregon. With 600 solar panels set on roof-mounted racks, our Salem, Oregon, plant generates 120,000 kWh of electricity per year. That’s enough power to make 272,000 bags of chips and avoid CO2 emissions by 85 metric tons annually. We also offset 100 percent of our electricity use in the U.S. by purchasing wind energy credits, annually helping us avoid 14,850 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, equivalent to taking 3,153 cars per year off the road.
Here at Kettle Brand, we strive to be mindful of our environmental footprint. In 2019 we launched an initiative that uses 43% less packaging than before. This reduces our annual greenhouse gas emissions from packaging by 51% and keeps over 2 million lbs. of plastic waste out of the landfill. Same Taste, Same Amount of Chips. Less Waste.
There’s a lot of buzz about pollinators these days, and for good reason. Bees, butterflies, and bats are essential to our food supply and overall ecosystem sustainability. That’s why, when planning our habitat restoration efforts at our Kettle Brand facilities, we’ve worked with the Pollinator Partnership, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting pollinator health through education, conservation, and research, to incorporate a variety of native wildflowers at our Salem, Oregon, community garden to help promote and foster pollinator populations. Additionally, Kettle Brand encourages farmers to practice pollinator-friendly activities on their farms, such as proper crop rotation and maintaining natural plantings to promote ecosystem sustainability. And it gets even sweeter: The honey for our Honey Dijon flavor is sourced from bees that forage on certified organic lands where their preservation and welfare is of the utmost importance. Interested in learning more about pollinator health? Head to Pollinator.org
for pollinator-friendly garden tips, eco-regional planting guides and more!
Wetlands & Prairies
The Kettle Brand facility in Salem, Oregon, is located adjacent to a nearly 2-acre wetland that serves as an overflow zone when nearby Mill Creek, a native salmon stream, overflows its banks. The area is home to many species of animals and plants. Over the years, we’ve introduced native plants such as Aster, Camas, Red Alder, Lupine, and Sword Fern. We’ve also introduced aquatic plant species such as Wapato and Marsh Pennywort to enhance biological diversity in the wetland pond. In the process, a variety of native wetland animals have taken up residence, including a family of herons. Finally, we created a trail system for people to enjoy the area, complete with interpretive signs and benches for sitting and enjoying this natural area. Surrounding our factory in Beloit, Wisconsin, we have planted five acres of native tall grass prairie. This is the naturally-occurring vegetation that was endemic to the Midwest for thousands of years until the land was cultivated. Mature prairies require very little care, needing no watering or fertilizing, and attract a variety of songbirds and other native wildlife.
Like our potatoes, our community giving has roots. Since the early days in the 1980s, we’ve looked for ways to help our neighbors. Today, we donate product and time to local organizations. Our efforts began at the grassroots level – from donating chips for fundraising events at local schools to volunteering our time at area non-profits. Plus, every year we give more than 55,000 pounds of potatoes to local hunger relief agencies and Kettle Brand® chips to schools and local organizations. We call it chipping in.