If you're a producer of organic products, it stands to reason that you care about the environment. That's certainly true for WhiteWave Foods Co., maker of Horizon Organic milk products and Silk Soymilk. For the past four years, the company has earned the U.S. government's Green Power Leader designation for its support of wind-generated electricity.
Now, the manufacturer is extending its environmental commitment to its material handling operations by updating its distribution center equipment to reduce energy consumption and cut down on battery use. For help with that, WhiteWave turned to AeroVironment and Toyota Material Handling U.S.A. The DC has added 28 Toyota electric-powered lift trucks and replaced its conventional battery changing equipment with 25 of AeroVironment's PosiCharge fast battery chargers. The new arrangement will extend the life of the electric vehicles' batteries and eliminate the need for more than 28 conventional batteries formerly used for battery changing. That means fewer lead acid batteries will be heading to local landfills, said WhiteWave Logistics Manager James Ramsey. He added that the switch to fast charging has also reduced the risk of lead acid spillage, which will enhance facility safety. "We are committed to making the environment in which our employees work safer and more efficient, and this distribution center is an example of our company's commitment to responsible, sustainable business practices," Ramsey said.