Sustainable Plant of the Year
STERLING, Va., Feb. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Cuisine Solutions Inc. (CUSI), the global leader and largest premium food company in pioneering and perfecting sous vide cooking technique, has been named Food Engineering Magazine’s 2021 Sustainable Plant of the Year for their sous vide processing facility located in San Antonio, Texas. The award-winning state-of-the-art sous vide facility built in 2020 is the largest in the world with nearly $200 million in investment and measuring 315,000 sq. ft. The trade publication recognized the facility for its commitment to sustainability in design, construction, and operations by incorporating best industry practices including LEED certification, the largest community solar installation in San Antonio, stormwater management, a water recycling program, and the use of compressed earth block (CEB) allows future expansion of plant areas without disruption to the surrounding environment.
“It is an honor to be named Food Engineering Magazine’s Sustainable Plant of the Year. Our team has created a facility that will be a true benchmark for manufacturing facilities worldwide. We feel sustainability should be placed at the forefront of all facilities development plans and are thrilled to lead the charge,” said Cuisine Solutions Chairman Stanislas Vilgrain.
The largest plant to participate in San Antonio’s Big Sun Community program, the facility features a 300-space parking lot, shaded by solar panels and available for purchase by San Antonio residents. This renewable and clean energy is then sent to the local utility’s grid and savings are credited to the resident’s electric bill.
Water management was also of the utmost importance to Cuisine Solutions when constructing the plant, so the team constructed parking area bioswales to assist with stormwater runoff. A water recycling program was put into place allowing for water used in the sous vide cooking process to be sanitized and used again for future production batches. The building was also able to reduce potable water consumption by 30%, surpassing minimum code requirements.
Thinking towards the future and the ultimate growth of the plant, Cuisine Solutions has designed a bridge to be built into the structure that would allow for an adjacent plant to be built. Therefore, upon the time of expansion, Cuisine Solutions will be able to construct a 100,000 square-foot facility with an entire additional product line without interfering with the current plant’s operations.
“The infrastructure for this growth — including vacuum pumps, water coolers, piping and structural steel — are already in place, allowing for simpler facilitation and execution of utility connections to additional equipment in the future,” said Cuisine Solutions Chief Operating Officer Jean Pierre Guillaud.