From its earliest days as an energy consulting firm, sustainability has been at the heart of Salas O’Brien. That’s why we were excited to partner with Plumrose USA to create a design that would dramatically increase efficiency at their new Iowa processing plant.

Founded over 85 years ago as a sliced ham company, Plumrose USA has since grown into one of the country’s leading providers of quality packaged meat products, manufacturing both for their own brand and for private label brands like Walmart’s Great Value. In 2008, Plumrose decided to reimagine their company through the lens of sustainability and environmental impact, and it transformed the way they do business. Over the past ten years they have radically reduced their energy, gas, cardboard, and water waste, and their sustainable practices initiatives are saving the company over a million dollars every year.

When increases in demand necessitated the expansion of Plumrose’s deli meats and bacon production in Council Bluffs, Iowa, company leadership decided it was the perfect opportunity to proactively invest in a more sustainable processing plant that promoted employee welfare, food safety, product quality, and environmental responsibility. Salas O’Brien’s reputation for providing ingenious, sustainable solutions as well as its background in industrial design made the firm the perfect choice to meet the project’s cutting-edge mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering design needs.

The completed facility met and exceeded Plumrose’s ambitious goals, and it earned both LEED Silver status and Sustainable Plant of the Year from Food Engineering. The clean design maximizes efficiency at every opportunity, from motion-sensor lighting to filtration systems for recycling water—initiatives which have resulted in massive energy savings and radical minimization of the plant’s waste. And this increase in automation and efficiency didn’t compromise product quality—in fact, the plant’s meat products are better, safer, and cleaner than ever.