Annual Savings $300,000
Two-Year Return on Investment
Meeting Long-Term Operational Goals
Running Cleaner & Safer
Cabot Cheese Cooperative in Vermont understands what it takes to keep their customers happy. In business for nearly 100 years, providing quality products, while adapting with evolving technologies in production, has been the key ingredient in their success. Owned by 1,200 dairy farm families throughout New York and New England, they understand not only their commitment to communities but also their impacts. This is reflected in their definition of sustainability, “Living Within our Means & Ensuring the Means to Live”.
A Better Way to Fuel
That’s why when it came time to upgrade its facilities’ fuel systems, which were still using a dirtier burning fueling oil, the company was faced with an opportunity to explore alternative fuels as an option. “We were looking to not only make a positive impact but also serve our long-term operational needs,” said Jim Tringe, Cabot’s Director of Plant Services. Looking at propane and some of the newer, somewhat cleaner burning oils, they quickly realized that the change would only make a negligible reduction in their environmental impact. And then they learned about using Natural Gas for their fueling needs. It was not only a much cleaner, but also much cheaper, and for a cooperative those are two things you rarely can pass on. Unfortunately Cabot was faced with a significant challenge…they were nowhere near a Natural Gas pipeline.
“Adopting new technology was quick and did not affect production.”
– Jim Tringe, Cabot’s Director of Plant Services
Seamless Fueling Support and Facility Transition
Enter NG Advantage, a Clean Energy company also based in Vermont that offers ‘virtual pipeline’ services, bridging the gap between customers and natural gas pipelines. By providing non-stop CNG delivery services, companies like Cabot can focus on uninterrupted operations without having to absorb the high cost of building a physical pipeline extension. NG Advantage provided the expertise and logistics to install the necessary decompression equipment. “Adopting new technology was quick and did not affect production,” said Tringe. The Cabot maintenance team was able to dedicate its time to more urgent plant maintenance needs, while learning about the new system from the NG Advantage experts.
Real World Savings & Return on Investment
The positive business implications became as clear as the air around the cheese production facility. In addition to the savings over burning traditional fueling oil, Cabot is able to show their 30,000 to 50,000 visitors each year a state-of-the-art industrial fueling system, which has provided a compelling story for Cabot’s leadership in telling their sustainability story.
A Cleaner Facility & More Responsive System
Operating a cleaner fueling system has other benefits as well. “The boiler room is cleaner than it was before we started (using natural gas) – there are no oily messes on the floor,” said Cabot’s Tringe. Other benefits came as more of a surprise to Cabot, as Jim states: “In our production environment, steam demand varies from minute to minute. The burners respond more quickly when using natural gas fuel.”
Cabot employees all enjoy being part of a locally and family-owned company that has enjoyed decades of success. Now they take additional pride in knowing that they are part of an industry-leading team using a domestically produced, eco-friendly fuel that decreases environmental impacts on the communities in which they live.
As is most often the case with success stories, expertise, leadership and communication are key. The lure to resist change is strong and taking that leap of faith can be challenging. “NG Advantage has been an excellent partner throughout this whole process,” said Jed Davis, Cabot’s Director of Sustainability. “The end result met our project goals on multiple levels with a variety of stakeholders.”
Today, Cabot Cheese continues to make some of the world’s best naturally aged cheddar. And, just like in 1919 when they first started, remain committed to the sustainment of the resources and communities they serve.