BOSTON – A company that develops projects to turn food and dairy waste into renewable energy, Vanguard Renewables announced Great Lakes Cheese joined the Farm Powered Strategic Alliance.

Founded in 2020 by Vanguard Renewables, Unilever, Starbucks and Dairy Farmers of America, the alliance provides companies with a circular approach to reducing the detrimental impacts of CO2 emissions and works toward achieving a carbon-neutral footprint.

Hiram, Ohio-based Great Lakes Cheese operates nine processing plants, with locations in Ohio, Wisconsin, New York, Utah, Tennessee and Texas.

Edward Learoyd, Great Lakes Cheese’s vice president of food safety, safety, quality and regulatory, said the company “has been committed to creating quality products, supporting regional agriculture and putting people and the environment first” for more than 60 years.

“We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint – from sourcing renewable energy to minimizing packaging waste and now diverting our organic waste from the manufacturing process to create renewable energy via farm powered anaerobic digestion,” Learoyd said.

Per Great Lakes Cheese, the company also sources solar and hydropower, works throughout its supply chain and internally to address plastic waste and has reduced water consumption at its flagship location by as much as 10,000 gallons a day.

Neil H. Smith, chief executive officer at Vanguard Renewables, said the organization was excited to add Great Lakes Cheese to the alliance.

“Our FPSA partners are each working tirelessly to do their part to fight the climate crisis and to decarbonize our country,” Smith said. “This important work we are doing together is something that makes me incredibly proud.”

As members of the FPSA, companies commit to diverting organic food waste from their manufacturing processes by making use of Vanguard’s on-farm anaerobic digesters. The technology recycles the waste with dairy cow manure to create renewable natural gas.

The FPSA membership also includes Stonyfield Organic, Cabot Creamery, Smithfield Foods, Food Tank, Chobani, Kikkoman, Schreiber Foods, Hillebrand, Polar Beverages, Johnsonville and Vermont Creamery.