SEATTLE – Darigold, Inc. is putting efforts towards minimizing its carbon footprint by building a new premium protein and butter operation, which features a suite of state-of-the-art technologies designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The plant, which will be located in Pasco, Wash., will cut emissions by 25% when operational and is just part of the company's 2050 carbon-neutral goals. 

“Our producers have been at the vanguard of the dairy sector for over 100 years, constantly building on their outstanding record of sustainability and stewardship practices,” President and CEO of Darigold Stan Ryan said. “They are proud to boost the co-op’s competitiveness with this future-forward investment in a next-generation dairy facility, preserving the legacy of nearly 350 multigenerational farms.”

The 400,000 square-foot protein and butter facility will incorporate a variety of innovative technologies and conservation strategies that could mitigate nearly 300,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. 

Using anaerobic digestion technology, Darigold will use the extracted methane from the wastewater as a natural gas substitute, reducing fossil fuel use. In addition, the new infrastructure is designed to accommodate future electric vehicles, including a potential conversion of semi-trucks, further reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation.

Situated within the multimodal Port of Pasco on the Columbia River, the building will have access to both rail and barge facilities and will reduce the distance trucks have to travel for milk pickups and deliveries by nearly five million miles annually.

“We are thrilled to welcome Darigold to Pasco and the Reimann as the anchor tenant in the Port’s largest industrial park,” Port of Pasco’s Executive Director Randy Hayden said. “It’s incredibly rare to attract a project of this size and scope. Darigold’s state-of-the-art facility will use the latest technology, serve as a model of sustainability, and create a new market for our region’s ag producers.”

As part of this $500 million project, Darigold is expecting to create over 1,000 onsite and indirect supply chain and services jobs. Construction of the facility and the Port of Pasco agreement are contingent upon fair and equitable treatment under all new Washington state environmental legislation, which the company is currently assessing. Initial site development is expected to start in early 2022 with full commercial production targeted for late 2023 or early 2024.