Zehnder’s has gone through many changes over the years but we are very proud of the environmentally positive changes that our in-house Maintenance Department has implemented. Zehnder’s is continuously looking to improve ways to conserve energy and become more environmentally friendly. Here are some of the major improvements that we have adapted throughout over the years…
With over 6,000 light bulbs at Zehnder’s Restaurant alone, early on, we realized a huge need to reduce the amount of energy consumption to operate more efficiently. Nearly 10 years ago, we replaced all incandescent light bulbs with compact florescent and high efficiency light bulbs to save energy. Between the new bulbs and Zehnder’s dedicated staff of energy conservationists, we have greatly reduced our energy waste and consumption.
In addition to energy reduction, Zehnder’s has taken steps to manage water consumption more efficiently. Our food prep areas were originally equipped with water-cooled ice machines. We invested in air-cooled freezers and coolers to dramatically reduce water consumption and waste. We also implemented VFD (variable-frequency drive) controls that manage water flow on our pumps throughout Zehnder’s Splash Village which also saves on electricity.
Throughout our history, recycling of paper and cardboard products was always a priority. Every office and department recycles paper and cardboard in various ways. As technology advances, the need for paper products continues to decrease and we hope to become virtually paperless in the future.
Perhaps the most innovative project Zehnder’s developed to reduce waste, stems from our used cooking oil and grease that comes out of producing 900,000 pounds of chicken every year. The used chicken grease and cooking oil is donated to local Bio-fuel companies to make diesel fuel for farming equipment. This not only reduces the waste that comes out of our by-product, it also fuels (literally) one of Michigan’s most important industries: agriculture. Zehnder’s is proud to continue further research and development efforts in promoting a better environment.
~Ron Ross, Director of Engineering, Zehnder’s Maintenance Department