The Association of Washington Business on May 7 honored the Moses Lake potato processing plant for demonstrating a strong and ongoing commitment to integrating progressive and environmentally sensitive practices into their operation.

The Simplot plant was recognized for several environmental initiatives. A state-of-the-art anaerobic digester converts potato waste into biogas, a green energy source burned in the plant’s boiler. The Moses Lake facility also partners with a neighbor to use their industrial waste as a fuel source in one of the only boilers in the country to burn a unique blend of bio, hydrogen, and natural gases. The plant’s treated wastewater is used in irrigation, saving growers $800,000 a year, and potato starch from process water is recovered and used in a polymerization process for paper manufacturing.

According to plant manufacturing manager Mark Knight, the plant received the award not only because of state-of-the-art equipment, but also because of people power.

“We are very proud of the coordinated efforts between plant operations and the environmental team to successfully generate and utilize our bio gas and hydrogen gases to power our plant processes,” he said. “It is the dedication and passion of all involved that make this sustainable system work.”

The plant was nominated for the statewide award by the Moses Lake Chamber of Commerce.

According to Don Brunell, president of the Association of Washington Business (AWB), Simplot and the six other recipients demonstrated a keen sense of environmental stewardship in their everyday practices.

“These award winners are meeting the needs of their customers and taking care of their communities while showing that environmental sustainability is a smart way to do business,” he said. “Employers like these are making the world a better place and strengthening the economy at the same time.”

AWB is Washington’s oldest and largest statewide business association and includes more than 8,000 members representing 700,000 employees.