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Lineage Logistics Recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Plants Program with 2020 Better Project Award

June 24, 2020

Lineage recognized for optimizing the blast freezing process, reducing freeze times by up to 50% and improving blast energy efficiency by up to 20% in a facility freezing beef products

The award marks the second consecutive year Lineage has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy for outstanding energy efficiency innovations


Novi, MI –  The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has recognized Better Plants partner Lineage Logistics, LLC (“Lineage” or the “Company”), for optimizing the design and process of blast freezing food products with its 2020 Better Project Award. As part of DOE’s Better Buildings Initiative, the Better Plants Program and Challenge (“Better Plants”) works with leading manufacturers and water and wastewater treatment agencies to boost their competitiveness through improvements in energy efficiency.

The annual Better Project Awards are bestowed upon partners for outstanding accomplishments in implementing projects that minimize the waste of electricity, fuel and/or water. Lineage was honored for innovations in the design and process of blast freezing, in which the Company has reduced freeze times by more than 50% and improved blast cell energy efficiency by more than 20%. The technology is now a standardized design and practice for improved blast freezing that Lineage is working to implement across Lineage’s entire facility network, which spans over 300 locations across 12 countries. Blast freezing, which is a critical process in the food supply chain, involves rapidly freezing pallets of fresh, perishable goods before storage and transportation. The process also helps to reduce food waste during periods of excess supply.

“To be recognized by the DOE’s Better Plants Program for the second consecutive year is a phenomenal achievement for Lineage’s extremely dynamic data science and technology teams. This award highlights our Company’s continued commitment to innovation and sustainability, as we live our purpose to transform the food supply chain to eliminate waste and help feed the world,” said Greg Lehmkuhl, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lineage.

“Better Plants partners are implementing innovative energy efficiency solutions in the industrial space that are cutting costs and energy-use and the Better Practice and Better Project awards honor their leadership,” said Valri Lightner, Deputy Director, Advanced Manufacturing Office, U.S. Department of Energy.

Lineage’s approach to blast freezing, for which the Company was recognized, included identifying inefficiencies in both the design of the blast freezers and the configuration of the individual pallets. A joint effort with a Lineage customer to redesign the case and upgrade to high-flow spacers between case layers helped decrease intra-pallet variability in freezing outcomes.

In 2019, the DOE recognized Lineage for pioneering a new and innovative way to improve energy productivity using a process the Company calls “flywheeling,” which proactively manages energy consumption using proprietary machine-learning and scheduling optimization algorithms to reduce both cost and waste.

Lineage and other 2020 Better Project Award winners – including Bridgestone, Ford, PepsiCo and ThyssenKrupp – were formally recognized at the 2020 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit, which was held virtually on June 10, 2020.

As part of the broader Better Buildings Initiative, Better Plants partners voluntarily set a long-term goal, typically to reduce energy intensity by 25 percent over a 10-year period across all U.S. operations, while the DOE supports these efforts with technical expertise and national recognition. Lineage joined the program in 2015 and achieved its energy goal in 2017.

Read more about Better Plants partner results, showcase projects, and innovative solutions being shared with others in the 2019 Better Plants Progress Update.

About the DOE Better Plants Program

As part of DOE’s Better Buildings Initiative, Better Plants Program and Challenge (Better Plants) works with leading manufacturers to boost their competitiveness through improvements in energy efficiency. More than 235 industrial companies representing more than 12 percent of the U.S. manufacturing energy footprint voluntarily partner with DOE to commit to reducing their energy intensity, typically by 25 percent over 10 years across all their U.S. operations. Through Better Plants, these leading manufacturers and water utilities are improving energy efficiency and competitiveness in the industrial sector, while saving money in the process. Industrial organizations may also commit to the higher-level Better Plants Challenge and share their energy performance data and energy-efficiency solutions—in addition to setting an energy-saving goal—so that many more companies can see a pathway to savings. DOE supports these efforts with technical assistance and national recognition.