ALBERT LEA, Minn. – Energy-efficient lighting is the latest addition to Cargill’s plant in Albert Lea, Minn.

The company invested $300,000 to install the new lighting throughout the plant. The new lighting has improved worker safety and the reliability of the lighting system, according to Cargill. The new fixtures and bulbs have reduced maintenance and saved more than 765,000 kw of electricity annually.

“An investment in new lighting equipment demonstrates Cargill’s commitment to this facility, as well as to the more than 300 people who work here and the community Schweigert calls home,” said Maria Wedel, facility general manager. “We’re always looking for ways we can improve our environmental footprint through changes as simple as installing new lighting technology including fixtures and bulbs.

“As energy costs continue to increase over time, we believe investments such as this are right for the environment, right for our efforts to ensure abundant, safe, nutritious and affordable food to Americans, especially Minnesotans who enjoy Schweigert products, and right for Cargill,” she added.

Cargill acquired the facility in 2008, and has invested about $15 million in plant improvements such as food safety technology, ovens, freezers and other capital projects. Since 2008, the company has reduced energy use by 11 percent and initiated a recycling program to reduce landfill waste.