In a positive step toward improving energy efficiency, Dean Foods Company (NYSE: DF) has met the requirements for the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “Energy Star Challenge for Industry” by reducing its energy intensity by 10% or more at 18 manufacturing locations nationwide.

Dean Foods enrolled 72 of its plants in the Energy Star Challenge. Across the entire dairy industry, 148 dairy plants have taken the challenge, but only seven other non-Dean plants have met the goal so far.

The Energy Star Challenge is a national call-to-action to improve energy efficiency of America’s commercial and industrial buildings. The US manufacturing industry is responsible for nearly 30% of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions and spends almost $100 billion annually on energy. Under the umbrella of the Energy Star Challenge for Industry, EPA is working with Dean Foods and other companies to fight climate change through improvements in energy efficiency.

To meet the challenge, Dean Foods has employed a number of environmentally friendly initiatives ranging from the use of high-efficiency lighting and controls to solar heating and thermal recovery and re-use.

Dean Foods manufacturing plants in these cities met the Energy Star Challenge: Athens TN, Belvidere IL, Billings MT, Boise ID, Bridgeton NJ, El Paso TX, High Point NC, Houston TX, Le Mars IA, Livonia MI, Mount Crawford VA, Rensselaer NY, Salt Lake City UT, Spartanburg SC, Thief River Falls MN, Tulare CA, Waukesha WI (plant divested in 2011), and White Bear Lake MN.

An Energy Star Partner, Dean Foods has ranked as one of the top consumer products companies on the Carbon Disclosure Project’s Leadership Index for three of the past four years. The company first published environmental sustainability goals in 2009. Earlier in 2013, the company released new 2020 environmental sustainability goals that include reducing greenhouse gases 25% and energy use 20% by 2020.

Dean Foods’ Fresh Dairy Direct segment is the nation’s largest processor and direct-to-store distributor of fluid milk marketed under more than 50 local and regional dairy brands and private labels. Fresh Dairy Direct also distributes ice cream, cultured products, juices, teas, and bottled water. For more information, access www.deanfoods.com.

Visit www.energystar.gov or call toll-free 1-888-782-7937 for more information about Energy Star.