SMITHFIELD, Va. – In its 2018 Sustainability Report released May 21, Smithfield Foods Inc. the company highlighted ongoing efforts to develop new, responsible practices and initiatives. This 18th installment of the report features examples of progress made in a variety of its business segments including: Animal Care, Environment, Food Safety and Quality, Helping Communities and People sections.
“Our people work hard every day to maintain our position as a leader in sustainability, ensuring that we are fulfilling our mission to produce good food the right way. It is extremely gratifying to lead a team that is so passionate about meeting this responsibility,” said Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and CEO of Smithfield. “Sustainability is part of our culture. We have seen firsthand how investing in sustainability by setting bold goals and hard targets—and achieving them – is a win-win for our company and our stakeholders, including our animals, employees, neighbors, and planet.”
In the Animal Care section, the company converted to using group housing for all pregnant sows on company-owned farms, which was a goal reached at the end of 2017. Smithfield is also working with the North Carolina State Univ. College of Veterinary Medicine to develop better strategies for animal disease prevention.
Under Environment, Smithfield said it is working on a variety of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Last year, Smithfield partnered with Dominion Energy to capture methane emissions from hog farms and convert them into renewable energy. The joint venture, Align Renewable Natural Gas, started the first projects in North Carolina, Virginia and Utah. In March, United Wind energy company announced that it reached an agreement with Smithfield to power dozens of hog farms in Colorado with on-site wind energy. Finally in April, Smithfield also announced a partnership with Roeslein Alternative Energy that plans to convert manure collected on Smithfield’s Missouri hog farms and make it into renewable natural gas (RNG).
Other environmental goals include an 8.7 percent reduction in waste sent to landfills across the company’s US operations. It also certified 12 US facilities to the zero-waste-to-landfill standard since implementing a 2010 initiative. A new goal was also set to reduce Smithfield’s waste by 75 percent and achieve zero-waste-to-landfill certification at 75 percent by 2025.
“We take a comprehensive approach to sustainability throughout our entire supply chain,” said Stewart Leeth, vice president of regulatory affairs and chief sustainability officer for Smithfield. “We are always innovating and looking for new opportunities to push beyond the status quo. Our groundbreaking efforts are making a real difference in the lives of our animals, employees, suppliers, customers, and consumers, and we will continue to take bold steps to deliver on our promise to produce good food in a responsible way.”
Under the Food Safety and Quality umbrella, Smithfield highlighted its investment of approximately $130 million on capital projects across the company to enhance its operations, including the installation of robotics technology, blast freezing units, X-ray machines, processing and packaging equipment; upgrading refrigeration, cleaning and sanitation systems; and maintaining the physical integrity of its facilities.
In the Helping Communities area of the sustainability report, Smithfield donated $28.8 million in cash, product and in-kind contributions during the last year, which included commemorating 10th year of supporting Helping Hungry Homes.
Finally, in the People section, the company completed the global implementation of the injury prevention system and exceeded the inaugural diversity goal by 30 percent for its US internship program.
To read the entire sustainability report go to smithfieldfoods.com/sustainability.