AUSTIN, Minn. – Hormel Foods Corp. announced its second set of environmental goals after exceeding its first set of five-year goals in 2011.

By 2011, the company reduced packaging by 21.8 million lbs. and water consumption at the company’s facilities by 15 percent. The company’s recycling rate increased to 46 percent in 2011, compared to 41 percent in 2010. Greenhouse gas emissions declined 5 percent , the company said.

“The last five years have been rewarding, as we achieved significant reductions on several key sustainability metrics; challenging, as we reported data that had not previously been calculated; and enlightening, as the process provided an opportunity for us to take a fresh look at long established policies and procedures,” said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer at Hormel Foods.

The company’s new goals for packaging, water, solid waste, air and energy went into effect at the beginning of fiscal 2012. By 2020, Hormel will work to:

• Reduce product packaging by 25 million lbs.;
• Reduce 10 percent of water;
• Reduce 10 percent of solid waste sent to landfill;
• Reduce 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions; and 
• Reduce 10 percent of non-renewable energy use.

During the first goal cycle, the company began several significant capital projects aimed at reducing energy intensity, and the company has seen positive results.

“While we did not meet our initial aggressive energy reduction goal, we will continue to emphasize energy conservation throughout the organization,” said Thomas Raymond, director of environmental sustainability at Hormel Foods. “Our efforts with the first five-year goals have led to notable improvements in our energy program and have given us knowledge that we will apply to our ongoing reduction efforts.”