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Environment

Industry-Leading Innovations

Our environmental stewardship is not only about what we have to do. It’s more about what we should do. Our focus is on finding bold, impactful and innovative solutions to optimize our supply chain, reduce waste and improve our energy and water efficiency. Our actions create value for our planet, business and stakeholders.

Environment Highlights and Achievements

As the world grapples with the environmental challenges affecting our planet, consumers are looking to companies to take bold action to address their impacts. Smithfield has pioneered long-term solutions to decrease our environmental footprint for more than two decades.
Ambitious Targets
Ambitious Targets

In addition to our bold carbon-negative goal, we set ambitious targets to obtain 50% of our electricity from renewable resources, assess and manage our impact on watersheds where we operate and increase consumer packaging recyclability and decrease plastic use.

Renewable Natural Gas
Renewable Natural Gas

Through our Align Renewable Natural Gas joint venture with Dominion Energy, we delivered renewable natural gas (RNG) to the grid in Utah, the first large-scale effort in the state to capture methane from hog-farming operations and convert it into clean energy.

Diamond Spring Wind Site
Diamond Spring Wind Site

In Oklahoma, our investment in ALLETE Clean Energy’s Diamond Spring wind site began to show returns as commercial operations launched in December. Our investment at the site will deliver energy to power approximately 15% of our U.S. operations.

Our Goals And Targets

Our Environment Goal: Reduce natural resource demand; 100% compliance, 100% of the time.
Compliance: Reduction of NOVs to zero
Needs Improvement
13 NOVs at company-owned farms and facilities in 2020; 85 NOVs on contract farms in 2020
Compliance: Reduction of NOVs to zero
Achieved
zero NOVs at international farms and facilities
Energy: 5% reduction by 2020 globally at our farms and facilities
Achieved
9% reduction in international normalized energy use (gigajoules/cwt)
Energy: 5% reduction by 2020 globally at our farms and facilities
Did Not Achieve
12% increase in U.S. normalized energy use (gigajoules/cwt)
GHG Emissions: 25% reduction by 2025 in the United States across our entire supply chain
On Track
will measure and report our annual progress in alignment with our new 30 by ’30 goal in 2021
Solid Waste: 10% reduction in waste by 2020 in Poland and Romania
Achieved
38% reduction in international farms and facilities’ normalized solid waste to landfill (pounds/cwt)
Solid Waste: 75% reduction in waste and zero-waste-to-landfill certification of 75% of our U.S. facilities by 2025
On Track
16 U.S. facilities certified zero waste to landfill
Solid Waste: 75% reduction in waste and zero-waste-to-landfill certification of 75% of our U.S. facilities by 2025
On Track
43% reduction in U.S. company-owned farms and facilities’ normalized solid waste to landfill (pounds/cwt)
Water: 10% reduction by 2020 globally at our farms and facilities
Achieved
18% reduction in international normalized water use (gallons/cwt)
Water: 10% reduction by 2020 globally at our farms and facilities
Did Not Achieve
5% increase in U.S. normalized water use (gallons/cwt)
Our Goal: Shrink our environmental impact and eliminate waste.
Become carbon negative in all company-owned operations by 2030.
Reduce GHG emissions across our value chain 30% compared to a 2010 baseline by 2030.
Obtain 50% of electricity needs from renewable resources by 2030.
Proactively identify and prepare strategies to address and adapt to climate-related risks and opportunities.
In the United States, source at least 75% of grain grown with efficient fertilizer and soil health practices.
Reduce notices of violation (NOVs) to zero.
Solid Waste: Achieve a 75% reduction compared to a 2010 baseline and zero-waste-to-landfill certification at 75% of our U.S. facilities by 2025. Achieve 90% recyclable, reusable or industrially compostable consumer packaging by 2030. Halve virgin petroleum-based plastic use compared to a 2019 baseline by 2030.
Reappraise our entire U.S. water supply footprint and adopt internationally recognized water stewardship standards by 2025.
Portrait
We are aggressively pursuing ways to reduce our environmental footprint while creating value."
- Kraig Westerbeek, Smithfield Renewables

Our Innovative Environmental Initiatives

Our global environmental and water policies, as well as environmental management, measurement and compliance systems to monitor and report our activities, enhance operational efficiencies across our entire business. Our decisions are guided by the principles of pollution prevention and continuous improvement, and we provide consistent guidelines and training across operations. All our facilities (except new acquisitions and those where certification is not applicable) and all company-owned farms are International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001: 2015 certified, which is considered the gold standard of environmental management. 
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We are on course to eliminate the carbon footprint of company-owned operations across the U.S. and strongly reduce our Scope 1, 2 & 3 GHG emissions.


We also maintain robust, standardized internal auditing systems that ensure consistent environmental compliance across operations. Responsible management of our supply chain – from the farmers who grow our grain to the distribution and transportation systems that deliver our products to customers – are key to ensuring we provide consumers with high-quality foods produced responsibly. They also are integral to our efforts to reduce our GHG emissions 30% by 2030.

Celebrating Sustainability Achievements

In everything we do, we rely on employee insights to derive innovative solutions that increase efficiencies and lessen our impacts as we pursue our bold long-term targets.

Each year, our sustainability awards recognize the sizable achievements by Smithfield individuals or teams in six areas: community outreach, energy, packaging, training/education/ISO 14001, waste and water.

For example, in 2020, we recognized achievements in packaging and shipping that cut costs, carbon and waste replacing interfacility single-use cardboard cartons with reusable, folding plastic baskets (at Sioux City); consolidating and right-sizing product shipping cartons (at Burgaw); and increasing efficiency in refrigerated rack loads (Omaha).

We also annually present our Zero Hero Award to honor a colleague who made a significant contribution to our goal of 100% compliance through collaboration across our supply chain and stakeholders. In 2020, we recognized co-Zero Heroes: Charlie Prentice, environmental coordinator at our Kinston facility in North Carolina, who has maintained a zero NOV record for five years, and Dave Brennecke, senior environmental systems manager at our Missouri hog-production operation, who has achieved 100% compliance in each of his 10 years supervising land application operations over a 600 square-mile territory.

Our 2020 Sustainability Awards program celebrated substantial annual cost savings of approximately $7.3 million per year and annual environmental savings impacts tallied at:
  • Water use by 56.5 million gallons
  • Natural gas by 370,500 dekatherms (dth)
  • Electricity by 7.3 million kilo-watt hours (kWh)
  • Material to landfill by more than 83 million pounds

Efficiency at Our Facilities

Smithfield’s focus on efficiency extends to our more than 40 processing facilities across the United States and in Poland and Romania.

Reducing Energy Consumption

Protein production demands significant amounts of energy. Commensurate with our increased production volume, we have seen a 12% increase since 2015 of energy use at our U.S. farms and facilities. To support our carbon-negative target, we continuously look to optimize energy use in our operations. These include lighting retrofits at our farms and facilities and continuous improvements in equipment efficiency as well as control technologies for compressed air, refrigeration and boiler systems. In 2020, our Animex Starachowice location in Poland introduced a steam-energy reclamation process that repurposes thermal energy from the processing unit’s steam cycle to heat process water used for sanitation. The innovation reduces power production from coal, eliminating related carbon emissions and saving approximately $100,000 annually.

We also celebrated our first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver facility rating at our distribution center in North East, Maryland, which we anticipate will serve as a source of replicable environmental efficiency practices.

Reducing Water Use

As part of our commitment to being responsible water stewards, we proactively seek input from our employees, who continually drive innovation through practical adjustments to equipment and modifications to daily procedures at our facilities, where 67% of our water use occurs.

We installed a new tank, pumps and controls at our Godwin, North Carolina, facility to capture the condensate from our rendering cookers, efficiency improvements that resulted in annual wastewater reductions of more than 3 million gallons and natural gas use savings valued at more than $150,000.

At our Sioux Falls, South Dakota, facility, a new hot water storage tank is cutting water draw and disposal by hundreds of millions of gallons each year resulting in annual savings of nearly $1.5 million. And in Iowa, at our Denison facility, we reduced water use on our tray line, one of the larger users on the harvest floor, by more than 4 million gallons per year while continuing to meet U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspection requirements.

In 2020, our water use in the United States per 100 pounds of product increased 5% compared to our 2014 normalized baseline. Our absolute water use at our farms and facilities increased 12%, commensurate with our increased production volume.

Reducing Waste

In 2019, Smithfield committed to reduce overall solid waste to landfill by 75% and to certify three-quarters of our U.S. facilities as zero-waste-to-landfill by 2025. Two additional Smithfield facilities achieved certification in 2020, and another five began the certification process. Our U.S. operations sent 63% less material to landfill in 2020 compared to our 2010 production-weighted baseline. Year over year, we cut our waste to landfill by 14%.

In support of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, we also began to explore opportunities to close the gap between food waste and food security in our own operations, and systemically, in collaboration with global food retailers and foodservice providers.

In Romania, we minimized waste on our farms by repurposing materials to create heating pads to warm newborn piglets. Our Romanian team also adjusted foodservice in our employee lunchrooms to minimize the food waste we send to landfill by eliminating plastic foodservice containers.

Innovating in Sustainable Packaging

Increasingly, Smithfield’s customers and consumers want their food to come in packaging that is responsibly sourced and can be responsibly disposed of. Our 2030 goals acknowledge our responsibility to drive innovation to achieve 90% recyclable, reusable or industrially compostable consumer packaging and to cut our virgin petroleum-based plastic use in half.

Transforming food packaging while optimizing food quality and ensuring food safety is a complex undertaking. We plan to engage stakeholders across the packaging supply chain — including manufacturers; our internal food safety, quality and production teams; customers and consumers; technology teams; and recyclers — to find effective and cost-efficient solutions. We’ve also aligned with customer initiatives, such as Walmart’s project Gigaton, which aims to avoid 1 billion metric tons of GHGs from the global value chain by encouraging suppliers to set emissions reduction targets in six key areas including packaging. We are engaged in sustainable packaging initiatives through organizations such as the GEMI, where we are exploring industry-specific issues like how to recycle soiled plastics. In 2020, we also expanded our collaborations and joined the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, a leading voice on sustainable packaging in the United States.

Efficiency on Our Farms

At Smithfield, we are committed to protecting the environment on and around our hog farms through pollution prevention and continuous improvement. Increasingly, we are exploring emerging technologies that will, for example, let us count and weigh animals remotely or automate the measurement of lagoon levels.

Waste and Manure Management

We have long viewed manure and the nutrients it contains as valuable resources, and we continue to seek innovative approaches to reduce GHG emissions in our manure management practices. Our partnership with Anuvia™ Plant Nutrients, for example,supplies remnant solids from the bottom of anaerobic lagoons and basins that store and teat manure on our North Carolina farms to enrich SymTRX™, the company’s commercial-grade fertilizer. Our trained environmental technicians also systemically recycle the nutrients in manure as fertilizer to meet the individual nutrient needs of cropland on our farms in strict adherence with regulatory requirements.

We also recycle the nutrients in manure as fertilizer to cropland on our farms. Our trained environmental technicians recycle manure as fertilizer to meet the individual nutrient needs of each of our farms in strict adherence to regulatory requirements.

Water Stewardship 

The fragility of the globe’s water resources is increasingly evident, and the need for a coordinated response is increasingly urgent. Our Water Policy underlines our approach to protecting watersheds through quality management, conservation and cooperation with communities where we operate.

On our farms, water is used for pigs to drink and for sanitation, cooling and biosecurity. At our facilities, we use it for cooking and sanitation. As responsible water stewards, we are determined to substantially increase water-use efficiency and ensure sustainable use of this vital resource. Our efforts build on the work we undertook over a decade ago to understand water supplies across our entire footprint and develop stewardship plans through 2025 using the World Business Council for Sustainable Developments Global Water Tool and the Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI) Local Water Tool. To reach our new 2030 targets, we are evaluating water quality and supply availability in the watersheds where operations are located across our U.S. supply chain, including our company-owned and contract farms, our independent hog-farm supply and the corn crops we use for feed at our facilities. In parallel, we are consulting internationally recognized water stewardship collaborations to provide guidance on our long-term approach to water management.

Eliminating Food Waste Through Our Bakery Byproduct Program

Recycled feed stuffs, such as wheat midds left over from flour milling or spent grains from beer and whiskey production, have long been staples in the nutrient-dense feed we blend for our animals. We continued to expand our formulations to include byproducts from breads, snack foods and baked goods facilities. In 2020, we invested in specialized equipment in our feed mills that facilitate the efficient processing of difficult-to-recycle packaged bakery products, which otherwise would end up in landfill. The project has allowed us to transform byproducts that don’t meet the quality specifications for human consumption into high-value animal feed ingredients, diverting 23,000 tons of waste from landfill.

Environmental Management

At Smithfield, effective environmental management is critical to the success of our business and to the achievement of our long-term sustainability goals.Our Environmental Policy and Water Policy serve as the foundation for our efforts to minimize our impact on natural resources throughout our value chain.

Our environmental management system (EMS) helps us manage our environmental actions in a comprehensive, systematic, planned and documented manner and is aligned with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001 Standard. Smithfield was the first in our industry to have all farms and facilities certified to ISO 14001 (recent acquisitions will be certified in a timely manner).

ISO 14001 is considered the international gold standard for environmental management. To obtain certification, an organization must meet a rigorous and comprehensive set of requirements and criteria developed by more than 2,000 experts from around the world. It also requires independent audits by third parties.

Environmental Policy Statement

It is the corporate policy of Smithfield Foods, Inc. and its subsidiaries to conduct business in a manner consistent with continual improvement in regard to protecting the environment.
  • Smithfield Foods, Inc. is committed to protecting the environment through pollution prevention and continual improvement of our environmental practices, with recognition of process-related risk and opportunities associated with the needs and expectations of interested parties. We consider our activities, products and services, which may have significant environmental aspects in the scope of the EMS.
  • Smithfield Foods, Inc. seeks to demonstrate its responsible corporate citizenship by complying with relevant environmental legislation and regulations and with other requirements to which we subscribe. We will create, implement and periodically review appropriate environmental objectives and targets to improve sustainable development.
  • Under our leadership, protection of the environment is the responsibility of all Smithfield Foods, Inc. employees within the scope of the EMS.
  • Smithfield Foods, Inc. communicates this policy to persons within the scope of the EMS and makes it available to the public through its website and provides printed copies upon request.

Manure Management

At Smithfield, we are committed to protecting the environment on and around hog farms through pollution prevention and the continuous improvement of our practices and policies. We have long viewed manure and the nutrients it contains as valuable resources, not as a waste stream.

On company farms, we recycle nutrients in manure by applying manure as fertilizer on cropland. We have continued to explore ways to create value from manure through innovative technologies while reducing potential environmental impacts and maintaining our commitment to manage manure responsibly. For example, we are partnering with other companies to turn manure into energy and sustainable fertilizer. These projects are important parts of our plan to achieve our 30% greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reduction target.

Learn more: Manure Management FAQs

We get lots of questions about manure management. So, we answered the most common ones below.

Where does the hog manure go?
The manure goes into several types of treatment systems that vary depending on several factors, including the location and type of the farm. The majority of our hog-production operations use anaerobic treatment lagoons, which have been designed and certified by qualified professionals to treat and store the manure. Although the surfaces of the lagoons are exposed to the air, they are predominately anaerobic below the liquid surface. Lagoon sizes vary depending on the animal production on the farm. These lagoons allow the solids and the associated nutrients in the manure to break down naturally over a period of six to 12 months. Think of the lagoons as a “stomach” for a farm, where naturally occurring anaerobic organisms digest the materials. This treatment system can achieve up to 95% reductions in volatile solids and 85% reductions in biochemical oxygen demand (a common measure of the amount of oxygen necessary for bacteria to break down organic material in water). What remains is an anaerobically digested, low-solids effluent product that is highly suitable for use as an organic fertilizer and is land-applied for that purpose.

How are these treatment facilities managed?
Our EMS requires daily checks on the status of all lagoons, weekly inspections and regular internal audits. The results of all these efforts are recorded and reported to relevant agencies. We make sure that each companyowned farm has enough land available to utilize the manure to grow a variety of crops. Technical specialist staff prepare detailed and comprehensive nutrient management plans that specify the land area needed and types of crops to be grown. Land application systems are designed to ensure proper and precise application of these nutrients and are calibrated at regular intervals to maintain performance.

Are the treatment systems regulated?
The Federal Clean Water Act prohibits hog farms and other livestock operations from discharging manure or any wastewater to “waters of the state” at any time. All treatment systems require signoff from state regulators, based on compliance with federally established standards, when they are built. In addition, hog-production operations are regulated by state and/ or federal water quality permits. These permits not only make comprehensive nutrient management plans enforceable under law, but they also require that we keep extensive records demonstrating compliance. Government inspectors visit hog-production operations regularly (up to four times per year) to ensure compliance. Our internal requirements go well beyond regulatory compliance and recordkeeping; our EMS is certified to the ISO 14001 Standard, which is considered the international gold standard for environmental management.

Are there other location-specific regulations?
Yes. Local, state and federal setback requirements ensure that hog farms are located in areas that minimize impacts to neighbors as well as risks to local water sources. Setbacks vary, but examples include requiring farms to locate lagoons 500 feet from any public watersupply well and no less than 2,500 feet from schools, hospitals, parks and other public spaces.

Are the anaerobic lagoons the best system available?
We utilize a variety of manure management technologies, depending on regulatory requirements and regional climatic conditions. Anaerobic lagoons are the most prudent for use in certain geographic and climate conditions. We have invested millions of dollars over the past 15 years to evaluate different manure management technologies and will continue to monitor emerging technologies. In 2001, we sponsored research at North Carolina State University that analyzed 18 different treatment technologies; the researchers concluded that anaerobic lagoons are acceptable technology for existing North Carolina farms.

What other types of systems does Smithfield use?
Lagoons aren’t feasible in colder climates, so in these locations, farms use specialized storage systems to maximize the nutrient content of the liquid manure, which is known as slurry. The manure is stored in tanks or in-ground concrete pits for eventual application to crops as slurry.

How does Smithfield ensure that manure applied to fields won’t wash away with the rain?
Our farms apply the fertilizer at controlled application rates and only at times when ponding and/or runoff will not occur; detailed records of all applications are kept and inspected by state regulators. Employees must inspect the fields before, during and after manure application to make sure that no runoff occurs. In North Carolina, for example, operators carry pagers that alert them to developing weather events and are required to shut down land application when developing weather systems are within 30 minutes of the farm. This precipitation alert system has been used in North Carolina for several years.

Is it better for the environment to raise hogs outdoors?
While some outdoor systems disperse manure across large areas, many outdoor animal producers have little or no containment to control manure runoff during rainstorms. In addition, untreated manure is deposited on the ground all yearlong. Modern production systems have storage systems so that manure does not need to be applied during rainstorms or in seasons when crops are not growing. Additionally, hogs grown outdoors generally do not grow as efficiently as animals raised in more controlled environments. Any reduction in feed efficiency can increase overall GHG emissions.

How do you manage manure at your farms in Poland and Romania?
Our international farms follow manure management practices that are similar to those at our farms in the United States. Each farm uses a comprehensive nutrient management plan when applying manure as organic fertilizer to local farmland. These plans must identify available land, include agrochemical and pedological studies, inform regulators of the nutrient content of the fertilizer and evaluate the potential impacts that land application may have on local water bodies.

In Poland and Romania, each plan is approved by local authorities. Both plans include crop descriptions and projected yields, soil and manure test information and rates of application to balance with the crops’ fertilization needs. In addition, local and EU environmental regulations require our international hogproduction operations to maintain Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control permits, which require strict application practices, groundwater monitoring and soil quality analyses throughout the year.

Responsible Grain Production

With more than 15 billion pounds of feed consumed by Smithfield’s animals each year, maximizing grain-production efficiencies is an important way we can reduce our Scope 3 GHG emissions. We work alongside grain farmers in our supply chain, providing information and advice to improve fertilizer usage and soil health practices that boost farm sustainability and improve crop yields. Our seed programs have been successful in diversifying the grain supply we need to feed our animals and in providing our suppliers with stable and sustainable incomes. Grain farmers who partner with us purchase seed through Smithfield at discounted prices in exchange for a contracted portion of their crop. In 2020, more than 600 grain growers participated in our seed and agronomic cost-share programs, providing us with a source of 4.5 million bushels of corn, 3.3 million bushels of wheat and 700,000 bushels of non-genetically modified organism (GMO) soybeans. At the end of 2020, we engaged approximately 530,000 acres on efficient fertilizer and soil health practices. This surpasses our target of 75%, initially set for and achieved in 2018.

We also expanded the impact of our partnership with the North Carolina Agricultural Consultants Association (NCACA), which in its second year reached enrollment of approximately 6,300 acres. NCACA member consultants, whom we subsidize through the program, act as an extension of our in-house agronomic services to provide affordable, independent hands-on advice to farmers in exchange for contracting a portion of their crop to us.

We further augmented our support to grain farmers through a partnership with Granular Insights, a leading farm management software platform. The platform, Granular Insights with Directed Scouting, uses satellite imagery to monitor fields, allowing farmers to promptly identify and resolve problems that can reduce crop yields. Eight farmers managing 3,000 acres in North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina and Virginia participated in the inaugural year of our partnership.

Sustainability Awards

Our Sustainability Awards annually recognize achievements by individuals or teams in six areas: community outreach, energy, packaging, training/education/ISO 14001, waste and water.

2020 Chief Sustainability Officer’s Excellence Award -  Recognizes a facility for achieving significant water and cost savings through utilization of teamwork including management, engineering, maintenance, production, quality and sanitation.

Sioux City, Iowa
Replaced cardboard boxes with reusable, folding plastic baskets for intrafacility product shipments eliminating waste equating to an estimated 3,358 trees per year, reducing GHG emissions during transportation and providing annual savings of $279,000.

2020 Zero Hero Award - Recognizing a colleague who has demonstrated excellence in sustainable practices and made a significant contribution to our goal of 100% compliance. In 2020, we recognized co-Zero Heroes. Charlie Prentice, Environmental Coordinator, Kinston, North Carolina Maintained a zero NOV record for the past five years.

Charlie Prentice, Environmental Coordinator, Kinston, North Carolina
Maintained a zero NOV record for the past five years

Dave Brennecke, Senior Environmental Systems Manager, Hog Production Missouri Region
Achieved 100% compliance in his 10 years supervising land application operations

2020 Sustainability Award – Community
Hog Production, Warsaw, North Carolina Planted 12 acres of pollinator forage at the Holmes farm in North Carolina to attract native bees to pollinate crops

2020 Sustainability Award – Energy
Omaha, Nebraska
Increased row-stacking heights on shipping pallets, increasing efficiency at distribution centers and reducing refrigeration and fuel consumption for annual savings of more than $225,000

Carroll, Iowa
Replaced air compressors with new high-efficiency models, with a return on investment of approximately 16 months, annual savings of more than $30,000 and energy savings of close to 400,000 kWh

Starachowice, Poland
Utilized steam energy from processing to heat water, reducing coal consumption and related carbon emissions and saving more than $100,000 annually

2020 Sustainability Award – Packaging
Burgaw, North Carolina
Redesigned and consolidated packaging box size, decreasing cardboard use by 12% and saving close to $23,000 annually

2020 Sustainability Award – Training
Tar Heel, North Carolina (Distribution Center)
Introduced training for personnel involved with ammonia refrigeration systems and release response, providing drills and Q&As related to real-life scenarios to ensure safety and regulatory compliance

Smithfield Premium Genetics
Biosecurity situational training using a weekly series of experience generated “what if” scenarios to develop analytical and decision making capabilities

2020 Sustainability Award – Waste
Sioux City, Iowa
Also the winner of our Chief Sustainability Officer’s Excellence Award

Hermosillo, Mexico*
Utilized magnetic and nanotechnology properties of advance lubricants to improve equipment performance while reducing downtime and related lost product, resulting in water-use reduction of 5,200 gallons and electricity reductions of 10.1 kWh per year

2020 Sustainability Award – Water
Cudahy, Wisconsin
Modified pickle content determination methodology, reducing about approximately 1% of pickle – over 540,000 pounds per year – as well as waste use and related wastewater treatment chemicals

Denison, Iowa
Introduced process efficiencies to the tray line, a large water user, saving more than 4 million gallons and $32,000 per year

Hog Production North Region
Implemented gray water use for early stages of wean-to-finish barn cleaning and sanitizing, saving 27.7 million gallons of ground water and about $141,000 per year


*Data from our joint venture in Hermosilla, Mexico, is not included in this report. 

Transportation and Logistics

Smithfield’s logistics network of nearly 6,500 company-owned and third-party trucks logs more than 3 million miles each week — transporting animals from farms and moving products to customers. Reducing the miles we drive throughout our operations is critical to cutting our carbon emissions.

We launched our first-ever hybrid trailer program, consisting of 34 electric hybrid trailers and 30 charging stations, at our Vernon, California, facility in 2020. Between program launch in August and year-end, we used approximately 18,000 hours of electric power, saving more than 9,000 gallons of diesel and nearly $33,000.

Through our logistics optimization initiative, we are reducing the number of regional distribution centers and enhancing transportation routes to be shorter and more efficient. Our efforts reduce distance traveled each year by approximately 11.2 million miles and reduce diesel consumption by 1.6 gallons, equating to an annual GHG emission reduction of nearly 13,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).

Our shift to lighter, more fuel-efficient trucks has also resulted in savings among our third-party haulers. In 2020, this program eliminated approximately 6,200 loads to reduce miles driven by 1.5 million and fuel use by 225,000 gallons, which cut GHG emissions by approximately 1,800 metric tons of CO2e and returned savings of more than $675,000.

Since 2004, we have partnered with the U.S. Environment Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) SmartWay program, applying its systematic measure and benchmark tools to continuously improve transportation efficiency across our supply chain.

Water Policy Statement

Water is an essential natural resource for our business and our communities. Consistent with Smithfield’s commitment to environmental stewardship, we place high priority on the conservation and protection of this critical resource.

Throughout all aspects of our business worldwide, Smithfield will strive to reduce the impacts of our operations on water resources and to protect and sustain the water supply for our communities and our business.

Smithfield will take a leadership role in managing water supplies cooperatively with our communities. The 2010 United Nations General Assembly Resolution recognizes the right to a safe and sufficient water supply, and wherever we operate, Smithfield will help ensure the sustainability of this essential resource.

As part of this commitment, Smithfield will implement proactive management systems that direct this effort throughout the Company, adhering to the following principles:
  1. Quality. As Smithfield manages and utilizes our water resources, we aim to preserve and enhance the quality of these resources for our communities and our operations. Sustaining water quality is an ongoing management priority and is incorporated into our planning and day-to-day operations.
  2. Conservation and Efficiency. Smithfield will manage our water supply, mindful that it is a finite resource, and will preserve its quantity and availability to the community and our operations. Smithfield will strive to constantly improve the efficient use of its water supply. We will maintain targets for decreased consumption and cost, pursue best practices and track progress to evaluate performance over time.
  3. Cooperation. We will work with our local communities and regulatory agencies to manage water resources. As a company, Smithfield is committed to complying with all regulatory mandates as we utilize water supplies. The Company will maintain transparency and open communication with the community.
Smithfield is committed to protect and enhance the environment. Likewise, as a company, we will be responsible stewards of water supplies and partners with our communities to ensure the sustainability of the resource.

Zero Waste to Landfill

At Smithfield, we pride ourselves on our ability to produce more food with fewer resources and less waste. Simply put, any materials sent to landfill represent lost opportunities for optimizing resources and reducing waste. Being more efficient saves money, gives us a competitive edge and enables us to meet our commitment to responsible operations.

Currently, Smithfield has nearly a quarter of its U.S. facilities certified as “zero waste to landfill” and has plans to certify many more facilities within the next few years. For more than five years, the company has worked to meet a rigorous set of criteria for its domestic facilities to be classified as zero waste to landfilll, including:
  • Not sending any waste to landfill for 12 months
  • Cutting normalized waste by at least 10% from the facility baseline
  • Reusing or recycling at least 50% of generated waste
  • Limiting incineration without energy recovery to hazardous and medical wastes
  • Reducing stabilized and landfilled hazardous waste to 0.1% of waste generated
  • Ensuring waste management costs do not exceed 105% of baseline costs
  • Maintaining records to be reviewed by staff and/or a third-party auditors

Environment Spotlights

Smithfield has pioneered long-term solutions to decrease our environmental footprint for more than two decades.

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Environment

Conserving Water on Our Farms Through Reuse

Two-thirds of water used on our farms support essential sanitation procedures in and around our barns.

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Environment

Diamond Spring Wind Site

Smithfield invested in Diamond Spring's 112-turbine wind site in south central Oklahoma which will deliver up to 15% of our U.S. energy through...

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Environment

We joined the Sustainable Packaging Coalition

The leading voice on sustainable packaging with members across the entire supply chain.

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Environment

Where We Use Water

67% – Facilities for cooking and sanitation
33% – Farms for consumption, cooling, biosecurity and sanitation

Our 2020 Sustainability Report outlines our efforts to make a lasting impact in our process and policies. It is a wide-reaching view of how we want to hold ourselves to the highest standards.

Download the report