Today's challenges require bold actions.
Stewart and Kraig observing machinery

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 value chain, reduce waste and improve our energy and water efficiency. Our actions create value for our planet, business and stakeholders. 

Our Environmental Commitments

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.

Environment

At Smithfield Foods, “good” doesn’t stop with our products - it’s in everything we do. From our bold goal to be carbon negative in our U.S. operations by 2030 to our promises to reduce solid waste sent to landfill and water and energy use across our operations, we’re not just producing good food - we're doing good for our environment.

International Certifications

Smithfield was the first in our industry to certify 100% of our farms and facilities to ISO 14001, and we continue to certify new acquisitions in a timely manner.

Innovating to Reduce Climate Impact

We are pioneering innovative initiatives to produce carbon-negative renewable natural gas and sustainable fertilizer.

Reducing Waste

Through various projects, we’re proactively reducing food waste and overall waste sent to landfills in our operations.

Our Goals And Targets

Our Environment Goal: Reduce natural resource demand; 100% compliance, 100% of the time.
Reduce GHG emissions across our U.S. value chain by 30% by 2030 compared to a 2010 baseline.
On Track
Become carbon negative in all company-owned operations in the U.S. by 2030.
On Track
Obtain 50% of electricity needs from renewable resources by 2030.
On Track
Proactively identify and prepare strategies to address and adapt to climate-related risks and opportunities.
On Track
Achieve a 75% reduction in solid waste compared to a 2010 baseline and ZWTL certification at 75% of our U.S. facilities by 2025.
Needs Improvement
Achieve 90% recyclable, reusable or industrially compostable consumer packaging by 2030.
On Track
Reappraise our entire U.S. water supply footprint and adopt internationally recognized water stewardship standards by 2025.
On Track
Halve virgin petroleum-based plastic use compared to a 2019 baseline by 2030.
On Track
Halve food loss and waste by 2030.
On Track
Reduce NOVs to zero.
On Track
We are aggressively pursuing ways to reduce our environmental footprint while creating value."
- Kraig Westerbeek, Vice President of Smithfield Renewables





 

Smithfield Renewables

We launched our Smithfield Renewables platform in 2017 to unify the various carbon reduction and renewable energy efforts we’ve implemented across our value chain on our farms, in our manufacturing facilities and in our distribution network. Projects in our Renewables platform are designed to make our business more sustainable and accelerate progress toward our industry-leading commitments: to reduce absolute GHG emissions across our entire U.S. value chain 25% by 2025, 30% by 2030 and to become carbon negative in our U.S. company-owned operations by 2030.


The program focuses on four areas in our operations we can reduce environmental impact while increasing production: manure management; grain farms and feed milling; processing, transportation and non-grain; and consumer, retail and food waste.


Our innovative manure-to-energy program is the hallmark of our Renewables platform. Additional projects include regenerative agriculture initiatives, feed efficiency programs, renewable electricity purchases, zero-waste-to-landfill initiatives, reduced packaging and waste programs, water conservation efforts and initiatives to streamline transportation, manufacturing and facility logistics – plus more.


Through industry partnerships across our value chain, our Renewables projects are generating shared value for the environment, family farmers and businesses through economies of scale that make our environmental stewardship efforts economically feasible.

Smithfield Renewables Projects

Turning Manure Into Energy: How It Works

Capturing Manure From Barns

Hogs are raised in climate-controlled barns with easy access to food and water. The manure they generate, which falls through slatted barn floors to keep animal pens clean, is temporarily stored in concrete pits below. Underground pipes transfer the manure — including nitrogen, phosphorus and other nutrients — to specifically designed structures on the property for storage and treatment.

Anaerobic Treatment at Work

The naturally occurring bacteria in anaerobic treatment systems break down the solids and associate nutrients in manure over a period of six to 12 months. What remains is a low-solids effluent product that is highly suitable for use as an organic fertilizer. By covering the lagoons/digesters, we can also capture the biogas they emit as part of the anaerobic digestion process.

From Biomass to RNG

RNG, sometimes called biomethane, is a pipelinequality gas derived from biomass — organic matter that can be used as fuel. RNG combines the environmental benefits of renewables with the reliability of natural gas to provide energy 24/7, 365 days a year, and can be used on demand to fuel vehicles and meet the real-time needs of homes, businesses, utilities and manufacturers.

Manure Management

We’re making existing hog farms across America more sustainable by transforming hog manure into clean, renewable fuel. Covered lagoons or digesters on our hog farms treat manure, then capture and remove methane and convert it into renewable natural gas. The resulting biogas is transported to a central location and injected into existing pipelines to power communities. 

Our manure-to-energy projects displace 25 times more greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere than are released by the resulting clean energy during consumer use, making them carbon beneficial.

Grain and Feed Milling

Over the last two decades we’ve reduced the amount of feed needed to raise our animals through feed efficiency programs and improvements in genetics, nutrition and management. We’re also undertaking additional efforts in our supply chain to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with our sizeable grain purchases. Through our SmithfieldGro program, our staff agronomists have helped farmers in our domestic supply chain develop site-specific methods that optimize fertilizer use and minimize related runoff. Our SmithfieldGro program has implemented sustainable farming practices on over 1 million acres of U.S. farmland to date.

Processing, Transportation and Non-Grain

We are implementing new energy efficiency initiatives, including refrigeration, boiler and other equipment projects at our processing facilities. We’re also working to reduce waste, optimize product packaging and decrease our environmental footprint through projects and commitments to:

-Reduce overall waste sent to landfills by certifying 75% of our U.S. facilities zero-waste-to-landfill by 2025.

-Halve our use of virgin petroleum-based plastic by 2030. 

-Source 50% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2030. 

-Conduct a watershed and water-use analysis across our operations to ensure sustainable sourcing and practices companywide. 

-Reduce diesel consumption and the distance we travel for distribution by roughly 11 million miles per year. 

-Turn wastewater into renewable natural gas at select facilities across the U.S. 

Consumer, Retail and Food Waste

While we have limited control over how consumers prepare our products, we are focusing our GHG reduction efforts in this area on producing more on-trend shelf-stable, pre-cooked foods with smaller portion sizes, which tend to reduce consumer energy use and minimize food waste. We’ve also committed to halve food loss and waste within our own operations and aim to achieve consumer packaging that is 90% recyclable, reusable or industrially compostable by 2030.
 

To reach our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions across our entire supply chain 25% by 2025, we created Smithfield Renewables. This platform unifies, leads and accelerates our carbon reduction and renewable energy efforts.




Our Real Carbon Footprint

The methane and GHG emissions associated with agriculture and food production have received significant attention in recent years. In the United States, however, just 9% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to agriculture; 4% are attributable to all of livestock and just 0.4% are attributable to pigs. This is because animal processing companies like Smithfield are actually working to pioneer climate solutions. Learn more about our real carbon footprint in the video below.  

Download the 2021 Report

Download the report