Smithfield Foods Wins World Sustainability Award for Innovative Manure-to-Energy Programs

Smithfield's renewable natural gas programs receive 'Profit with a Purpose' award for demonstrating sustainability and profitability are not mutually exclusive


October 14, 2021

World Sustainability Awards 2021 Logo

SMITHFIELD, Va., Oct. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Smithfield Foods, Inc., a vertically integrated food company and the world's largest pork processor, is honored to receive the World Sustainability Awards' (WSA) prestigious "Profit with a Purpose" award. The company is recognized for aligning sustainability and profitability through its innovative renewable natural gas (RNG) programs, which significantly reduce carbon emissions by converting methane from hog manure into clean energy for consumers while presenting new revenue opportunities for family farmers.

Smithfield was selected following a rigorous three-stage judging process and was announced the winner during a virtual awards ceremony Oct. 13. In addition to the "Profit with a Purpose" award, Smithfield received a "Highly Commendable" honorable mention in the WSA's 'External Partnership' category for its collaboration with a leading environmental organization to assist farmers in its supply chain with implementing sustainable farming practices.

After years of research, investments and trialing, Smithfield arrived at an innovative method to implement RNG technology on its farms that generates value for the company and stakeholders across its value chain. Smithfield's RNG projects are notably reducing carbon emissions across America, removing 25 times more greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the atmosphere than are released during the resulting RNG's end use to power communities and fuel transportation vehicles. In many cases, the technology creates economic opportunity for family farmers who raise hogs by turning one of their biggest costs, manure management, into a new revenue source.

"We're honored to receive this prestigious global recognition and are immensely proud of our efforts to meet the world's growing demand for food in a sustainable way," said Stewart Leeth, chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods. "As a leader in the food and agriculture industries, Smithfield has worked to ingrain sustainability across its value chain over the last two decades. Through our RNG and agronomics programs, we are responsibly utilizing our resources, expertise and market access to amplify proven technologies that benefit the environment and simultaneously foster growth for us and our partners, suppliers and communities."

The company's RNG program is the cornerstone of its Smithfield Renewables platform, developed to accelerate Smithfield's progress toward realizing its industry leading carbon reduction goals. In 2016, Smithfield became the first major protein company to adopt a far-reaching GHG emissions reduction goal across its value chain – 25% by 2025. The company has since pledged to become carbon negative in its U.S. company-owned operations and reduce GHG emissions 30 percent across its U.S. value chain by 2030.

Smithfield's biogas joint ventures with Roeslein Alternative Energy (RAE) and Dominion Energy (Align RNG) are projected to collectively produce a combined 5.3 mil dekatherms of RNG, the equivalent of removing 630,000 vehicles from the world's roads.

The World Sustainability Awards are presented by Sustainability Leaders, a global network designed to accelerate cross-functional sustainability initiatives and World 50, a private community for senior-most executives to foster collaborative discovery free from press, competition and solicitation.

More information about Smithfield's holistic sustainability program and carbon reduction efforts is available in the company's 2020 Sustainability Impact Report and on its website.

About Smithfield Foods, Inc.
Headquartered in Smithfield, Va. since 1936, Smithfield Foods, Inc. is an American food company with agricultural roots and a global reach. Our 63,000 team members are dedicated to producing "Good food. Responsibly.®" and have made Smithfield one of the world's leading vertically integrated protein companies. We have pioneered sustainability standards for more than two decades, including our industry-leading commitments to become carbon negative in U.S. company-owned operations and reduce GHG emissions 30 percent across our entire U.S. value chain by 2030. We believe in the power of protein to end food insecurity and have donated hundreds of millions of food servings to our communities. Smithfield boasts a portfolio of high-quality iconic brands, such as Smithfield®, Eckrich® and Nathan's Famous®, among many others. For more information, visit, and connect with us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.



SOURCE Smithfield Foods, Inc.

Download the PDF