Smithfield Foods has issued a new set of sustainability targets, after surpassing or achieving many of its previous targets set in 2010 in areas that include animal care, environment, employees, food safety, and helping communities.
"It's always gratifying to meet the targets that were established as part of our journey toward becoming the most responsible company in the food industry," said Dennis H. Treacy, Smithfield's executive vice president and chief sustainability officer. "It's exciting to consider that each updated or renewed target takes us even further."
Smithfield is updating targets across all pillars of its sustainability program to align with current performance and its new company organization. The new targets include:
- In animal care, completing conversion to group housing systems for pregnant sows on U.S. company-owned farms by the end of 2017, and completing conversion to group housing systems for pregnant sows on U.S. contract farms and in joint ventures worldwide by 2022;
- In employee safety, achieve annual Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred (DART) results better than the general industry average;
- In environmental stewardship, achieve 10 percent reduction in normalized water use and solid waste to landfill by 2020 and 5 percent reduction in normalized energy use and GHG emissions, from a 2014 baseline; and
- In community involvement, each facility must participate in at least four community events per year, as well as maintain the company's ongoing Learners to Leaders and Helping Hungry Homes programs.
Treacy noted that, "It's been nearly 15 years since we launched our industry-leading sustainability program. I'm proud to say that sustainability has become a way of life for us, and our successes companywide demonstrate Smithfield's commitment to producing Good food. Responsibly."
Among the targets achieved by Smithfield over the past few years:
- In animal care, as of December 31, 2014, 71.4 percent of Smithfield's company-owned farms housed pregnant sows in group systems;
- In employee safety, the company beat the total rate of injuries for all industries (not just the meat industry), with a 5 percent reduction in 2014 in all incident rates over 2013;
- In environmental stewardship, Smithfield reduced (normalized) water use by more than 18 percent, normalized solid waste to landfills by nearly 41 percent, and normalized greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 9.6 percent. This equates to the water used by nearly 5.8 million Americans in one day, the annual energy use of over 160 American households, and the annual waste generation of nearly 51,000 Americans.
- In food safety, the company had no product recalls in the United States during 2014; and
- In community involvement, the company donated over 65 million servings of food through its Helping Hungry Homes program since 2008.