Smithfield Foods, Inc. recognized select facilities and employees for efforts in 2015 that led the company to achieve success across its sustainability pillars: Animal Care, Environment, Food Safety & Quality, Helping Communities, and People. Smithfield recognized the winners last week at its annual Environmental and Sustainability Excellence Awards program.

The facilities selected for the awards program helped the company save more than 327 million gallons of water, more than 18 million kilowatts of electricity, more than 9 million dekatherms of natural gas and reduced more than 40 million pounds of solid waste generation in 2015. In addition to these achievements, employees gave over 5,500 volunteer hours to charitable causes.

"Our dedicated facilities and people continue to spark influential change across the company," said Stewart Leeth, vice president of regulatory affairs and chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods. "Their efforts exemplify the innovative approach behind Smithfield's sustainability program and make us leaders in our industry."

Smithfield executives presented nine Environmental and Sustainability Excellence Awards and one President's Award during the Environmental and Sustainability Excellence Awards ceremony, which is part of a larger training conference designed to further engage employees in Smithfield's sustainability efforts. The full program included a boot camp and breakout sessions as well as presentations from Smithfield leadership that covered a variety of topics from air quality to charitable giving.

The winners are:


President’s Award

  • Kinston, N.C. — Identified wastewater challenges and implemented a solution, saving $2.7 million per year and improving water quality.

Environment and Sustainability Excellence Awards

  • Milan, Mo. — Replaced disposable cardboard combination containers with re-usable plastic containers, saving the facility almost $250,000 while reducing solid waste generation.
  • Charlotte, N.C. — Implemented a new recycling program for a Charlotte food-waste project, saving the facility almost $35,000, and reducing energy use and solid waste generation.
  • Springdale, Ohio — Developed an in-house team to address and reduce water usage by 265,000 gallons per year, saving more than $100,000 and improving the city's water quality.
  • Duplin Marketing — Installed innovative water meters, reducing water consumption by 24 percent and energy use by 12 percent and saving more than $15,000.
  • Clinton, N.C. — Partnered with Polytech, a waste water treatment polymer vendor, to install a three-part polymer system to decrease water pollution, achieving more than $330,000 in cost savings.
  • Algona, Iowa — Created a web page to replace separate, difficult-to-manage Excel files for complex Manure Management Plans for more than 570 contract growers, saving more than $300,000.
  • Tar Heel, N.C. — Created an in-house continued education program for water treatment operators, saving more than $10,000 in off-site expenses.
  • Sioux Falls, S.D. — Developed a program that provides demo-ready data for all community outreach activities that have positively affected their community and garnered media attention.
  • Hermosillo, Mexico — Worked hand-in-hand with the Bacoachi mayor and the community to find a waste disposal solution, reducing waste by 344,000 pounds per year.