“Continuous improvement never ends, so efficiency has to improve," said Dr. Marty Matlock, executive director of the University of Arkansas Office for Sustainability and professor of Ecological Engineering, during his presentation at the Animal Agriculture Sustainability Summit held during 2017 IPPE. He continued, "If we want to do things better, we need to focus on certain areas, including water use and quality, soil erosion and land use, energy use, nutrient use efficiency, manure from farms, as well as other areas. Implementation is the key. We have to change things,”

Matlock’s presentation, “What is Sustainable Agriculture and How Do You Demonstrate It,” focused on expanding opportunities for stakeholder engagement and sharing improvement technologies and practices. Matlock explained key performance, environmental sustainability, social sustainability and economic sustainability indicators. He remarked, “After identifying measurable elements in each indicator, you will know what is already measured, what can be measured and what should be measured. The common measurements in the sector will be classified as system metrics for benchmarking.”

Michele Boney, director of environmental, health and safety, West Liberty Foods, gave a presentation on “An Industry Success Story on Achieving Zero Landfill Status.” She discussed the company’s journey in obtaining Landfill Free certification. Boney noted that West Liberty Foods previously produced 7.5 million pounds of waste that went to landfills annually, comparable to 312 garbage trucks. Since 2012, West Liberty Foods has diverted 520,000,000 pounds of waste from landfills. She remarked that the company is continuing to work on projects that support their sustainability initiatives, such as baler versus compacting that would reduce trucks on the road, utilizing solar and/or wind power, and working with their electrical company to find solutions on energy projects.

Jack Scott, head of contract manufacturing and head of sustainability for Nestle Purina PetCare, presented on “Striving to Become More Sustainable: Establishing Value Chain Partnerships to Grow Purina’s Sustainability Culture.” Scott discussed the company’s decision to invest in long-term sustainability drivers, such as advocating for whole animal use to prevent food waste and negative impacts on the environment, as well as supporting agricultural technology to optimize productivity, protect the environment and to feed the growing population.