On the heels of Earth Day, Cargill has renewed its commitment to conserve resources in four goal areas — energy efficiency, greenhouse gas intensity, renewable energy and freshwater efficiency.

Among other things, the company has built itself around the following ideas:

  • Alternative energy resources: More than 80 Cargill facilities generate power from more than 10 renewable resources such as sawdust, hulls from sunflower seeds and cocoa beans and sugar cane bagasse. These systems help limit the use of fossil fuels and reduce associated GHG emissions. At its beef and pork plants, for example, Cargill reclaims methane from its waste water lagoons and turns it into biogas to fuel its plant boilers. Biogas now displaces up to 30% of natural gas demand at 11 of Cargill's North American meat processing plants. This renewable energy represents almost 20% of these facilities' total energy consumption.
  • Behavior-based energy management: Cargill is implementing behavior-based energy savings programs, a system which engages employees in recognizing and eliminating energy inefficiencies. A Cargill corn processing plant in Turkey was recognized by the Turkish government for its energy management program that includes web-based management of power consumption.
  • Freshwater efficiency: Cargill is working to reduce freshwater consumption through behavioral, procedural and technical changes at its facilities. Cargill's malt plant in Spiritwood, N.D., is saving 264 million gallons of water a year through behavioral, procedural and technical changes to prevent overflows and improve awareness and education. In addition, over 24 months, Cargill's poultry facility in London, Ontario, Canada, reduced freshwater consumption by 28% by recycling the water used for cooling and rinsing. 

Cargill's environmental efforts also include supporting carbon trading markets, working in partnership with global NGOs and investing in alternative energy initiatives.