Hormel Foods Reduces Water Use by 30 Million Gallons

Hormel Foods, the manufacturer of well-known brands such as Dinty Moore and Farmer John, released its fifth CSR report this week. The Austin, Minnesota based company with over 19,500 employees worldwide was named as one of the Best Places to Work for New College Grads by Experience, Inc. Hormel was on the 25 Best Manufacturing Companies to Sell For by Selling Power magazine as part of its annual ranking of The 50 Best Companies to Sell For. The company was also named as one of “The 100 Most Trustworthy Companies” by Forbes for financial transparency and conservative accounting practices.

“With our unwavering commitment to corporate responsibility, Hormel Foods continues to ‘Elevate the Everyday, Our Way’,” said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and CEO at Hormel Foods. “Through continuous improvement, we endeavor to reduce our impact on the environment, act responsibly and provide value to our shareholders as we plan for the future.”

Some of the highlights of the report include reduce water and energy use, reduced solid waste sent to landfills, and reduced product packaging:

  • Water use
    Reduced water use by 30 million gallons since 2009, and saved 125 million gallons.

  • Energy use
    Although indirect energy consumption increased nine percent in 2010 compared to 2006 level, direct energy consumption decreased by six percent compared to 2006 levels. The goal is to reduce energy use at U.S. manufacturing facilities by 10 percent by the end of 2011 using 2006 as a benchmark. The company plans to continue to emphasize energy conservation throughout the organization.
  • Solid waste
    Reduced solid waste sent to landfills by 28 percent compared to 2006 levels. The goal for this year is to reduce solid waste sent to landfills by 10 percent with 2006 as a benchmark. The goal for solid waste recycling is to increase to 50 percent of total waste by November 2011 2006 as a benchmark. In 2010, solid waste recycling was 41 percent of total waste compared to 38 percent in 2009.
  • Air emissions
    Although the goal is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at U.S. manufacturing facilities by 10 percent by the end of 2014 using 2009 as a benchmark, GHG emissions increased by 0.5 percent in 2010.
  • Package minimization
    Reduced packaging by 5.6 million pounds last year, exceeding the goal to reduce packaging by three million pounds a year, and completed 68 packaging reduction projects.

Hormel’s Iowa plant achieves LEED Gold certification

Hormel’s Dubuque, Iowa Progressive Processing LLC production plant achieved LEED Gold certification last year. The plant, which opened on January 25, 2010, produces Hormel Compleats microwave meals, Hormel and Valley Fresh chunk chicken. The 348,000 square foott plant uses at least 25 percent less energy and water, and was built with materials containing over 36 percent recycled content.

The Iowa plant features lighting controls that monitor the amount of light needed. There are skylights in non-refrigerated areas of the plant, and multilevel lighting provides natural light and reduces energy use.

“We are very proud of the fact that Progressive Processing is LEED Gold certified, which sets a new standard for the food industry,” said Ettinger. “When we decided to open Progressive Processing, we saw an opportunity to build a state-of-the-art sustainable facility that aligns with our strong commitment to corporate responsibility.”

Gina-Marie Cheeseman

Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by Mashable.com.

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