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Smithfield makes greenhouse gas emissions pledge

By Aidan Fortune , 07-Dec-2016
Last updated on 07-Dec-2016 at 10:22 GMT2016-12-07T10:22:45Z

Smithfield is working to improve soil health and fertiliser efficiency
Smithfield is working to improve soil health and fertiliser efficiency

US pork processor Smithfield Foods has announced plans to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25% by 2025. 

If achieved, this will reduce GHG emissions by more than four million metric tons, equivalent to 900,000 cars.

The processor has worked with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to achieve this goal. The reduction will be measured from a 2010 baseline.

In its grain supply chain, Smithfield is collaborating with EDF to improve fertiliser efficiency and soil health, which will reduce nitrous oxide emissions from grain farms.

On its hog farms, Smithfield will incorporate renewable energy and reuse projects that utilise technology such as anaerobic digesters and lagoon covers. It aims to install these technologies on at least 30% of company-owned farms. The business pledges to continue to adopt measures that improve animal efficiency, resulting in improved feed conversion and productivity, while reducing carbon emissions.

At its processing facilities, Smithfield will continue to improve energy efficiency through refrigeration, boiler and other equipment upgrades. Smithfield is planning to optimise its logistics network to better manage its animal and product transportation while reducing fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

“We are proud to lead the industry and set another first by launching an endeavour that is both environmentally beneficial and economically feasible,” said Kenneth M Sullivan, president and chief executive officer for Smithfield Foods. “While we will have unique challenges meeting this goal as the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer, our size and scale also means that, if successful, we can make a significant, positive impact. Our mission is to produce ‘Good food. Responsibly.’ This announcement is yet another acknowledgement of our commitment to doing just that.”

Fred Krupp, EDF president, said: “There is much work ahead for Smithfield to reach its goal. Success will require collaboration with farmers and others in the agricultural industry. We encourage companies to follow Smithfield’s leadership to make ambitious commitments to improve air and water quality. It’s important that the private sector plays a role in protecting our natural resources.”