Smithfield Renewables will “unify, lead and accelerate” the $15 billion company’s so-called “innovative and trailblazing” projects on carbon reduction and renewable energy, the business said.
Kraig Westerbeek has been named first senior director of Smithfield Renewables. He will report to Smithfield Foods’ chief sustainability officer Stewart Leeth.
One of the most challenging goals for Westerbeek will be to ensure Smithfield Foods stays on target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a quarter by 2050.
Turning pig manure into energy
“Smithfield has long led the industry in sustainability and its environmental commitments," Westerbeek said in a press statement.
"Smithfield Renewables will ensure we continue to lead in this arena by further sharpening our focus on programs that help us reduce our carbon footprint and recycle energy more efficiently."
Projects to power Smithfield’s renewable energy initiatives on farms and factories will be evaluated by Westerbeek and an advisory committee, which he will chair.
CEO’s ‘bold’ environmental agenda
These programmes include upgrading refrigeration, boilers and other large-scale machinery items to bring in energy-efficient models, bring down climate-harming emissions.
On farms, Smithfield is already exploring how it can convert pig manure into feed fertilizer or renewable energy sources.
Westerbeek’s job will be to ensure these myriad projects stay on track and on budget for Smithfield, which claims to be the world’s largest pork processor.
Upon creation of the new business unity, Kenneth Sullivan, CEO of Smithfield Foods, said: "At Smithfield Foods, we are known for producing good food responsibly and our bold environmental commitments. By launching Smithfield Renewables, we are better positioned to achieve these goals and continue setting pioneering environmental programs."