Hormel Beats Water Goal A Year Early

by | May 17, 2011

Spam manufacturer Hormel Foods has beat its water goal one year early, though indirect electricity use and indirect greenhouse gas emissions are both up, according to the company’s 2010 Corporate Responsibility Report.

Hormel, which also makes products under the Country Crock, Jennie-O, Dinty Moore and Chi-Chi’s brands, cut water consumption by 11 percent from 2006 to 2010. Its goal was a ten percent reduction by the end of fiscal year 2011.

To achieve the reduction, Hormel incorporated new equipment designs and process modifications, including closed-loop water recycling systems to cool microwave transmitters, ammonia compressors and packaging machines. In Knoxville, Iowa, the system also captures waste heat to reduce the amount of natural gas being used to preheat boiler feed water and generate hot water to the plant.

The company also carried out employee education initiatives, and said an employee competition saved 125 million gallons of water and 6 million kWh. Total water use during 2010 was 5.1 billion gallons – an absolute reduction of 30 million gallons from the previous year.

In 2010, the company also far surpassed a goal to reduce product packaging by three million pounds annually, cutting packaging by 5.6 million pounds and completing 68 packaging reduction projects. Hormel says its packaging team continues to identify new sustainability projects.

Hormel also met a goal to develop Supplier Responsibility Principles by the end of fiscal year 2010 and plans to roll these out to top-tier suppliers in fiscal year 2011.

Last year Hormel continued to surpass its goal of reducing solid waste to landfill by ten percent by 2011 from a 2006 baseline, reaching a 28 percent reduction in 2010 – up from 16 percent in 2009. Recycling was 41 percent of total waste in fiscal year 2010, compared to 38 percent in 2009 – but the company has some ways to go, with a goal of 50 percent by November 2011.

Hormel says it is currently diverting more than 74 percent of waste from landfills through recycling and the land spreading of byproducts, which are used as a soil nutrient by farmers. The company sends about half of its turkey litter to an electric production facility to be used as biomass fuel, and the rest as a replacement for chemical fertilizers.

En route to a goal to reduce energy use at U.S. manufacturing facilities by ten percent by the end of 2011, from a 2006 benchmark, Hormel’s direct energy consumption fell by six percent to 2010. But in the same year, indirect electricity consumption was nine percent over 2006 levels.

The company has a goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions at its U.S. manufacturing facilities by 10 percent from 2009 to 2014, and by 2010 direct GHG emissions per thousand pounds of production were down six percent. But indirect emissions were up five percent, giving the company an overall emissions increase of 0.5 percent.

The report is self-declared Application Level A under the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative.

Hormel is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes and Maplecroft Climate Innovation Indexes. It was also named to the Global 1000 Sustainable Performance Leaders list and was named one of “The 100 Most Trustworthy Companies” by Forbes in 2010.

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