Smithfield Foods announced this week that its Orange City, Iowa; Springdale, Ohio; Lincoln, Neb. and Cudahy, Wisc. facilities received 2021 Environmental Achievement Awards from the North American Meat Institute (NAMI). The awards recognize local facility projects in the categories of environmental technology, outreach and training; pollution prevention; resource conservation; and social and economic sustainability. Two Smithfield facilities received first place recognition and two additional facilities received second place recognition.
The NAMI Environmental Achievement Awards are presented to member companies that go beyond environmental compliance by designing and successfully implementing an innovative plant upgrade or environmental program. To qualify, applicants must submit supporting data on natural resources, financial and other metrics to demonstrate a project's impact:
Smithfield's Cudahy, Wisc. facility won first place in pollution prevention for developing and launching a zero-waste-to-landfill program across its operations. The project will reduce the location's carbon footprint, supporting Smithfield's industry-leading greenhouse gas reduction initiatives, and will generate revenue through the reselling of increased amounts of recyclable materials.
The company's Orange City, Iowa facility won first place in social and economic sustainability for coordinating a donation of more than 5,000 pounds of food and cleaning supplies to the Food Bank of Siouxland, Inc. Each facility employee donated an average of 26 pounds of food and supplies to their community.
Smithfield's Springdale, Ohio facility won second place in environmental technology, outreach, and training for organizing a community creek cleanup with the Mill Creek Alliance that utilized canoes to pick up trash in areas difficult to access. The team also served lunch to community volunteers who participated in the effort.
The company's Lincoln, Neb. facility was awarded second place in resource and conservation for developing and implementing a wastewater reduction effort reducing the amount of water brought into facility smokehouses by more than 6%. The project achieved both water and cost savings through optimizations to water system features including spray-nozzle spacing and water temperature.
"The constant pursuit of environmental sustainability is ingrained in Smithfield's company culture," said Stewart Leeth, chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods. "We are proud of our employees' efforts to continually innovate to the benefit of the environment and their local communities. Congratulations to our Cudahy, Lincoln, Orange City and Springdale facilities on these well-earned awards."
Award recipients were acknowledged during NAMI's virtual Environmental Conference held in early February. The Environmental Achievement Awards are presented alongside NAMI's Environmental Recognition Awards, which were developed to provide recognition of a company's dedication to continuous environmental improvement through the development and implementation of Environmental Management Systems (EMS). The program begins in Tier 1 with simple environmental compliance policies and culminates with an ISO 14001 EMS as Tier 4, the most complex program.