Smithfield Foods, Inc. has released its 2019 Sustainability Impact Report, demonstrating significant progress in reaching major milestones and continuing efforts to feed the world's population in a responsible way. The company's industry-leading sustainability program operates across five key pillars, representing areas of strategic focus that are important to its business, communities and society-at-large. These include the humane treatment of animals, stewardship of the environment, production of safe and high-quality food, contributions to strengthen its local communities and safety and well-being of its people.
"2020 has presented the world with an unprecedented crisis that is impacting the health, well-being and sustainability of people, communities and businesses everywhere. In turn, we have seen an increased reliance upon critical industries and companies to provide essential products and services at an immense scale. Smithfield is proud to be one such company with the ability to play a central role in sustainably feeding millions of people amid the COVID-19 pandemic while also implementing aggressive measures to protect employees' health and safety," says Stewart Leeth, vice president of regulatory affairs and chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods.
As communities grapple with the need for a more inclusive, equal and just society as well as the challenges of a pandemic that has crystallized the vital role of modern food production, Smithfield remains steadfast in its commitment to produce "Good food. Responsibly." As a pioneer in sustainability for more than two decades, Smithfield is dedicated to delivering sustainably produced and affordable food to the communities it serves.
"We recognize that because of our broad scale, we have an immense responsibility to utilize our expansive capabilities and considerable reach to lead efforts in solving some of the biggest issues facing our industry, society and planet. We are working tirelessly to nourish people in a time of crisis while continuing to drive forward-looking sustainability strategies and achieve far-reaching goals focused on topics ranging from animal care to climate change. The combined efforts of our team members make these achievements possible," says Leeth.
Smithfield's 2019 Sustainability Impact Report highlights the company's progress toward numerous sustainability goals and targets, performance metrics and accomplishments, including:
- Ensuring group housing for all pregnant sows on company-owned farms globally, a goal achieved in 2017, and recommending its U.S. contract growers convert to group housing systems for pregnant sows by 2022
- Enhancing its standard operating procedures and policies to further augment animal care consistently across its U.S. operations
- Tracking antibiotic use on all its farms and, after more than a decade, continuing to be the only U.S. hog producer to publicly report this information
- Rolled out a new companywide animal feed safety program
- Expanding efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2025 through industry-leading manure-to-energy and biogas initiatives and partnerships
- Making progress on a new target to certify 75% of the company's U.S. facilities as zero-waste-to-landfill by 2025 and reduce total solid waste sent to landfill by 75%, with 30% of the company's U.S. facilities certified zero-waste-to-landfill to date
- Continuing to boost the effectiveness of the company's supply chain by cutting miles traveled and reducing GHG emissions through its distribution center, fleet and route optimization
Food safety and quality:
- Achieving its food safety and quality target of zero product recalls globally
- Maintaining Global Food Safety Initiative certification at 100% of the company's applicable facilities
- Investing tens of millions of dollars in robotics to automate production processes in its facilities
- Contributing more than $30 million in cash, product and in-kind donations globally
- Donating 24 million servings of protein to neighbors in need through its Helping Hungry Homes initiative
- Providing scholarships and educational grants of $4.5 million in the United States, and more than $430,000 in Poland and Romania
- Partnering with educators, such as North Carolina State University's Soldier to Agriculture Program, to help veterans transition from military service to fulfilling careers
- Continuing to drive health and safety improvements across the company by maintaining low employee injury rates that are significantly better than the industry average
- Conducting a global audit of the company's enhanced health and safety program
- Providing 300 instructor-led leadership courses engaging nearly 3,000 employees over 16,000 hours, and more than 40,000 online courses completed by approximately 7,000 employees through Smithfield University, the company's education program
- Continuing to expand its efforts to recruit, retain and develop a diverse and inclusive workforce through the company's new apprenticeship initiative and the creation of a fourth Employee Business Resource Group
- Implementing aggressive measures to protect employees' health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is presenting new and unique challenges in 2020