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Smithfield Foods Expands Sustainability Program

A new report reveals the company is building on its carbon reduction efforts and details Smithfield’s ongoing commitment to growth in areas critical to responsible food production.

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Smithfield has released its 2020 Sustainability Impact Report, which details the company’s progress, refreshed pillars, goals and targets, and an ongoing commitment to growth in areas critical to holistic, responsible food production.

In addition to its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction commitment to become carbon negative in all U.S. company-owned operations by 2030, Smithfield Foods has announced it will reduce GHG emissions across its entire domestic supply chain 30% by 2030. This new goal builds on the company’s prior pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across its domestic supply chain 25% by 2025. Smithfield also announced that it will obtain 50% of its electricity from renewable sources, such as solar and wind power, over the same time period.

Smithfield’s new carbon reduction goal will reduce the company’s GHG emissions by nearly 5 million metric tons. The expanded initiative follows on the heels of its commitment last fall to become carbon negative across its U.S. company-owned operations. These latest environmental goals are among other goals the company has set across its holistic sustainability platform, which is modeled after the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. 

To further affirm its environmental commitments, Smithfield recently signed onto Business Ambition for 1.5 °C , a global campaign designed to drive climate action in the private sector to reach net-zero global emissions by 2050 and align with a 1.5 °C future. The joint initiative, comprised of corporate leaders taking climate action, is modeled after the Paris Climate Accord and spearheaded by the  Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) – a partnership between CDP Worldwide, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI), and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

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“Our latest climate targets, newly added priorities, and refreshed commitments build on nearly two decades of sustainability leadership,” says Stewart Leeth, chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods. “Our new report reflects our progress to date and outlines important new strategic priorities and commitments for the future aimed at further improving our sustainable practices from farm to facility to fork.”

Some of Smithfield’s 2020 sustainability highlights include advancing innovative partnerships to capture renewable natural gas from methane on hog-farming operations, becoming the first major protein company to commit to being carbon negative in all U.S. company-owned operations by 2030, committing to reappraise its U.S. water supply footprint to further support water conservation, pledging to reduce consumer packaging waste and plastic use by 2030, and maintaining Global Food Safety Initiative certification at 100% of applicable facilities in the U.S., Poland, and Romania.

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