June 2, 2022
Smithfield Foods commemorates 20 years of sustainability leadership in new report
Smithfield Foods, Inc. Published last month its 2021 Sustainability Impact Report, the company's 20th, outlining its holistic approach to responsible food production and efforts to produce good food, do good work and be good stewards of its animals and the environment.
In addition to reporting on progress toward goals and targets across seven key pillars, the report commemorates 20 years of industry sustainability leadership and milestones focused on environmental, social and governance (ESG).
"Since the genesis of our sustainability programme in 2001, our unwavering commitment to continuous improvement has spurred extensive research and investments across our value chain that have led us to pioneer efforts addressing some of the greatest challenges and opportunities facing our industry," said Shane Smith, president and chief executive officer of Smithfield Foods. "Our 2021 Sustainability Impact Report commemorates the 20th anniversary of our industry-leading programme and demonstrates how "Good Is What We Do" as a company for our people, animals, communities and planet.
"In addition to outlining the continual progress we are forging across our sustainability pillars, the report highlights many of the important lessons we've learned and innovations we have implemented to date."
Smithfield's integrated sustainably model is designed to create value across its vertically integrated value chain while supporting best business practices in animal care, diversity, equity and inclusion, environmental stewardship, food safety and quality, health and wellness, community development and worker health and safety.
As a result of ongoing initiatives across the company to shrink its environmental footprint, Smithfield is making progress toward its emissions reduction and carbon negative goals and is using less water, land, feed and energy to produce its products than ever before. Deeply committed to worker safety, the company also continues to maintain health and safety incident rates below general industry averages globally.
"For Smithfield, sustainability has been a top priority for more than two decades – and our progress has not been achieved overnight," said Stewart Leeth, chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods. "We started with long-term, big aspirational goals – our first was to be an environmental leader – then developed clear strategies to achieve them.
"Through this process, we began leading the industry in many 'first-ever' achievements, including becoming the first-ever protein and livestock company to obtain ISO certification in 2005 for every facility and every farm. Those achievements continue to the present day with our industry first absolute carbon reduction goals announced in 2016 and 2020."
In addition to forging progress toward its leading environmental goals, last year the company exceeded its charitable giving targets, donating nearly 775,000 servings of protein to its communities every week.
To underscore its commitment to fighting food insecurity, the food company will double the goal it set in 2020 to donate 100 million servings of protein by 2025 to target donating 200 million servings over the same time period.
Additionally, through its $15 million Unity & Action investment to support diversity in food manufacturing and agriculture, the company launched a new contract grower programme to support Afro Americans and other minority farmers, graduated more than 100 employees through its Operations Leadership Program and set a new workforce development goal to increase the racial and gender diversity of its leadership team by 2030.