October 18, 2021
Smithfield Foods wins sustainability award for manure-to-energy programmes
Smithfield Foods, Inc. has received the World Sustainability Awards' (WSA) prestigious "Profit with a Purpose" award for aligning sustainability and profitability through its innovative renewable natural gas (RNG) programmes.
The programmes help to significantly reduce carbon emissions by converting methane from hog manure into clean energy for consumers while presenting new revenue opportunities for family farmers.
Smithfield was selected following a rigorous three-stage judging process and was announced the winner during a virtual awards ceremony on October 13. In addition to the Profit with a Purpose award, Smithfield received a "Highly Commendable" honorable mention in WSA's External Partnership category for its collaboration with a leading environmental organisation to assist farmers in its supply chain with implementing sustainable farming practices.
Following years of research, investments and trialing, Smithfield arrived at an innovative method to implement RNG technology on its farms that generates value for the company and stakeholders across its value chain.
The company's RNG projects are notably reducing carbon emissions across the United States, removing 25 times more greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the atmosphere than are released during the resulting RNG's end use to power communities and fuel transportation vehicles.
In many cases, the technology creates economic opportunity for family farmers who raise hogs by turning one of their biggest costs, manure management, into a new revenue source.
"We're honored to receive this prestigious global recognition and are immensely proud of our efforts to meet the world's growing demand for food in a sustainable way," said Stewart Leeth, chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods. "As a leader in the food and agriculture industries, Smithfield has worked to ingrain sustainability across its value chain over the last two decades. Through our RNG and agronomics programmes, we are responsibly utilising our resources, expertise and market access to amplify proven technologies that benefit the environment and simultaneously foster growth for us and our partners, suppliers and communities."
Smithfield's RNG programme is the cornerstone of its Smithfield Renewables platform, developed to accelerate its progress toward realising its industry leading carbon reduction goals.
In 2016, Smithfield became the first major protein company to adopt a far-reaching GHG emissions reduction goal across its value chain – 25% by 2025. The company has since pledged to become carbon negative in its US company-owned operations and reduce GHG emissions by 30% across its US value chain by 2030.
Smithfield's biogas joint ventures with Roeslein Alternative Energy (RAE) and Dominion Energy (Align RNG) are projected to collectively produce a combined 5.3 mil dekatherms of RNG, the equivalent of removing 630,000 vehicles from the world's roads.
The World Sustainability Awards are presented by Sustainability Leaders, a global network designed to accelerate cross-functional sustainability initiatives and World 50, a private community for senior-most executives to foster collaborative discovery free from press, competition and solicitation.