SMITHFIELD, VA. — Smithfield Foods Inc. has announced plans to reduce the company’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the US supply chain by 30% by 2030, one of several targets laid out by the company as part of its just released 2020 Sustainability Impact Report.
The company previously stated that it wanted to reduce GHG emissions 25% by 2025 throughout its supply chain and be carbon negative by 2030.
“Our latest commitments underscore Smithfield's perennial dedication to sustainability,” said Stewart Leeth, chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods. “Following an unprecedented year, Smithfield carries a renewed sense of purpose in our calling to responsibly produce food and ensure access to affordable, high-quality protein for the growing global population. Through the significant efforts we have undertaken through our sustainability program, we are continuing to realize this call through initiatives that create value for our company and for our stakeholders.”
The meat processor stated its new carbon reduction goal would reduce the company’s GHG emissions by nearly 5 million tonnes, or the equivalent of removing more than 1 million cars from the world's roads or planting 216 million new trees.
Another sustainability initiative recently signed by Smithfield was the Business Ambition for 1.5°C, a global campaign designed to drive climate action in the private sector and to reach net-zero global emissions by 2050. The project, 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).
“Our latest climate targets, newly added priorities and refreshed commitments build on nearly two decades of sustainability leadership,” Mr. Leeth said. “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.”
Smithfield also announced plans to obtain 50% of its electricity from renewable sources, like solar and wind, by 2030.
The company released some new information related to other pillars of its future plans, including:
- Animal care — Targeting to obtain one or more globally recognized animal care certifications for all company-owned farms by 2025.
- Diversity, equity and inclusion — Pledging $10 million in targeted funding over the next three years to support America's minority farmers — including the establishment of a minority contract grower program to diversify hog suppliers — and advocate for a stronger, more inclusive agricultural future.
- Helping communities — Smithfield will donate 100 million servings of protein across the United States by 2025 under its Helping Hungry Homes initiative.
- Worker health and safety — The company said it spent more than $800 million in COVID-19 response measures during 2020 to protect employee benefits including facility investments and employee benefits.
The entire 2020 Sustainability Impact Report can be found here.