At Hormel Foods, we understand the importance of minimizing the amount of solid waste sent to landfills through our operations.
In addition to solid waste generation, a growing environmental concern is food waste. Food waste contributes to unnecessary resource use and the resulting environmental impact, including contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, worldwide. On the manufacturing side, a report conducted by Business for Social Responsibility and commissioned by the Food Waste Reduction Alliance found that food waste generated through manufacturing tends to be unused ingredients, unfinished product, or trimmings, peels and other unavoidable food waste.1 Hormel Foods makes every effort to divert food waste to the most beneficial end use possible. Depending on the nature of the food waste and the location of the generation, our food waste can be used as animal feed, a feedstock for anaerobic digestion, a composting substrate, or as a synthetic nutrient substitute.
In 2013, our operations implemented projects that reduced the amount of solid waste sent to landfill by 1,000 tons. Our 2020 goal is to reduce solid waste to landfills by 3,300 tons, and with this year’s progress we have achieved 81 percent of our total goal. We are on track to achieve our 2020 goal sooner than anticipated. Normalized total solid waste (pounds/ton production) for 2013 was 24.2, improving slightly from the prior year level.
Recent projects to reduce solid waste sent to landfills include the following:
Achieving zero waste to landfill:
Century Foods International (Sparta, Wis.) was selected as the 2013 Environmental Sustainability Best of the Best champion for reaching a recycling rate of 93 percent and achieving zero percent waste to landfill status at all four plant locations by the end of 2013.
Solid waste reduction:
The team at the Atlanta Plant (Tucker, Ga.) implemented a “think green” campaign to reduce the amount of recyclables and compostable items that were being thrown away in the trash. Using pictures, video and meetings, the plant team reduced 260 tons of solid waste to landfills.