Hormel Foods understands and accepts the responsibility to minimize our impact on the environment and is recognized by independent sources for our efforts. In 2010, our Progressive Processing LLC (Dubuque, IA) production facility was a finalist in both the Green Manufacturing and Manufacturer of the Year categories of the Strategic Manufacturing Awards. We also invested more than $10 million in environmental upgrades and improvements in our facilities.
The production and transportation of consumer goods impacts the environment by consuming energy and water and producing air emissions and waste. Our products travel to stores and restaurants in more than 40 countries by rail, truck and ship. Once purchased, the product packaging used to protect our product is disposed of or recycled by consumers. Through this report, we will state what we are doing to mitigate these impacts. Read our environmental policy for more information about the commitment our locations have made toward environmental sustainability objectives.
We continue to report environmental data that is normalized by thousand pounds of finished goods shipped from each location. Accounting for variations in size and production at different facilities, this allows us to more accurately show our relative performance in a year-over-year comparison.
Topics in this section include:
- Environmental Management System
- Knowledge Sharing and Training
- Hazardous Waste
- Internal Recognition
Environmental Management System
To track and monitor our progress toward meeting environmental requirements, we use a web-based Environmental Management System throughout the company. This system includes compliance calendars, policy and procedure information and environmental training materials.
Knowledge Sharing and Training
To achieve our environmental goals we continually improve our practices, which includes enhanced information sharing. Monthly conference calls with plant engineering and environmental staff are used to facilitate communication on environmental compliance and sustainability issues. In addition, we hold a biannual company-wide environmental conference to discuss environmental improvement projects and to encourage knowledge sharing among Hormel Foods plant engineers from around the country. Our most recent company-wide environmental conference was in fall 2010. Additionally, we require regular environmental training covering storm water, wastewater and air emission programs, as well as the proper handling and transportation of waste materials.
Certain operations generate low volumes of regulated hazardous waste. Most of our locations are well within the federal definition of a Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator. Our facilities adhere to strict operational standards that have been designed to assure compliance with all applicable hazardous waste rules. Our operations also generate small quantities of other regulated substances, such as used oil, batteries and lamps. As with the generation of hazardous waste, strict standards are applied to assure compliance with regulatory standards.
Our expectation is to comply with local ordinances and state and federal laws at all times. During fiscal year 2010, we received no Notice of Violation (NOV) at the state or federal level. When issues arise, we work cooperatively with regulators to ensure resolution of all environmental matters.
Teams are continuously working with our suppliers and managers throughout the company to raise awareness about sustainability efforts. We have set aggressive environmental goals that require employees to think of new ways to help us conserve our resources. To recognize new thinking and environmentally friendly projects, we established the Environmental Sustainability Best of the Best annual competition in 2008.
The program is designed to reward and recognize teams that have identified areas for improvement and implemented changes to make a measurable difference that will reduce the company’s environmental impact and help Hormel Foods achieve its environmental goals. In 2010, the competition included 39 entries. Read more about the winning projects.