Efforts to Reduce and Monitor Air Emissions

In calendar year 2010, our indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per thousand metric tons of CO2 per thousand pounds of production increased 6 percent from calendar year 2009. In the same time period, our direct GHG emissions decreased by 4 percent. Overall, we increased GHG emissions 0.5 percent. This accounts for 42 U.S. manufacturing plant locations.

Total Indirect Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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Total Direct Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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Our operations track and record criteria air pollutant emissions, including NOx (Nitrogen oxides), SO2 (Sulfur dioxide), CO (Carbon monoxide) and PM (particulate matter). These emissions are reported as required by local, state and federal requirements.

Air Emissions Reduction Projects

Projects have been implemented around the company to reduce our impact on the environment, including reducing energy and water use. In doing so, these project have also reduced air emissions in the form of CO2.

  • Condensing economizers reduced 36,000 MMBTUs per year at the Austin (MN) Plant. This technology recovers heat currently going “up the stack” from five boilers and then allows us to use the heat recovered to preheat the makeup water to the steam boilers in our facility.
  • Reduced 1,500 metric tons of CO2 equivalent and improved reliability of the main engine room at our Farmer John (Vernon, CA) facility by replacing an ammonia condenser and connecting two other condensers to a common sump. This also decreased energy use by 3.5 percent, approximately 74 million kilowatt hours (kWh).
  • Implemented U.S. Department of Energy energy assessment findings at the Rochelle (IL) Foods facility and conducted air compressors and steam assessments, communication and education. Annual savings were 3,640 metric tons CO2 equivalent.


Hormel Foods sells products around the world and relies on transportation via truck, train and ship to deliver our products to customers. To minimize our impact on air quality, we transport our products as efficiently as possible by structuring pallet loads, reviewing product mixes and improving route planning to increase overall load factors. Load factors have increased to between 38,000 and 40,000 pounds per load.

We continue to use intermodal shipments, which combines the best attributes of both truck and rail shipping, and for long distances, can cut fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions by 65 percent compared to truck-only moves. In fiscal year 2010, we had 9,500 intermodal shipments. These shipments accounted for 12.5 million miles and saved more than 1.3 million gallons of diesel fuel versus shipping by truck.

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