Packaging Minimization Efforts
In addition to recycling, we work to reduce our packaging. We do this through collaborating across the company to come up with innovative solutions and by partnering with our packaging suppliers. Hormel Foods uses more than 4,600 unique items to package and produce our products, including corrugated paperboard, labels, films, cans, plastic bags, displays, glass containers, metal closures and plastic closures. About 80 percent of our product packaging by weight is recyclable and/or made from recycled materials.
Each member of our packaging group participates in an initiative to reduce materials in packaging. In 2010, each member of the team had a goal to identify 500,000 pounds of materials savings, amounting to a group goal to reduce packaging by 3 million pounds a year. The packaging team works with other departments and examines the entire supply chain for initiatives related to sustainability that benefit all divisions. In 2010, we initiated more than 70 total project and completed 52 projects. Combined, these projects resulted in 5.6 million pounds in savings. Examples of successful projects include:
- Strengthened the box for Hormel® Always Tender® marinated tenderloins, roasts and filets and lightened the amount of paperboard used to make them by creating a new design that led to increased efficiencies. The new box, with its reinforced corners and lighter lid, increases the line speed and will save a total of about 334,000 pounds of paperboard annually.
- Reduced the thickness of the paperboard sleeve for Hormel® refrigerated entrees and Lloyd’s Woodfire Barbeque™ products from 18 points to 16 points and changed the method for shipping to the production facility, saving more than more than 157,000 pounds of paper each year.
Because of the breadth of input materials used in production and packaging, we cannot report on the total weight of materials used throughout the company until we have a reliable process to measure and track this information.
Collaboration with suppliers
The packaging group works with suppliers to be environmentally focused and requires suppliers to meet with Hormel Foods at least once a year to discuss solutions to reduce packaging. Internally, we want each supplier to provide our teams environmentally friendly options. They are engaged in helping us achieve our goals of reducing packaging.