At Hormel Foods, we understand and accept the responsibility of minimizing our impact on the environment. We aim to reduce air emissions, energy use, water consumption and solid waste generation. To read about our progress on our environmental goals this year, visit the environment section of the 2012 Hormel Foods Corporate Responsibility Report.
Find further information about several of our environmental policies below.
Environmental Management System
We use a web-based Environmental Management System throughout the company to track and monitor our progress toward meeting environmental requirements. This system includes compliance calendars, environmental policy and program information, training materials, and formal internal environmental auditing protocols.
Knowledge-Sharing and Training
At Hormel Foods, we aim to continually improve our practices in order to achieve our environmental goals, and this includes enhanced information sharing. For example, we hold monthly conference calls with plant engineering and environmental staff in order to facilitate ongoing conversations about environmental compliance and sustainability issues. We hold a biennial companywide environmental conference to discuss environmental improvement projects and encourage knowledge-sharing among environmental representatives throughout the company. In addition, we require annual environmental training that covers key program areas, such as storm water, wastewater and the proper handling and transportation of waste materials.
Waste Water Management
The efficient treatment of process water is an important part of our operations and a primary focus of our environmental programs. Our goal extends beyond full compliance to developing collaborative partnerships within the communities in which we operate.
Whether by direct discharge or indirect discharge via municipal wastewater systems, treated process water from our manufacturing locations is distributed to the following watersheds (percentage denotes the breakdown of wastewater distribution to each location):
Certain Hormel Foods 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, generating 100 kilograms or less of hazardous waste per month. All Hormel Foods and subsidiary locations adhere to strict operational standards that have been designed to ensure compliance with all applicable hazardous waste rules. Our operations also generate small quantities of other regulated substances, such as used oil and universal waste. As with the generation of hazardous waste, we follow strict standards for handling these substances to ensure compliance with regulatory standards.
Each year, Hormel Foods facilitates an internal Environmental Sustainability Best of the Best competition, which rewards and recognizes company teams that have identified areas for efficiency improvement and implemented changes. The 2012 contest generated entries throughout all Hormel Foods business segments.
Rochelle (IL) Foods was selected as the 2012 Environmental Sustainability Best of the Best champion for their solid waste reduction project. The Rochelle Foods team implemented projects that resulted in an 8 percent reduction in solid waste sent to landfill, improved beneficial use via land application by 29 percent, and demonstrated outstanding employee engagement and communication efforts to achieve this success. The solid waste and recycling programs realized significant annual savings with minimal capital investment.
The other finalists in the competition included:
“We had tremendous participation this year with 61 projects at 42 locations and the teams in the final four should be extremely proud to be selected,” said Tom E. Raymond, director of environmental sustainability.
The Environmental Sustainability Best of the Best champion was selected by a panel of judges at the Corporate Office (Austin, MN), based on the criteria of project scope and goal setting, teamwork, problem solving, achievement and savings.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank all four teams, these projects were outstanding,” said William F. Snyder, senior vice president of supply chain. “I know it takes a lot of extra hard work throughout the year, with the education and working with all of the employees at your plant, so great job. I think everyone knows how important sustainability is to our company and these four projects are a great example of what can be accomplished.”