About This Report

At Tyson Foods, our passion and our purpose is to make great food and make a difference. We recognize sustainability touches every aspect of our company and our operations. We strive to do what’s right for our communities, team members, consumers, customers, the planet, and our shareholders.

Donnie Smith
Message from our President & CEO

For us, sustainability is about responsibility. It's about the animals under our care, the people on our team, and the communities we call home. It's about finding lasting solutions.

– Donnie Smith, President & CEO

Materiality Assessment Overview

To ensure we are responsibly addressing the sustainability issues, opportunities, and risks of greatest importance to our company and stakeholders, we completed our first sustainability materiality assessment in early 2015.

Identifying Focus Areas

To begin, we compiled a preliminary list of 29 relevant sustainability issues using publicly available resources from respected organizations such as the Global Reporting Initiative, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, and other sustainability advocates. We also reviewed various sustainability publications and reports, and benchmarked against our peers and key suppliers, customers, and others we do business with. An internal, cross-functional team of professionals then vetted and refined the issues list and agreed on brief, clear categories and definitions.

Stakeholder Input

To gather stakeholder input about our material issues list, we used an on-line survey and conducted individual interviews. A third-party consultant conducted all internal and external interviews. In addition to identifying material issues, stakeholders were asked to provide feedback on the issue list itself, as well as insight and comments on our approach and performance.

For external stakeholders, we used a methodology for rating the issues based on the pervasiveness of concern for the issues across stakeholder categories such as environmental advocates, customers, suppliers, non-government organizations, and academic experts. We conducted 13 interviews with external stakeholders to inform the “importance to stakeholder” score.

Similarly, for the business perspective, our methodology rated issues based on the pervasiveness of concern for the issue across functions and business units. We conducted 25 interviews with key internal decision makers to determine how important each issue was to the business. Additionally, we conducted an on-line survey of more than 230 internal employees (whom we call team members) and asked them to rank the issues of greatest importance and concern to them.


Our sustainability materiality assessment was not meant to be a comprehensive review of all sustainability risks and opportunities. Rather, it was a stakeholder engagement exercise designed to identify environmental, social, and governance issues that could potentially impact our business and stakeholders.

All of the issues identified require a clear understanding of impacts and the responsible management of risks and opportunities; however, those issues determined to be most material to both our external stakeholders and our business were:

  • Workplace safety
  • Animal well-being
  • Food safety and quality assurance
  • Water management
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Supply chain management
Materiality Assessment
Going Forward

We are committed to responsibly managing all material issues with diligence and care. We will use the information gathered in this exercise to help us make informed decisions about research and innovation, strategic partnerships, education and communication. We will work to address the areas of risk and opportunity where we can make the most positive impact, and are committed to transparency in our efforts. Below are recent examples of how we are upholding this commitment.

  • March 2015 — Became a founding member of the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef
  • April 28, 2015 — Announced we would strive to stop using human antibiotics in our chicken flocks by the end of September 2017
  • May 7, 2015 — Selected by The International Association for Food Protection as the 2015 Black Pearl Award recipient for advancing food safety and quality
  • May 2015 — Became the first company to adopt the Certified Responsible Antibiotic Use(CRAU) standard developed by School Food FOCUS and The Pew Charitable Trusts.
  • June 18, 2015 — Co-hosted a dinner with The Pew Charitable Trusts in connection with the Culinary Institute of America “Menus of Change” conference to talk about antibiotics in food production
  • July 2015 — Announced a partnership with The Nature Conservancy to support projects intended to conserve water quality in rivers and streams throughout Northwest Arkansas and Southwest Missouri

We will continue to engage relevant stakeholders to ensure a best-in-class response to the most material issues, and enhanced communications for better transparency.

Awards and Recognition

Tyson Foods Among ‘Most Admired Companies’

In February 2015, for the second consecutive year, Tyson Foods was named among “America’s Most Admired Companies” by Fortune magazine.

Fortune describes the annual “Most Admired” list as “the definitive report card on corporate reputations.” To determine the rankings, the publication commissions a survey of executives, analysts, and directors seeking opinions in nine categories of business strength.

We ranked fourth in the food production category in this year’s listing, two spots higher than a year ago. Our company scored its highest marks for innovation, people management, quality of management, and its long-term investment value.

Tyson Foods Makes 100 Best Corporate Citizens List

In April 2015, Tyson Foods was named to Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s 16th Annual 100 Best Corporate Citizens List. This list recognizes public companies that had outstanding corporate-responsibility performance across seven categories including environment, climate change, employee relations, human rights, governance, finance, and philanthropy and community support. This is our first appearance on the list since 2012.

Tyson Foods Scores 85 out of 100 in 2016 Corporate Equality Index

Tyson Foods received a score of 85 out of 100 possible points in the 2016 Corporate Equality Index (CEI). Administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the index is a national benchmarking survey and report that evaluates lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) related policies and practices including non-discrimination workplace protections, domestic partner benefits, transgender-inclusive health care benefits, competency programs, and public engagement with the LGBT community.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.

Tyson Foods Named Leading Company in Faith Equality Index

We were pleased to be named as a leading company in the first Faith Equality Index (FEI) rating. The FEI rates companies on the level of equality demonstrated for faith driven consumers and employees.

Andy Callahan with Arkansas Vets
Tyson Foods Honored with Outstanding Veteran Employer Award

Tyson Foods was honored on November 11, 2015 by ARVets with the Outstanding Veteran Employer Award for its commitment to recruiting and hiring veterans. Our company received the award for our Camo to Khaki initiative.

Through this recruitment program, we’ve hired more than 3,000 military veterans during the past four years. Our commitment to supporting veterans and our U.S. Armed Forces, however, goes beyond our recruitment program.

2015 Honoree of Meatingplace’s Richard L. Knowlton Innovation Award

The Meatingplace magazine, a poultry, pork, and beef processing business information source, honored Tyson Foods and Donnie Smith with this year’s award for the company’s exceptional performance, business leadership, innovation, industry leadership, and corporate citizenship.

Tyson Foods Honored with Black Pearl Award for Food Safety

We were honored to be the recipient of the distinguished International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) Black Pearl Award for food safety. The award is given to one company annually for its efforts in advancing food safety and quality through consumer programs, employee relations, education activities, adherence to standards, and support of the goals and objectives of IAFP.

Tyson Foods Campaign Receives Top Public Relations Award

In June 2015, Tyson Foods received the 2015 Public Relations Society of America’s distinguished Silver Anvil Award for the #myAGstory campaign launched at the 2014 National Future Farmers of America Convention. The goal for the #myAGstory campaign was to empower students to tell their personal stories about agriculture on social media, with the ultimate goal of trending on Twitter. The result was #myAGstory trending No. 1 on Twitter in the United States and No. 4 in the world on Oct. 30, 2014, with more than 2.8 million potential impressions.

Don Tyson Agricultural Center
Tyson Gift Lifts New Agriculture Research Center

The Tyson Family and Tyson Foods gave $5 million in March 2015 toward creating a first-of-its-kind agricultural research center in Arkansas.

The $5 million gift to the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture will significantly finance the new $16.3 million Don Tyson Center for Agricultural Sciences, which will feature high-tech agriculture research laboratories that will advance plant and animal sustainability, along with water quality research.

The facility will better help researchers create better, healthier, and more efficient ways for growing crops, raising farm animals, producing food, and protecting the state’s natural resources. The donation marks the largest individual gift our company has ever given to a University of Arkansas System division or campus.

Donnie and Terry
Donnie and Terry Smith Recognized for Agricultural Giving

Donnie and Terry Smith were named the 2015 recipients of the National Agricultural Alumni and Development Association’s prestigious Ruby C. McSwain Outstanding Philanthropist Award.

The award recognizes individuals with a record of sustained giving through their gifts to promote research, teaching and extension programs. The award also recognizes individuals who serve as advocates for agriculture and natural resources.

The couple received the award in June 2015 for their commitment to tackling food instability through an endowed chair at the University Of Tennessee Institute Of Agriculture, according to UTIA.

Key Performance Metrics

Environmental Intensity Indicators1 FY2013 FY2014 FY2015
Energy Use Intensity (btu per pound of finished product produced) 1,181 1,198 1,214
Electricity Intensity (kWh per per pound of finished product produced) 0.118 0.117 0.118
Fuel Intensity (Btu per pound of finished product produced) 780 802 815
Water Use Intensity (gallons per pound of finished product produced) 0.95 0.94 0.92
Energy1 FY2013 FY2014 FY2015
Electricity Purchased (kWh) 3,838,622,599 3,835,140,456 3,881,699,041
Fuel Used - includes natural gas, propane, fuel oil, coal, biogas and landfill gas (mmBtu) 25,417,678 26,384,315 26,918,720
Renewable Energy (mmBtu) 614,853 572,930 625,968
Renewable Energy (as percent of total energy used) 1.60% 1.45% 1.56%
Total Energy Used (mmBtu) 38,468,995 39,423,793 40,116,496
GHG Emissions2 CY2012 CY2013 CY2014
Direct GHG emissions - Scope 1 (metric tonnes of CO2e) 2,810,501 3,611,885 3,295,082
Indirect GHG emissions - Scope 2 (metric tonnes of CO2e) 3,015,295 2,909,511 3,165,053
Total GHG Emissions (metric tonnes of CO2e) 5,825,797 6,521,396 6,460,134
GHG Intensity (metrics tonnes CO2e per 1,000 pounds of finished product produced) 0.1810 0.2002 0.1963
Water1 FY2013 FY2014 FY2015
Total Water Withdrawal (billion gallons) 31.00 30.87 30.43
Environmental Compliance3 FY2013
Excludes Hillshire
Excludes Hillshire
Includes Hillshire
Wastewater Permit Exceedances 56 134 117
Notices of Violation (NOV's) 11 40 29
Penalties Per Fiscal Year $3,952,908 $354,207 $403,809
Supplemental Environmental Project Amount Per Fiscal Year $300,000 $19,284 $220,000
Total Reportable Chemical Releases 21 21 11
Certifications FY2015
Number of Certified Labs 11
Number of Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Certified Plants 100
Safety Quality Foods (SQF) Level 3 Certified Plants 11
Safety Quality Foods (SQF) Level 2 Certified Plants 2
British Retail Consortium (BRC) Certified Plants 85
Food Safety Certification (FSSC) 22000 Certified Plants 2
Product Recalls 1
Healthy and Nutritious Products FY2015
Smart Snacks in Schools 31
Products that meet school nutrition regulations for fat, sodium, and calorie content 280
Kid Tested, Kid Approved 46
K-12 Products that carry the Whole Grain Stamp 125
Products eligible for federal reimbursement in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program 112
Safety FY2013
Excludes Hillshire
Excludes Hillshire
Includes Hillshire
Lost Time Incident Rate4 1.02 0.87 0.87
Total Recordable Incident Rate5 9.57 8.59 7.83
Days Away, Restricted and Transfer Rate6 6.62 5.75 5.37
Workforce FY2015
Total Number of Employees 113,000
U.S. Team Members 106,973
International Team Members 6,027
Hourly Team Members3 95,809
Salaried Team Members3 11,164
Full-time Team Members3 104,514
Part-time Team Members3 2,459
Team Members under age 303 23,285
Team Members 30-50 years old3 51,459
Team Members over age 503 32,229
Male Team Members3 61%
Female Team Members3 39%
Retention Rate3 72%
Employees with five or more years of service3 52%
Employees with 20 or more years of service3 24%
Employees with 30 or more years of service3 7%

1This footprint includes our energy and water use from our U.S.-based chicken, beef, pork, turkey, and prepared foods processing operations. Information from our auxiliary support locations (e.g., feed mills and hatcheries) and transportation operations are not included in this footprint. Information from our U.S.-based Cobb-Vantress and Pork Group subsidiaries is not included in this footprint. Additionally, this footprint does not include Clearfield, UT; Green Bay, WI; Rancho Cucamonga, CA; San Diego, CA; Vernon, CA; or Warren, MI. FY15 data is based on a 53-week fiscal year; FY13 and FY14 are based on a 52-week fiscal year. Tyson Foods acquired The Hillshire Brands Company in August 2014; however, information in the above table includes data from Hillshire facilities for all periods presented unless otherwise noted.

2This footprint includes GHG emissions from our U.S.-based chicken, beef, pork, turkey, and prepared foods processing operations, as well as our auxiliary support locations (e.g., feed mills and hatcheries) and transportation operations. Information from our U.S.-based Cobb-Vantress and Pork Group subsidiaries is also included in this footprint. These metrics are also normalized against production data from our manufacturing facilities for FY12-FY14. Since auxiliary support locations are included in this footprint but do not have production data associated with them, our intensity may appear higher since there is not production data included that would offset those emissions. Carbon Dioxide equivalent (CO2e) is carbon dioxide plus nitrous oxide and methane multiplied by the respective global warming potentials. FY15 data is based on a 53-week fiscal year; FY13 and FY14 are based on a 52-week fiscal year. Tyson Foods acquired The Hillshire Brands Company in August 2014; however, information in the above table includes data from Hillshire facilities for all periods presented unless otherwise noted.

3These statistics are representative of all U.S.-based facilities, excluding Cobb-Vantress. FY13 and FY14 does not include Hillshire Brands operations.

4Number of work-related injury and illnesses that result in one or more days away from work per 100 Team Members.

5Number of work-related injury and illnesses per 100 Team Members.

6Number of work-related injuries and illnesses resulting in a Team Member missing work, having restricted work activity, or being transferred from their regular work assignment per 100 Team Members.

About Our Reporting

The Tyson Foods 2015 Sustainability Report covers fiscal year 2015 (September 28, 2014 –October 3, 2015), with select highlights from October 4, 2015 through March 15, 2016 of the company’s fiscal year 2016.

As with our 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2012, and 2013 sustainability reports, this report provides a comprehensive and transparent review of our commitment to, and advancement towards social progress, environmental stewardship, economic growth, and product responsibility.

Mailing Address
Tyson Foods, Inc.
2200 W. Don Tyson Parkway, CP005
Springdale, AR 72762-6999

Dr. Christine Daugherty

Leigh Ann Johnston
Director, Sustainability

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