Sustaining Our World – 2017 Sustainability Report

Reducing Our Carbon Footprint

Sustainably feeding the world means reducing our carbon footprint.

In FY2017, we collaborated with the World Resources Institute (WRI) to establish our new “30 by 30” target to reduce our greenhouse gases (GHG) 30 percent by 2030. This target is designed to meet the criteria of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and is in accordance with the Paris Climate Agreement. We will be submitting our proposed greenhouse gas emission target to the SBTi for approval in FY2018 and look forward to sharing more details as they become available.

We use energy in our everyday operations for powering processing equipment; cooking, chilling and freezing product; transporting product to distribution centers and customers; and more. The main types of energy we use in our operations include electricity, fossil fuels and biogas. Our normalized energy use increased by less than one percent from FY2016 to FY2017.

Our plant and truck operations use a variety of fuels, including biogas, diesel fuel, fuel oil, natural gas and propane; electricity; and refrigerants. We strive to use renewable fuels like biogas from our wastewater treatment operations, whenever possible, and to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by making efficient use of energy. Currently, we measure and report our greenhouse gas emissions from sources we control as well as indirect emissions from the energy we buy.

Biogas Production

At six of our production locations, we have covered wastewater treatment lagoons that allow us to capture the biogas generated from the lagoons. Biogas is generated by bacteria-consuming nutrients in the wastewater, which then produce methane and carbon dioxide gases. We clean up the biogas by removing some of the sulphur and water, and then use the biogas in plant boilers at four of the six plants, allowing us to use less natural gas. This practice takes advantage of a renewable fuel source, helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduces the amount of natural gas we need to purchase. In FY2017, we burned approximately 860 million cubic feet of biogas in our boilers. This is equivalent to the amount of natural gas used by 7,000 homes annually.


We work toward continual improvement in finding new ways to reduce emissions, lower fuel consumption and decrease greenhouse gases, while improving the miles per gallon (MPG) performance of our fleet. As a partner in the EPA’s SmartWay® program, we require all products be transported by SmartWay participating carriers. We implement several strategies to reduce our truck miles, including route optimization; shipping product directly to customer docks; using rail for product shipment instead of trucks when possible; and investing in ultra-light equipment that allows us to add product weight to our shipments and reduce the number of trucks on the road.

GHG Emissions* and Intensity

  • GHG Intensity
  • Scope 2 GHG Emissions
  • Scope 1 GHG Emissions

* Carbon Dioxide equivalent (CO2e) is carbon dioxide plus nitrous oxide and methane multiplied by the respective global warming potentials.

Energy Use & Intensity

  • Energy Intensity
  • Energy Use

Types of Energy Used

  • Fuel
  • Electricity

This footprint includes data from our U.S.-based operations. Information from our U.S.-based Cobb-Vantress or recently acquired AdvancePierre Foods facilities are not included in this footprint. FY2015 data is based on a 53-week fiscal year. FY2016 and FY2017 are based on a 52-week fiscal year.