Transitioned virgin fiber paperboard across our Jimmy Dean® brand to 100% post-consumer recycled content in FY2020.
Completed contextual water target plans at Finney County, Kansas and Seguin, Texas in FY2020 and North Richland Hills, Texas in FY2021.
Established energy reductions goals for our chicken, beef, pork and prepared foods operations in 2020.
Reduced water intensity by 7.7% since FY2015
Tyson Foods is dedicated to delivering sustainable food at scale to feed our growing world. Fulfilling this mission requires protecting and respecting natural resources as we grow our business—including the land, water and energy needed to grow ingredients, raise animals and run our facilities. We’re focused on reducing our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and water use intensity, promoting sustainable material use, moving toward zero waste to landfill and implementing forest-friendly policies throughout our value chain. Through our efforts, we strive to make long-lasting, positive impacts on the environment, as well as on our company, team members, consumers and customers.
Mentioned in the EPA’s National Water Reuse Action Plan, an aggressive approach to ensure secure and reliable water delivery
Began process of resetting energy and emissions reduction targets across entire footprint to account for company growth
Initiated zero waste to landfill assessments and certification pilot programs at select production facilities in Arkansas and Tennessee
Collaborated with World Resources Institute in FY2020 to set contextual water targets in accordance with Alliance for Water Stewardship standards for our plants in Finney County, Kansas and Seguin, Texas
We continue to actively work toward meeting our science-based target to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 30% by 2030 through emissions reductions within our own operations and across our broader supply chain. In FY2020, we began the process of updating our GHG baseline to account for business expansion in recent years, as well as resetting our energy and emissions reduction targets. This work will continue throughout the next three fiscal years.
In addition, through our partnership with the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Plants® program, we conducted energy hunts in some of our plants. After receiving training from the DOE, team members performed multiday assessments in which they looked for opportunities to optimize systems to save energy in their plants and then quantify the amount of energy savings through science-based methodologies and calculations. In FY2020, we performed six energy treasure hunts. Based on findings, our key focus in FY2021 will be on energy optimization within our refrigeration systems, team member education and engagement with internal and external stakeholders to identify additional areas for improvement.
We use approximately 31 billion gallons of water in our facilities annually and are working to conserve this critical resource. While we did not meet our 12% water reduction target, we did reduce water usage 7.7% since 2015. We are pleased with these results as we worked to protect food safety, acquired new businesses and responded to the COVID-19 global pandemic. In FY2020, we were mentioned in the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Water Reuse Action Plan, an aggressive approach to ensuring reliable and secure water delivery. We also continued to work with the World Resources Institute (WRI) to build upon our previous work that included a water risk assessment focused on our exposure to water stress across our processing facilities and the development of a water stewardship strategy.
Currently, we are working to establish contextual water targets, which consider local environments and conditions in order to make meaningful change. We’ve set these targets at three priority facilities: Finney County, Kansas; North Richland Hills, Texas; and Seguin, Texas, and are working on targets for our Amarillo, Texas, facility. We will continue to develop targets for at least seven additional locations in future years.
As part of our water stewardship efforts, conservation teams at every Tyson Foods facility seek continual improvement through simple actions, such as turning off running hoses, as well as capital funding proposals to install water reuse equipment as appropriate. In FY2020, because of an increase in production pounds, fresh water increased to almost 31 million gallons compared to the previous year. We also reused more than 1.9 billion gallons of wastewater from three plants for crop irrigation. Our facilities in New Holland, Pennsylvania, and Robards, Kentucky, received the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association’s 2020 Clean Water Award for going above and beyond in sustainable wastewater treatment and water reuse.
We have packaging innovation labs and pilot plants at our Discovery Centers in Springdale, Arkansas, and Downers Grove, Illinois, which are focused on developing sustainable packaging solutions that align with our packaging strategy to “Remove, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Renew.” For example, in 2020 we continued the development of replacements for polystyrene foam trays; expanded the use of reusable plastic containers in our fresh beef and pork operations, replacing the need for one-way corrugated containers; and continued development toward eliminating PVC film overwrap in our operations.
Though we are approaching the theoretical maximum use of post-consumer recycled (PCR) and post-industrial recycled (PIR) content possible in our corrugated packaging, while maintaining product integrity requirements, we continue to innovate ways both types of content can be used. In 2020, total recycled content was 37.5% of packaging, with 29.3% PCR content and 8.2% PIR content. We also transitioned virgin fiber paperboard across our Jimmy Dean® brand to 100% PCR in 2020. This brings total conversion of PCR paperboard in the past two fiscal years to 36,945 tons.
Waste reduction allows us to streamline costs and send as few materials as possible to landfills. Our environmental management experts are continuously exploring innovations in packaging and waste diversion to reduce operational waste output, increase our recycling footprint and reuse waste to add value to products or create new sources of energy. In the fall of 2020, we launched zero waste to landfill pilot projects at three production facilities. The results and learnings from these pilots will inform an enterprise waste and recycling strategy, as well as future goals. Overall in FY2020, we diverted almost 5.2 million pounds of waste from landfills, a 60% increase from the previous year.