Minimizing solid waste generation continues to be an important environmental concern and one that Hormel Foods seeks to minimize through our operations.

In addition to solid waste generation, a growing environmental concern is food waste. Food waste contributes to unnecessary resource use and the resulting environmental impact, including contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, worldwide. On the manufacturing side, a report conducted by Business for Social Responsibility and commissioned by the Food Waste Reduction Alliance found that food waste generated through manufacturing tends to be unused ingredients, unfinished product, or trimmings, peels and other unavoidable food waste.1 Hormel Foods makes every effort to divert food waste to the most beneficial end use possible. Depending on the nature of the food waste and the location of the generation, our food waste can be used as animal feed, as feedstock for anaerobic digestion, a composting substrate, or as a synthetic nutrient substitute. To learn more about our initiatives to decrease food waste at the consumer level, please visit the product section of this report.

1BSR and the Food Waste Reduction Alliance

2014 Progress

Our 2020 goal was to reduce solid waste to landfills by 3,500 tons. We are proud to report that our progress in 2014 (when combined with our achievements since 2012) has resulted in meeting and exceeding this goal by 20 percent. In 2014 alone, our operations implemented projects that reduced the amount of solid waste sent to landfills by 1,500 tons. Normalized total solid waste (pounds/sales tonnage) for 2014 was 23, an 11 percent improvement from the prior year level.

Although we’re elated that we’ve surpassed a goal originally set for 2020, we recognize there is always more work to be done with minimizing our solid waste impacts. We will reevaluate and establish a new goal related to solid waste and will report the goal and progress in future reports. 

Recent Projects

To reduce solid waste sent to landfills:

Solid waste reduction:

The team at the Diamond Crystal Brands Visalia (Calif.) Plant sought to reduce the amount of waste haul-off from the facility, and set a goal to reduce by 10 percent. By working with their vendors to seek additional recycling opportunities, the plant team reduced solid waste to landfill by 72 tons, or 20 percent, in 2014.
Tons Waste Conservation

Solid waste reduction:

The Atlanta Plant (Tucker, Ga.) continued to foster an environment where employees were encouraged to think "green” in 2014. Through educational newsletters/meetings as well as facility container improvements, reductions allowed for a decrease to one trash pickup per week and solid waste to landfill was reduced by 42 percent compared to the previous year.

Waste Reduction Previous Year

Solid waste reduction:

Dold Foods (Wichita, Kan.) originally aimed to eliminate 39 tons of solid waste by the year 2020. In a plant-wide effort to minimize all solid waste streams, the team was able to realize an annualized savings of 127 tons of solid waste, or 330 percent of the 2020 goal in fiscal 2014 alone.

Waste Reduction Goal