Water usage continues to be a top priority to all our stakeholders, and thus, continues to be a top priority at Hormel Foods. Our water sources include municipal utilities and company-owned wells. We consistently look for ways to improve our equipment and engage with our employees on an ongoing basis to achieve water reduction through behavior-based initiatives. Normalized usage (cubic meters/sales tonnage) for 2014 was 7.6, a one percent gain from the prior year level.

Hormel Foods also recognizes that water scarcity and sourcing from water stressed regions is a growing concern across all industries – including the food industry – and companies need to play an active role in ceasing this trend. In addition to monitoring our water usage, we also evaluated our operations to determine the business risk associated with water scarcity. After careful evaluation, we learned that Hormel Foods does not have manufacturing operations in areas defined as water scarce regions by the World Resource Institute (annual renewable water supply per person < 1,700 cubic meters/person/year). Hormel Foods does have manufacturing locations in California that are identified as overall high risk using the World Resources Institute Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas. Hormel Foods continues to drive water reduction and efficiency improvements at these and all manufacturing locations.

2014 Progress

Our target is to implement projects that reduce total water use by 0.5 billion gallons by 2020. During 2014, we successfully implemented projects that reduced water use by 0.082 billion gallons or 67 percent of our goal when combined with our progress since 2012. Total manufacturing water use during 2014 was 5.0 billion gallons. We are currently on pace to achieve our water reduction goal prior to 2020.

Recent Projects

To reduce water consumption:

Water conservation:

The team at Farmer John (Vernon, Calif.) set out to achieve a reduction in fresh water use of 2 percent compared to use in fiscal year 2013. Through four different water reduction projects, including high pressure water system automation, condensing tower treatment automation, wash cabinet water and waste water load reduction, they were able to achieve a savings of 27,861,000 gallons of water, or 22 percent.

Water Conservation

Reducing water usage:

At Swiss American Sausage Company (Lathrop, Calif.), the team faced a need to reduce water use. They set a goal to reduce plant water usage by 1 million gallons, and by installing a reverse osmosis system, they achieved a savings of 1,264,323 gallons in 2014 and expect to achieve similar savings in subsequent years.

Water Reduction