Smithfield Foods Inc. announced this week the launch of Smithfield Renewables, a new platform within the organization that will unify, lead and accelerate the company’s industry-leading carbon reduction and renewable energy efforts. Smithfield Renewables will ensure that the company meets its environmental commitments, including its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2025.
The company announced Smithfield Renewables at the 2017 COMMIT! Forum, an annual conference for corporate responsibility and sustainability practitioners to network and share best practices.
Smithfield also introduced its first senior director of Smithfield Renewables, Kraig Westerbeek. In this new role, which will report to Smithfield’s chief sustainability officer, Westerbeek will lead and oversee greenhouse gas emission reduction efforts, keeping the company responsible for achieving its goals.
“Smithfield has long led the industry in sustainability and its environmental commitments,” said Westerbeek, also director of hog production division environmental affairs. “Smithfield Renewables will ensure we continue to lead in this arena by further sharpening our focus on programs that help us reduce our carbon footprint and recycle energy more efficiently.”
Westerbeek will lead an advisory committee that will evaluate projects and help direct a company-wide strategy for renewable energy projects across farms and facilities. At facilities, this includes refrigeration, boiler and other equipment upgrades. On farms, this includes projects that convert manure into useful products ranging from fertilizer to renewable energy sources. Smithfield Renewables will further develop and build on these best-in-industry projects.
“At Smithfield Foods, we are known for producing good food responsibly and our bold environmental commitments,” Smithfield Foods president and chief executive officer Kenneth Sullivan said. “By launching Smithfield Renewables, we are better positioned to achieve these goals and continue setting pioneering environmental programs.”