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Hormel’s 2008 Water Use Falls 4%, Electricity Use Up

hormelprogresschartsHormel Foods Corp. has reduced water consumption by 4 percent in fiscal year 2008 compared to the previous fiscal year, according to the company’s 2008 corporate responsibility report. The Austin, Minn.-based company also highlights its environmental progress in areas of energy consumption, packaging reduction, and recycling.

The company’s third annual report focuses on five key areas: people, process (environment and animal welfare), products, performance and philanthropy. The CSR report meets Application Level “B” content requirements of the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) G3 Guidelines, which is the international standard for sustainability reporting.

Environmental specifics include the company’s progress toward achieving its 2007 goals related to water use, energy use, solid waste reduction and air emissions. In 2008, Hormel Foods exceeded its water use reduction target of two percent per year, and completed 44 packaging reduction projects, such as this one for Natural Choice deli meats,  resulting in 5.2 million pounds in savings.

In fiscal year 2008, the company increased recycling to 32 percent of total waste from 29 percent in the previous fiscal year. Ten plants have exceeded the 2008 goal to increase recycling to 40 percent of total waste and seven have met the 2011 goal to increase recycling to 50 percent of total waste.

In the area of energy consumption, Hormel’s goal is to reduce its energy use at its 41 U.S. manufacturing facilities by 2 percent per year for five years after benchmarks are established at the start of fiscal year 2009. Although energy consumption increased 0.24 percent in fiscal year 2008, production levels increased 2.5 percent. The company plans to set a greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goal by the end of 2009.

Hormel broke ground in July 2008 on a new food processing facility in Dubuque, Iowa, that incorporates substantial energy and water savings systems. The company expects the facility to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification requirements once it is completed.

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