Smithfield Foods has been recognized by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) as a 2020 Manufacturing Leadership Awards recipient in the sustainability category for impressive water reduction efforts at the company’s Wilson, North Carolina facility.
The facility successfully cut water use in half over two years through adjustments to equipment, modifications to daily procedures and the implementation of a wastewater re-use program. Through these and other continuous improvement measures, it surpassed Smithfield’s companywide 10 percent water reduction goal, two years ahead of schedule.
“I am incredibly proud of every member of our Wilson family who helped contribute to these efforts and thank them for their consistent hard work to meet and exceed our water conservation targets,” said Andrea Tucker, Wilson facility manager for Smithfield Foods. “We are grateful to be recognized with this prestigious award that honors world-class projects and leaders across the manufacturing industry.”
Two-thirds of the company’s water use supports cooking and sanitation at its processing facilities, while water on its farms is used for its pigs to drink and for sanitation, cooling and biosecurity. Smithfield’s Water Policy outlines its commitment to proactively addressing water quality and use in cooperation with local communities and regulatory agencies. Its 2020 water use target – to achieve a 10 percent reduction in water use from a 2014 normalized baseline – fuels its continued progress.
“Across our operations, we place a high priority on the protection and conservation of water, an essential natural resource for businesses and communities,” said Stewart Leeth, VP of regulatory affairs and chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods. “Our Wilson facility’s water reduction project reflects just one of many ways in which we are driving sustainable progress across our business through innovative practices.”
Smithfield was recognized at the virtual Manufacturing Leadership Awards Gala, which was held on Thursday, Oct. 8.
Headquartered in Smithfield, Virginia, since 1936, Smithfield Foods Inc. is an American food company with 40,000 U.S. and 15,000 European employees.