Smithfield Foods Named the Top Performer in the Meat Industry in Water Management Says New Ceres Report

SMITHFIELD, Va., May 11, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Smithfield Foods ranks No. 1 in water management among leading meat companies in a new report from business sustainability organization Ceres. Achieving the top ranking, a significant accomplishment given the water-use challenges across global agriculture, underscores the company’s leadership position in providing sustainable food.

The Ceres report awards Smithfield 33 out of a possible 100 points in four categories: governance and management; direct operations; manufacturing supply chain; and agriculture supply chain. The next-closest ranking for a meat-industry competitor was 12, with the lowest of five companies’ scores at three.

“We are proud of the continuous progress we’ve made in addressing the kinds of water management challenges facing agriculture and is honored that its effort was recognized by a leading not-for-profit sustainability organization,” said President and Chief Executive Officer C. Larry Pope.

The company understands that environmental stewardship is an important issue to its key stakeholders and is constantly looking for ways to reuse or reduce the use of water. Across its operations, Smithfield has invested in programs and projects to manage water use and mitigate water pollution as part of its mission to provide Good food. Responsibly®. These include:

  • In 2008, the company set a goal to reduce water use 10% per 100 pounds of product produced by the end of 2015. The company surpassed the goal ahead of schedule with an 18 percent reduction in 2014. Currently, it is revamping the goals to create further improvements.
  • Smithfield constantly considers new projects to reduce or reuse water, including installing a water reuse system at its Tar Heel plant in North Carolina that provides more than 1 million gallons of water per day. Additionally, the facility partnered with the Lower Cape Fear Water and Sewer Authority to build a 6 million-gallons-per-day (MGD) water treatment plant supplied by the Cape Fear River to alleviate potential stress on the local groundwater aquifer due to long-term growth projections for the area.
  • To address water use in parts of its supply chain, Smithfield is participating in a fertilizer optimization and soils health program designed to improve the efficiency of grain produced in the southeastern United States.
  • The company uses Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines for public sustainability reporting, and utilized two separate tools to assess water risk both domestically and internationally: the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Water Tool; and the Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI) Local Water Tool.

“Even with all these important initiatives, our work isn’t over,” Pope said. “Water issues remain one of the most critical risks facing the food industry. The Ceres report notes that one-third of the world’s food production occurs in areas of high or extremely high water stress, or competition. As a leader in the global meat industry, Smithfield has an obligation to help find solutions to this pressing issue.”

“The company’s work in water issues aims at constant improvement,” said Dennis Treacy, executive vice president and chief sustainability officer. “Our employees know that achieving our sustainability goals and targets is an ongoing process and requires commitment from all of us.”

For more about Smithfield’s sustainability programs, please visit here.

Charleston|Orwig joins

Charleston|Orwig joins Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI)

Latest GEMI member brings reputation and communications expertise to EHS group

Washington, DC – The Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI), the global leader in developing insights, networking and creating collaborative sustainability solutions for business, today announced the membership of Charleston|Orwig, a strategic communications consultancy serving leading and emerging brands with a focus on sustainability, agriculture and the food system.

“We are pleased to add Charleston|Orwig to our group, because they bring a unique communications mindset to our membership of environment, health and safety professionals,” said Roland Mostovy, Sustainability Program manager, Ashland Inc., and GEMI’s membership chair. “While GEMI focuses on best practices for sustainability programs, Charleston|Orwig can help to better position and communicate these efforts externally.”

Lyle E. Orwig, founding partner, Charleston|Orwig, will be the senior representative to GEMI.

“Our clients are facing a much more socially conscious world, and we work with them daily on sustainability and corporate social responsibility strategies that help strengthen and protect their businesses, attract talent and investors and protect their social license to operate,” said Orwig. “We joined GEMI to better comprehend the processes and challenges EHS professionals navigate internally to build and continually improve their sustainability programs – ultimately, helping us be even better partners and advisors.”

“GEMI’s purpose is to work together on sustainability solutions and developing tools and resources to solve sustainability challenges, but all companies still need to know how best to communicate their sustainability efforts to stakeholders, shareholders, the public and even critics,” said Bill Gill, assistant vice president, Environmental Affairs, Smithfield Foods, and chair, GEMI. “Having Charleston|Orwig on board will infuse issues management and marketing expertise to our membership meetings and the materials we develop.”

For more information about GEMI, visit

About Charleston|Orwig

Charleston|Orwig, based in Hartland, Wisconsin, with a satellite office in Austin, Texas, is a full-service communications firm, providing integrated marketing and reputation management to food system clients—from agriculture through processing and distribution to the point of retail. For more information, visit

About GEMI

GEMI is the global leader in developing insights, networking, and creating collaborative sustainability solutions for business. For 25 years, GEMI has captured the vision and experience of global corporate environmental, health and safety (EHS) and sustainability leaders from diverse business sectors through the development of a wide range of publicly-available, solutions-based tools designed to help companies improve the environment, their operations and add business value.

EarthSmart: FedEx and NFWF Team Up to Address Local Conservation Challenges

It all started with a spark.

On June 11, 2013, the most destructive wildfire in Colorado’s history began in Colorado Springs. For two weeks, the Black Forest fire waged a ruthless war on the surrounding area, decimating thousands of acres, hundreds of homes and taking two lives. As residents of the local area themselves, FedEx team members were deeply affected by their own personal and community losses and wanted to help. Their efforts, begun in 2013, became the foundation for an environmental restoration and recovery effort that continues today, helping communities affected by the Black Forest wildfire heal.

As it had in the past following similar wildfires, FedEx supported community environmental recovery efforts through its EarthSmart Outreach program, providing critical resources in the form of volunteers and funds to aid local NGO’s restoration efforts.  Over the course of 2013-2014 EarthSmart Outreach efforts, seventy-one volunteers donated more than 350 hours restoring the area ravaged by the Black Forest wildfire, planting grass seed and creating log erosion barriers in collaboration with the Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI).   Randy Smith, IT manager at FedEx Services in Colorado Springs, has coordinated employee volunteer events between FedEx and RMFI for the past four years, including recovery projects following the Waldo Canyon fire. “We’ve just fallen in love with RMFI,” Smith said. “What they’re doing in our communities is huge and being able to support RMFI through FedEx feels incredible. Every team member who comes out here to do this is a happier person.”

While some communities – like those in Colorado – face obvious environmental needs in the wake of natural disaster, others grapple with more hidden urban environmental challenges, such as the infiltration of invasive plant species, diminishing urban watersheds, park degradation and natural habitats at-risk. For the sixth consecutive year, FedEx is collaborating with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to address these issues and more through its EarthSmart Outreach program – an annual initiative extending the company’s enterprise-wide sustainability commitment to local communities.

Chartered by Congress in 1984, NFWF’s mission is to sustain, restore and enhance the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Coinciding with the FedEx desire to maintain clean, healthy and sustainable places to live and work, FedEx and NFWF joined forces in 2009 to provide funds and manpower to a handful of local nonprofits’ environmental projects. Since then, the collaboration has yielded over $15 million to support more than 80 environmental projects in cities across the U.S.

In 2014, FedEx and NFWF grants totaled over $940,000, and will be matched with grants from local municipalities and agencies to yield over $2.6 million in support of 20 critical environmental sustainability projects this year. Beginning April 8 and running through June 20, over 800 FedEx team members will come out to volunteer in these community projects. To see FedEx team members and EarthSmart Outreach in action, visit the company’s Twitter and Facebook pages throughout this spring and summer.

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