GEMI members board cleanup river barge and analyze cross-industry supply chain sustainability efforts

Meeting kicks off with Living Lands & Waters cleanup effort on the Ohio River, members address multiple industry supply chain sustainability harmonization initiatives

Washington, DC – The Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI), the global leader in developing insights, networking and creating collaborative sustainability solutions for business, convened its membership aboard the Living Lands & Waters floating classroom barge in Louisville on Nov. 15-16. After spending an afternoon cleaning up trash from the Ohio River, the group discussed supply chain sustainability harmonization and identified potential opportunities to promote harmonization across industries.

“Our organization is dedicated to driving sustainability solutions for business and finding ways to collaborate through our efforts, so we were thrilled to have an opportunity to work with Living Lands & Waters on a river cleanup as part of our meeting in Louisville,” said Steve Hellem, executive director, GEMI. “Meeting on Living Lands & Waters classroom barge provided our members a truly unique forum to discuss how certain industries are managing supply chain sustainability and to seek opportunities to work across industries to address common goals.”

Sustainability representatives from maritime shipping, pharmaceutical, aerospace, plastics and chemical industry organizations shared learnings from their industry-led initiatives on supply chain sustainability. Speakers included Dawn Krueger, 3M; Nate Springer, BSR; Steven Meszaros, Pfizer; Maribeth Malloy, Lockheed Martin; Kendra Martin, The Plastics Industry Trade Association; Daniel Perry, EcoVadis; Tom Tyler, US EPA; and Mary Beth Jordan, MBJ Strategies.

Additionally, Mary Beth Jordan provided an overview of GEMI’s supply chain sustainability project findings to date, including the results of a Landscape Assessment that summarizes the supply chain sustainability efforts of 25 organizations.

“Supply chain sustainability has been a core focus of GEMI’s efforts in 2016, and learning more about the buyer/supplier relationship can help all of us bring better visibility to industry supply chain sustainability efforts and ensure we’re giving partners the data they need to meet common goals,” said Bill Gill, AVP, Environmental Affairs, Smithfield Foods and GEMI Chair. “There’s an opportunity for GEMI to help existing industry groups with supply chain sustainability projects by mapping out the connections among efforts, and we plan to do this in the new year.”

For more information about GEMI, membership benefits and upcoming meetings, visit or email GEMI’s Executive Director, Steve Hellem:

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.

More Information Contact:

Monica MacKay: 262-563-5665

Smithfield Leads Industry as First Major Protein Company to Adopt Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goal

SMITHFIELD, Va. (December 5, 2016)—Today, Smithfield Foods, Inc., became the first major protein company to announce a far-reaching greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goal throughout its entire supply chain, from feed grain to packaged bacon. By 2025, Smithfield will reduce its absolute GHG emissions by 25 percent. When achieved, this goal will reduce emissions by more than 4 million metric tons, equivalent to removing 900,000 cars from the road. Smithfield collaborated with Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) in setting its goal.

“We are proud to lead the industry and set another first by launching an endeavor that is both environmentally beneficial and economically feasible,” said Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and chief executive officer for Smithfield Foods. “While we will have unique challenges meeting this goal as the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer, our size and scale also means that, if successful, we can make a significant, positive impact. Our mission is to produce ‘Good food. Responsibly.’ This announcement is yet another acknowledgement of our commitment to doing just that.” 

Smithfield collaborated with the University of Minnesota’s NorthStar Institute for Sustainable Enterprise to estimate its GHG footprint, creating a robust model that can assist other protein companies in analyzing their own footprints. EDF served as an adviser in the development of the commitment.

“There is much work ahead for Smithfield to reach its goal,” said Fred Krupp, EDF president. “Success will require collaboration with farmers and others in the agricultural industry. We encourage companies to follow Smithfield’s leadership to make ambitious commitments to improve air and water quality. It’s important that the private sector play a role in protecting our natural resources.”

This commitment impacts operations across Smithfield’s supply chain, on company-owned farms, at processing facilities and throughout its transportation network. In its grain supply chain, Smithfield is collaborating with EDF to improve fertilizer efficiency and soil health, which will reduce nitrous oxide emissions from grain farms. On its hog farms, Smithfield will incorporate renewable energy and reuse projects that utilize technology such as anaerobic digesters and lagoon covers. Smithfield aims to install these technologies on at least 30 percent of company-owned farms. Smithfield will also continue to adopt measures that improve animal efficiency, resulting in improved feed conversion and productivity while reducing carbon emissions.

At its processing facilities, Smithfield will continue to improve energy efficiency through refrigeration, boiler and other equipment upgrades. Smithfield is optimizing its logistics network to better manage its animal and product transportation while reducing fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

The absolute greenhouse gas emissions reduction will be measured from a 2010 baseline. Efforts toward this goal already underway will be included in the final results. For a visualization of Smithfield’s commitment, please visit


About Smithfield Foods
Smithfield Foods is a $14 billion global food company and the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Nathan’s Famous®, Farmland®, Armour®, John Morrell®, Cook’s®, Kretschmar®, Gwaltney®, Curly’s®, Margherita®, Carando®, Healthy Ones®, Krakus®, Morliny®, and Berlinki®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit
About the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)
Environmental Defense Fund (, a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on TwitterFacebook and our Growing Returns blog.

GEMI publishes new ISO 14001:2015 Self-Assessment Checklist

GEMI publishes new ISO 14001:2015 Self-Assessment Checklist

Tool helps sustainability professionals quickly assess an organization’s management practices according to the latest ISO 14001 updates

Washington, DC – The Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI), a global leader in developing insights, networking and creating collaborative sustainability solutions for business, today released a new edition of its GEMI ISO 14001:2015 Self-Assessment Checklist to reflect the 2015 revisions to the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System standard. The checklist enables a rapid self-assessment of an organization or facility to determine how closely existing management practices and procedures correspond to the elements of the standard.

GEMI produced its original checklist in 1996 to help interested companies understand the requirements of the new-at-the-time ISO 14001 standard, an internationally recognized approach to managing immediate and long-term environmental impacts of an organization’s products, services and processes. Since then, ISO has continued to update the 14001 standard, with the most recent 2015 update offering substantial adjustments.

“Sustainability strategy and management best practices have rapidly transformed during the last 20 years, and we felt it was a priority for our group to overhaul GEMI’s original checklist to reflect the current environment,” said Mark Johnson, senior vice president, director – Environmental Compliance & Remediation Services, Gannett Fleming Inc., and communications and marketing chair, GEMI. “We moved away from GEMI’s original lengthy document format to offer a spreadsheet that will make it easier for people to complete efficiently and digest the standard requirements across seven key categories.”

Of note, some of the biggest changes to the ISO 14001:2015 standard—and therefore, GEMI’s tool—are the following:

  • Identifying and addressing the opportunities and risks that may impact an organization’s environmental management system
  • Emphasizing stronger requirements for identifying an organization’s stakeholders and having a stakeholder communications plan
  • Demonstrating commitment to improved environmental performance, not just continual improvement
  • Identifying environmental aspects associated with the life-cycle stages of products and detailing where the organization can control or influence the environmental aspects of those life-cycle stages
  • Requiring top management accountability and engagement to incorporate the standard in the operational functions and strategic direction of the business

“Globally, many organizations have come a long way from retroactively reporting on benchmarks to more proactive thinking on environmental management, and this tool should help all environmental professionals brush up on the latest methods,” said Bill Gill, AVP environmental affairs, Smithfield Foods, and chair, GEMI.

GEMI provides a forum for its members to work together to identify and develop new solutions for current and emerging sustainability issues. GEMI’s ISO 14001:2015 self-assessment checklist was developed in a collaborative process by GEMI members.  The development of this new GEMI checklist was led by Mark Johnson of Gannett Fleming with support from Steve Rowley and the Gannett Fleming compliance and management team.

GEMI’s ISO 14001:2015 Self-Assessment Checklist can be found here:

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.

GEMI Meeting -Supply Chain Sustainability

GEMI invites corporate sustainability leaders to join us in Louisville to engage in an interactive discussion on supply chain sustainability.

GEMI is convening key industry groups and corporate supply chain sustainability leaders to share information on industry approaches to supply chain sustainability harmonization, and identify potential opportunities to promote harmonization across efforts.

The workshop has been designed to outline opportunities to promote mutual recognition/increased harmonization across efforts, while supporting common cross-industry goals.

The meeting will be held on November 15-16 in Louisville, KY, and will be hosted on Living Lands & Waters floating classroom barge moored on the downtown Louisville Riverfront (pictured).

The meeting will be held in a truly unique facility that is used in cleaning up America’s rivers, and built using a variety of sustainably sourced materials.

In conjunction with the meeting, meeting participants will have the opportunity to work together as a group and join in a cleanup of the Ohio River in downtown Louisville with Living Lands & Waters. Please contact us to learn more about participation in the event.


Please complete the following form to request a guest invitation for the meeting.