Case Study: Perdue Farms, Inc. – Creating Accountability for Sustainability
Creating an environmental scorecard, integrating an environmental platform into the company goals and linking performance to compensation communicates the importance of sustainability and creates accountability. Based on the success of the company’s quality and safety strategy, Perdue’s Corporate Environmental Services group developed a process and collected data to measure where the company ranked on its environmental performance. The result was an Environmental Scorecard designed to define and quantify what environmental responsibility means to Perdue and provide a baseline for the company to measure continuous improvement and progress.
For each Perdue operation, the Environmental Scorecard has metrics that measure progress in two key areas: environmental compliance and environmental sustainability. These reflect what is important to Perdue – being consistently compliant and reducing the company’s environmental footprint. Regarding environmental compliance, the company reviews the results of audits, regulatory notices, and the timeliness of environmental reporting. Perdue’s sustainability efforts are aligned under three platforms: reuse and recycle, research and innovation, and community outreach. The scorecard includes challenge goals for recycling, green team activities (including energy, utility and natural resource conservation results), associate engagement, and use of an internally-developed Environmental Management System.
Since 1993, Perdue has set annual goals, a shared accountability for all associates, in the areas of People, Products and Profitability. The “3 Ps” as the company calls them, were based on founder Frank Perdue’s belief that if you treat people right and produce quality products, profitability will follow. In 2013, a new company goal was added, a fourth “P” for Planet. The goal, to responsibly manage Perdue’s use of natural resources, has now become a corporate initiative, shared by every associate across Perdue Farms, with each associate accountable for and empowered to achieve the company’s Environmental Scorecard goals. Adding a Planet goal elevated Perdue’s environmental sustainability efforts to the highest level of accountability. The company has gone a step further by incorporating performance against the Planet goal into compensation. It is now a criteria within the Management Incentive Program, Perdue’s bonus program.