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 spring meeting targets emission trends and corporate carbon reduction efforts

GEMI spring meeting targets emission trends and corporate carbon reduction efforts

Members learn the science behind new emission targets and collaborate on strategies to drive action on carbon reduction commitments across the value chain

Washington, DC – The Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI), the global leader in developing insights, networking and creating collaborative sustainability solutions for business, gathered for its spring meeting to focus on “Science-Based Targets”.  Held at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., on May 4-5, the meeting addressed emissions trends, methods for companies to set emission-reduction targets and solutions for aligning business with climate goals in a profitable manner. Leading environment and climate experts joined GEMI membership in brainstorming practical emission management ideas and partnership strategies for members to use within their businesses.

“The first day of the meeting gave us an opportunity to learn about the science behind the basis for a 1.5ºC / 2ºC increase in temperature target, how a particular operation determines its allocation and how to assess scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions,” said Mark Johnson, vice president and director, ECR, Gannett Fleming, Inc. and communications chair, GEMI. “The combination of both receiving a comprehensive overview of the issue and having a chance to speak directly with such a network of diverse professionals is a valuable way for sustainability professionals like me to stay on top of trends and spark new ideas we can implement in our companies.”

Pictured: (left) Rachael Jonassen, GWU; (right) Matt Banks, WWF and Cynthia Cummis, WRI

Reputable experts from the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, CDP, Environmental Defense Fund, George Washington University, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Energy, Trucost, World Resources Institute and WWF joined GEMI members for the private, exclusive discussion. Together, the group worked through science-based target-setting, partnership strategies to advance carbon goals, identifying supply chain hot-spots and engaging suppliers on reduction strategies and tools to support carbon reductions in operations.

“Many of us wrestle with GHG reductions, so having the ability to interact with expert speakers about emissions in a small group setting was an impactful way to validate our strategy,” said Dan Daggett, Executive Director, Sustainability, Sealed Air and Vice Chair, GEMI. “Setting GHG reduction targets is a priority for many businesses globally, so as a result of the discussion during the GEMI meeting, our members will develop a Science-Based Targets Quick Guide to help other business leaders who want to advance their commitments.”

Pictured: (left) Dan Daggett, Sealed Air and Pete Swenson, Tennant; (right) Adam Gordon, CDP

GEMI’s Quick Guide series features practices to address real-time issues and sustainability concepts, supported with mini case studies from member companies. GEMI’s Quick Guide on the Path to Science-Based Targets will be designed to outline key issues for sustainability / business leaders to consider as they seek to set a science-based target for their company. The guide is slated for publication in late 2016. All Quick Guides are available to the public:

The next GEMI meeting will be held in July 2016, and will address Resource Efficiency: Taking the Circular Economy from Theory to Action. Nonmember companies considering membership may request attendance at one meeting on a complimentary basis. 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

GEMI Spring Meeting – Science-Based Targets

GEMI invites corporate environmental sustainability leaders to join us in Washington, DC to engage in an interactive discussion on business action around ‘science-based targets.’ The meeting is planned to examine why and how companies are deciding to pursue science based targets for GHG reduction, and to explore strategies and tools necessary for businesses to drive action across the value chain. 

GEMI’s Spring meeting will be held on May 4-5 at George Washington University in Washington, DC.


The meeting is planned to:
  • Examine why and how companies are deciding to pursue ‘science-based targets’ for carbon reduction, and the steps businesses must take to advance this internally.
  • Discuss strategies, tools and partnerships to support businesses in driving action on carbon reduction commitments across the value chain.
  • Provide a forum for corporate sustainability leaders to learn from each other and engage with strategic partners to advance sustainable business solutions to collective challenges.
  • Meeting Location: The meeting will be hosted at George Washington University‘s Lehman Auditorium in downtown Washington, DC. More information on the campus and transportation recommendations may be found at
  • Hotel Information:  There are several hotel options within walking distance of the GW campus, many of which provide discounted rates to GW visitors.  Additional information may be found at:
  • Dinner: An informal dinner will be held on the evening of May 4 at a location within walking distance of Lehman Auditorium.


May 4 – Why and How Businesses Are Setting ‘Science-Based Targets’ for Carbon Reduction

9:00am – 9:30am Welcome and Introductions

  • Bill Gill, AVP Environmental Affairs, Smithfield Foods, GEMI Chair
  • Joe Cascio, Co-Director, Environmental & Energy Management Institute, George Washington University
9:30am – 10:15am What’s the Target and Why?

    Discussion of why a target, and what’s the science behind setting a target.

  • Dr. Rachael Jonassen – Professorial Lecturer, Environmental and Energy Management Program, Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering, SEAS, GW
10:15am – 10:30am Break


10:30am – 12:00pm Setting a ‘Science Based Target’ for Carbon Reduction

    Discussion of the Science-Based Targets Initiative, and methods and resources to support science-based target setting.

  • Cynthia Cummis, Deputy Director, GHG Protocol, Climate Program, World Resources Institute
  • Matthew Banks, Manager – Energy & Climate Protection, PSE Team, World Wildlife Fund – US
12:00pm – 1:30pm Lunch

  • Luncheon Speaker: Mary Neumayr, Senior Energy Counsel, House Energy and Commerce Committee
1:30pm – 2:00pm Business Roundtable: “Create, Grow, Sustain: People and Technology at Work”
Discussion of how BRT members are leading their companies to adopt effective environmental and sustainable business practices.

  • Marian E. Hopkins, Senior Vice President, Business Roundtable
2:00pm – 3:00pm Developing ‘Science-Based Targets’ – What are Industries Doing Now

    Discussion of efforts/approaches to measure and manage carbon within an industry.

  • Marshall Wang, Senior Environmental/Sustainability Specialist, The Aluminum Association
  • Mark Washko, Head of Federal Government Affairs, BASF (invited)
3:00pm – 3:15pm Break


3:15pm – 4:00pm Setting ‘Science Based Targets’: Why and How; Lessons Learned from Early Movers

    Discussion of why and how companies are deciding to pursue Science-Based Targets.

  • Daniel Daggett, Executive Director, Sustainability, Sealed Air
  • Pete Swenson, Director, Sustainable Enterprise, Tennant Company
4:00pm – 4:45pm Roundtable Discussion: Selling SBTs Internally – Steve Hellem, Executive Director, GEMI

Facilitated discussion of participants on drivers for considering SBTs, making the business case and internal processes/barriers.

4:45pm – 5:00pm Closing Comments – Bill Gill, Smithfield Foods


Informal Dinner – Washington, DC


May 5 – Tools/Strategies for Advancing ‘Science-Based Targets’ for Carbon Reduction

9:00am – 9:15am Welcome and Introductions

  • Bill Gill, AVP Environmental Affairs, Smithfield Foods, GEMI Chair
  • Joe Cascio, Co-Director, Environmental & Energy Management Institute, George Washington University
9:15am – 10:15am Partnership Strategies to Advance Carbon Goals

    Discussion of effective partnership strategies and approaches to advance carbon and energy goals.

  • Timothy Juliani, Senior Director of Business Strategy and Partnerships, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)
  • Victoria Mills, Managing Director, Corporate Partnerships, EDF
  • Lori Williams, Business Strategy Principal, FedEx
10:15am – 10:20am Break


10:20am – 11:20am Identifying supply chain ‘hot spots’ and engaging suppliers on GHG reduction strategies

    Discussion of leading approaches and opportunities in engaging suppliers on GHG reduction strategies.

  • Adam Gordon, Supply Chain Manager, CDP
  • Libby Bernick, SVP, Trucost
  • Bill Gill, AVP Environmental Affairs, Smithfield Foods
11:20am – 12:00pm Lunch
12:00pm – 1:00pm Tools to Support Carbon Reductions in Operations

    Discussion of tools and strategies to support organizations in advancing energy efficiency and reducing GHG emissions.

  • Betsy Dutrow, Director, Energy Star Industrial Program, US Environmental Protection Agency
  • Paul Scheihing, Technology Manager, SEP Program Administrator, Advanced Manufacturing Office, US Department of Energy
  • Mark Johnson, Vice President & Corporate Sustainability Officer, Gannett Fleming
1:00pm – 1:45pm Roundtable Discussion: Action Items / Next Steps – Steve Hellem, GEMI

Participants will review the issues discussed over the course of the meeting, and discuss opportunities that exist to collaborate to advance new solutions.

1:45pm – 2:00pm Closing Comments – Bill Gill, Smithfield Foods

  • GEMI’s July 27-28 Meeting on Resource Efficiency – Stan Mierzejewski, Tennant Company

Register to Attend

GEMI invites corporate environmental and sustainability leaders to register to participate in the meeting as our guest.  Please contact Kellen Mahoney at [] if you would like to receive a guest invitation.

Science-Based Targets

GEMI’s Spring Meeting is planned to examine why and how companies are deciding to pursue science based targets for GHG reduction, and to explore strategies and tools necessary for businesses to drive action across the value chain.