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Our Food Journey™ 2021 Report
Surpassed Goals

We are on track to have an approved science-based target for the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2023.

GHG Emissions Summary
Total GHG emissions 1,186,354 metric tons
Direct GHG emissions 668,817 metric tons
Direct GHG emissions percentage 56%
Indirect GHG emissions 517,537 metric tons
Indirect GHG emissions percentage 44%
GHG emissions reduction from manufacturing facilities 21,364 metric tons
GHG emissions reduction percentage 7%
Normalized GHG emissions for our manufacturing facilities 0.492 metric tons of CO2-e per ton of products sold
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In 2021, we implemented projects that resulted in a reduction of over 21,000 metric tons of GHG emissions from our domestic manufacturing facilities.

Total GHG emissions for the year were 1.2 million metric tons (direct GHG emissions were 56% and indirect GHG emissions were 44%). Normalized GHG emissions for our manufacturing facilities were 0.492 metric tons of C02-e per ton of products sold, which is a 14% reduction from the prior year. This is attributed to efficiency improvements in natural gas use.

As many in the world are calling for a carbon-neutral economy, Hormel Foods is preparing to join thousands of other businesses and financial institutions working with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to reduce emissions in line with climate science. As part of our 20 By 30 Challenge, it is our goal to demonstrate climate leadership by establishing a science-based target for the reduction of GHG emissions by 2023. In 2021, we worked on our Scope 3 GHG emissions analysis in preparation for submitting our preliminary goal to the SBTi for approval in 2022. We are pleased to report that we are on track to have an approved science-based target by 2023.

Renewable Energy Initiatives

One of our other 20 By 30 Challenge goals is to match 100% of our energy with renewable sourcing. That’s why we are excited to have a portfolio of renewable energy wind and solar projects that were initiated or completed in 2021. Examples of these projects include the Western Trails wind project in Texas and Haystack wind project in Nebraska. At the end of 2021, we achieved 7% of our global renewable energy sourcing goal. We anticipate we will achieve 100% of our domestic renewable energy sourcing by the end of 2022.

We also continued to support the renewable energy markets by subscribing to community solar gardens at five manufacturing locations, including our newest solar energy project that came online in 2021 at our Jennie-O Turkey Store facility in Montevideo, Minn. The 1.75-megawatt array will power more than 10% of the plant with renewable energy. We look forward to continuing our support of renewable energy through additional initiatives in the future.

Recent Projects to Reduce Air Emissions

  • GHG Emissions Saved
    metric tons

    Beloit (Wis.) Plant

    The team at our Beloit Plant, which produces products such as Hormel® chili and Hormel® Mary Kitchen® hash, reduced natural gas usage by replacing steam heaters in the shipping and receiving area with energy-efficient infrared dock heaters. The new equipment allowed the plant to save more than 37,000 MMBtu of natural gas and reduced GHG emissions by more than 2,000 metric tons annually. This is enough savings to offset the GHG emissions from providing energy to over 245 homes for one year.*

  • GHG Emissions Saved
    metric tons

    Jennie-O Turkey Store Barron (Wis.) Plant

    Team members at our Jennie-O Turkey Store Barron Plant were challenged to improve the efficiency of the plant’s ammonia refrigeration system. Through hard work and determination, the team was able to save more than 2.3 million kWh of electricity annually and reduced GHG emissions by more than 1,600 metric tons, which is equivalent to the emissions from over 350 gasoline-powered passenger vehicles driven for one year.*


Given our worldwide presence, Hormel Foods relies on transportation via truck, train and ship to deliver our products to customers. We do so in a way that minimizes our impact on air quality. We transport our products as efficiently as possible by structuring pallet loads, reviewing product mixes and improving route planning. In 2021, load factors averaged approximately 60% of vehicle weight capacity. This was down from 79% the previous year primarily driven by COVID-19 challenges that caused reduced inventories and inventory allocations impacting truck weights.

We recognize that our methods of intermodal shipments need to be reassessed on a regular basis, and we continue to evaluate best practices. Intermodal shipments combine the best attributes of truck and rail shipping. For long distances, this method of transportation can reduce fuel use and GHG emissions by 70%, compared to truck-only moves.** In 2021, we had over 9,300 intermodal shipments. Versus shipping solely by truck, these shipments accounted for approximately 15.3 million miles and saved more than 1.8 million gallons of diesel fuel.

To increase efficiencies, in 2020 we initiated a new logistics model that helps reduce the miles traveled from our distribution centers by moving them closer to our customers.

For additional information about our environmental efforts and performance, please see our CDP climate change response.

*According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.
**Average of the following sources:
Truckloads are 65% less efficient than rail cars (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Transportation and Air Quality).
Updated trucks prove to be 75% less efficient than locomotives (Association of American Railroads).