Skip to content
2018 Report
Our Food Journey™
Metric Ton Reduction

In 2018, we implemented projects that resulted in a reduction of over 8,900 metric tons of GHG emissions from our manufacturing operations.

At Hormel Foods, we have a number of projects in place that help reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, ranging from improvements to our facilities to the way we transport our products to our customers.

As established from our 2011 base year, our goal is to implement projects that reduce GHG emissions by 92,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) by 2020. In 2018, we implemented projects that resulted in a reduction of over 8,900 metric tons of GHG emissions from our domestic manufacturing operations, reaching 67 percent of our goal when combined with our progress since 2012. Of the total GHG emissions, direct GHG emissions were approximately 31 percent and indirect GHG emissions were approximately 69 percent. Normalized GHG emissions for manufacturing plants were 0.289 metric tons of CO2-e per ton of products sold, up 1 percent from the prior-year level. We expect to meet our GHG emissions reduction goal in 2020 as we work with our partners to bring a 74 MW renewable wind field online.

Our 2020 Goal

Metric Tons In GHG Emissions
Of Our 2020 Goal
when combined with progress since 2012

Renewable Energy Initiatives

We support the renewable energy markets by subscribing to community solar gardens at five manufacturing locations, including a co-sponsorship with Westar Energy for its first community solar garden near Wichita, Kan., where we manufacture most of our Hormel®Natural Choice® bacon products.

We look forward to continuing our support of renewable energy through additional solar power initiatives and the addition of a 74 MW renewable wind field that will be brought online in 2020.

Recent Projects to Reduce Air Emissions

  • Indirect GHG Emissions Saved
    metric tons

    Jennie-O Turkey Store Benson Ave. Plant (Willmar, Minn.)

    Our Jennie-O Turkey Store Benson Ave. Plant team needed to find a way to heat the location’s office space after the municipality eliminated the district heating program. Rather than purchasing expensive fossil fuel-burning furnaces, the team incorporated existing steam systems into a new heating loop for the office. The project resulted in an annual savings of over 41 metric tons of indirect GHG emissions – the energy equivalent to driving a vehicle over 100,000 miles.*

  • Indirect GHG Emissions Saved
    metric tons

    Progressive Processing (Dubuque, Iowa)

    Our Progressive Processing team installed a new lighting control panel and controller to take advantage of skylights in select areas of the plant. The new controller turns off unnecessary lights when the natural lighting is at a sufficient level. This small addition resulted in an annual savings of over 141 metric tons of indirect GHG emissions – enough to offset the emissions from 77 tons of burned coal.*

For additional information, please see our CDP climate change response.

*According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator


With 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. Load factors averaged approximately 88 percent of vehicle weight capacity in 2018.

We recognize that our methods of intermodal shipments need to be reassessed on a regular basis and thus, 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 cut fuel use and GHG emissions by 70 percent, compared to truck-only moves.* In 2018, we had over 8,200 intermodal shipments. These shipments accounted for approximately 13.2 million miles and saved approximately 1.6 million gallons of diesel fuel, versus shipping solely by truck.

*Average of the following sources:
Truckloads are 65 percent less efficient than rail (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Transportation and Air Quality)
Updated trucks prove to be 75 percent less efficient than locomotives (Association of American Railroads)