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Our Food Journey™ 2021 Report
Ton Reduction

We implemented numerous projects that helped us reduce the amount of solid waste sent to landfills by more than 500 tons, achieving our annual 1% reduction goal.

Waste Summary
Solid waste total 44,696 tons
Solid waste savings 509 tons
Solid waste sent to landfills reduction percentage 1%
Efficiency gain percentage 16%
Normalized total solid waste 0.018 tons/sales tonnage
Additional metrics
41,719 tons – sent to landfill
2,977 tons – waste to energy
49,179 tons – recycled
120,839 tons – beneficial use
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Reducing solid-waste generation across our operations continues to be an important environmental initiative for Hormel Foods.

In 2021, we implemented numerous projects that helped us reduce the amount of solid waste sent to landfills by more than 500 tons, achieving our annual 1% reduction goal. Our normalized total solid waste for 2021 was 0.018 tons per salable ton.

One of our 20 By 30 Challenge goals is to reduce organic waste discharge from our manufacturing facilities by 10% to decrease energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, and improve water quality. Through our various projects, we are working diligently to reduce the amount of waste discharge from our facilities. We are currently evaluating wastewater-loading reduction and treatment-improvement opportunities and will provide additional updates in future reports.

As part of our 20 By 30 Challenge, we are also working toward zero food waste. In 2020, we joined the 10x20x30 food waste initiative that brings together some of the world’s largest food retailers and suppliers to halve food loss and waste by 2030. This effort supports and takes a holistic approach to waste reduction and fighting food loss. In 2021, we began the initial assessment of food waste in our supply chain and published tips for consumers to help reduce food waste at home.

Hormel Foods has a rich history of donating food to those in need. To learn about our efforts, please visit the community section of this report.

In addition, we divert food waste to beneficial end uses. Depending on the nature of the food waste and the location of the generation, our food waste can be used as animal feed, as feedstock for anaerobic digestion, as a composting substrate or as a synthetic nutrient substitute.

Recent Projects to Reduce Waste

  • 36
    Tons Recycled

    Fontanini Foods (McCook, Ill.)

    The team at our Fontanini Foods facility, which produces a variety of foodservice meats and sausages, identified an opportunity to recycle spice bags. The team implemented a process to collect the bags and installed a bailer to make it easier to recycle them. As a result, 36 tons of spice sacks are now being recycled each year, which is equivalent to recycling more than five garbage trucks of waste instead of sending it to a landfill.

  • 250
    Gallons Recycled

    Osceola (Iowa) Food

    Team members at our Osceola Food facility, which produces Hormel® Cure 81® hams and Hormel® Natural Choice® products, saw an opportunity to improve their hydraulic horsepower pumps. Through testing and analysis, they determined the oil from these pumps could be recycled to a quality better than new and used in other hydraulic equipment. After tracking and monitoring quarterly oil usage, the team installed higher efficiency filtration systems to keep the oil clean. As a result, the team was able to decrease new oil usage by 1,000 gallons and recycle 250 gallons of used oil.