In a protein industry first, meat processor Smithfield Foods has committed to becoming carbon negative in all company-owned operations in the United States by 2030. The pledge requires Smithfield to effectively remove more carbon from the atmosphere than it emits, without purchasing carbon credits to offset emissions.
Smithfield’s ambition builds on its 2025 goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across its supply chain by 25%. Smithfield says that it will tap into the resources and expertise of a wide range of partners to accelerate projects within its Smithfield Renewables program, which it launched in 2017, while continuing to progress towards its ’25 by 25’ target across its scope 1-3 emissions.
Stewart Leeth, vice president and chief sustainability officer, Smithfield Foods, said, “To achieve this ambitious new carbon negative objective, work is already underway and will include a variety of strategies, including renewable natural gas ventures, regenerative agricultural practices, improvements in our animals’ diets, renewable electricity purchases and transportation, logistics and packaging projects.”
Some of the most significant opportunities for carbon improvements are on Smithfield’s company-owned farms. There, Smithfield will ensure that crops are grown with efficient fertilizer and soil health practices. It will also implement renewable energy projects that reduce emissions through renewable natural gas and wind and solar power generation.
Read the official press release for more details on Smithfield’s strategy to become carbon negative.