2015 Progress

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 that 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 2015, we implemented projects that resulted in a reduction of over 9,200 metric tons of GHG emissions from our manufacturing operations, reaching 42 percent of our goal when combined with our progress since 2012. Of the total GHG emissions, direct GHG emissions were approximately 42 percent and indirect GHG emissions were approximately 58 percent. Normalized GHG emissions for manufacturing plants were 0.330 metric tons CO2-e per ton of products sold, down 2.6 percent from the prior year level. We are currently on pace to reach our 2020 goal.

We match a portion of the electricity used to prepare and package Hormel® Natural Choice® deli meats at our Osceola (Iowa) Food location with renewable energy certificates. More information about this initiative will be included in our 2016 report.

Recent Projects

To reduce air emissions:

The Algona (Iowa) Plant team replaced equipment for dry sausage production with a more efficient process that reduced energy usage. By making this change, the team was able to document an annual reduction of more than 780 metric tons of direct greenhouse gas emissions.

Air Emissions Reduced
By utilizing a natural gas-fired unit rather than a steam coil unit to improve the efficiency of heating in an area of the Beloit (Wis.) Plant, the team was able to achieve a savings of 6,540 MMBtu, equaling 340 metric tons of direct greenhouse gas emissions.
Emissions Lowered
The Jennie-O Turkey Store Benson Ave. (Willmar, Minn.) Plant team set out to reduce natural gas usage by 1 percent compared to the previous year. By implementing changes to run a more efficient boiler room and utilizing zone heaters when possible, the plant was able to achieve a 28 percent MMBtu reduction, a 3,500 metric ton per year reduction of direct greenhouse gas emissions.
GHG Emissions

Significant environmental impacts of transporting products and other goods and materials used for the organization’s operations, and transporting members of the workforce.


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 90 percent of vehicle weight capacity in 2015.

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 both truck and rail shipping. For long distances, this method of transportation can cut fuel use and GHG emissions by 65 percent compared to truck-only moves.1 In 2015, we had over 8,200 intermodal shipments. These shipments accounted for approximately 13.3 million miles and saved more than 1.2 million gallons of diesel fuel versus shipping solely by truck.

1According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Transportation and Air Quality, intermodal shipments can cut fuel use and GHG emissions by 65 percent compared to truck-only moves.