Water usage continues to be a top priority for all of our stakeholders, and thus, continues to be a priority at Hormel Foods.

Our water sources include municipal utilities and company-owned wells. We consistently look for ways to improve our equipment and engage our employees on an ongoing basis to achieve water use reduction through behavior-based initiatives. Normalized usage (cubic meters/sales tonnage) for 2015 was 7.4, a 2.5 percent reduction from the prior year level.

In addition to monitoring our water usage, we also evaluated our operations to determine the business risk associated with water scarcity. After careful evaluation, we learned that Hormel Foods does not have manufacturing operations in areas defined as water scarce regions by the World Resource Institute (annual renewable water supply per person <1,700 cubic meters/person/year). Hormel Foods does have manufacturing locations in California that are identified as overall high risk using the World Resources Institute Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas. Hormel Foods is committed to driving water reduction and efficiency improvements at these and all manufacturing locations. For specific examples of our water reduction efforts in California, click here.

2015 Progress

Our target is to implement projects that reduce total water use by 0.5 billion gallons by 2020. During 2015, we successfully implemented projects that reduced water use by 84 million gallons or 83 percent of our goal when combined with our progress since 2012. Total manufacturing water use during 2015 was 4.98 billion gallons. We are currently on pace to achieve our water reduction goal prior to 2020.

Water reduction efforts in California

The severe drought in California has resulted in emergency conservation regulation. As part of our ongoing water reduction efforts, we have implemented a number of projects at our manufacturing facilities and live production operations in California, including:

  • Our Diamond Crystal Brands (Visalia, Calif.) Plant team set out to reduce the amount of water used by the facility by 25 percent. By implementing employee engagement initiatives, equipment upgrades and regulating water usage on landscaping, the team was able to reduce water usage by 51 percent compared to the previous year.
  • Our Swiss American Sausage Company (Lathrop, Calif.) team set out to reduce water usage in the oven and fermentation rooms at the plant by 25 percent. By installing pressure regulators to reduce the water pressure in these areas, the team was able to reduce water usage by 43 percent.

Recent Projects

To reduce water usage:

The Austin (Minn.) Plant team focused on a more efficient way to clean the cook belts for the precooked bacon department. By upgrading to high-pressure belt washers, the team was able to achieve annual water savings in excess of 4 million gallons.

Water Conservation

Our Jennie-O Turkey Store Faribault (Minn.) Plant team set out to reduce water usage by 15 million gallons. The team installed more efficient nozzles for its wash cabinets and was able to reduce annual water demand by more than 34 million gallons.

Water Reduction