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Quality Circle: Environment
At Seaboard Foods, we are committed to going beyond simply minimizing any negative impact to the land, water and air around our operations, to instead actively looking for ways to positively impact our environment. We hold sacred our responsibility to nurture and care for the environment for the benefit of our pigs, our employees, our business and the communities in which we operate.
Our environmental programs govern how we purchase land and how we build and operate our farms and plants. We design our environmental policies to ensure our operations meet or exceed all applicable environmental requirements. We strive to always be good stewards of the land through:
– We provide extensive training to our environmental management department and other employees.
Whole Farm Environmental Aud
– Twice a year, a dedicated audit team inspects 109 environmental, health and safety-related items on our farms.
– Our farm mapping program aids us in improving infrastructure management, preventive maintenance, emergency response and employee training.
– We create wildlife habitats by planting trees and a mixture of grass and wheat around our farms. Not only does this provide accessible forage and cover for wildlife, but also helps reduce soil erosion.
Our operations require the use of natural resources, including soil, water and crops, and they also create waste and other byproducts. Our people are always searching for ways to ensure we use them responsibly and in a renewable way. For example:
Biodiesel Energy Creation
– Since 2008, pork fat from our Guymon pork processing plant has been used to make biodiesel at our subsidiary, High Plains Bioenergy. Biodiesel is a clean-burning, renewable fuel source.
– We maintain a four-acre composting site where separated solids from some of our farms are used to make nearly 1,500 tons of compost annually. The compost is used internally or is sold or donated for agronomic applications or home gardening.
– We use effluent (a natural fertilizer) from our farms to provide nutrients to surrounding farmland based on the needs of neighboring crops.
– We collect and bale nearly all recyclable corrugate in our plants and send it to an off-site recycling center; and purchase corrugate and film packaging from suppliers with strong environmental stewardship programs. We are committed to conserving natural resources where possible:
– We are converting our farm and plant trucks to run on compressed natural gas (called compressed natural gas (CNG)), which is safer and which emits fewer pollutants into the air. Since 2013, 150 of these trucks were added to our fleet.
– To minimize soil erosion and increase organic matter in our soil, we plant grass vegetation around lagoons, which contributes to long-term soil quality and stability.
– We measure fresh water usage weekly at our farms with the goal of conserving water where reasonable. Our people also regularly inspect our farm water systems to ensure they are in proper working condition to prevent unnecessary water waste.
Air Quality Conservation
– We use best management practices to improve air quality and to reduce odor around our farms and processing facilities. We continuously evaluate the latest technologies and invest in improvements to maintain a good relationship with the communities in which we operate, including:
Employing advanced bio curtains on some farms to redirect odor and allow for cleaner, low-odor air for our neighbors and employees;
Using microbials in barn pits to aid in odor reduction;
And auditing for optimal barn housekeeping and pit management.
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