“The evolution of this awards program has been very exciting. The innovative thinking and strong collaboration to implement these projects is truly inspiring — our people are driving our sustainability journey.”
Gail Tavill, vice president, Sustainable Development
ConAgra Foods' sustainability objectives address the environmental issues that are most material to our business: climate change, water resources, waste management, packaging and sourcing. We also believe that collaborating with others to manage these issues is critical to creating a sustainable global food supply. Climate change affects agricultural industries throughout the world, and is fundamentally changing how we manage energy use in our facilities. The availability of clean water is essential to how we prepare food and critical to the farmers that grow our raw ingredients. Preventing waste — particularly food waste — is a critical measure of our operating efficiency and an emerging social and environmental issue.
In fiscal year 2010, ConAgra Foods declared a comprehensive set of sustainability goals for 2015. Now — two years later — we are able to celebrate some success, but must also focus on accelerating progress in some areas.
We’re most proud of the sustainability awareness and engagement that we’ve built throughout our organization. Green Teams are active in most of our locations, driving grassroots efforts to identify opportunities and create a culture that embraces sustainability. These teams have delivered tremendous results by keeping waste out of landfills and reducing and recycling waste. As a result, ConAgra Foods sends less than 10 percent of its waste to landfills, and is focused on continuing this work until it gets to zero waste. We’ve also made big strides working with our contracted growers to implement crop-specific, metric-based sustainable agriculture practices, and think our work here puts us at the leading edge of our industry.
At the same time, we are facing challenges in building momentum toward our greenhouse gas emissions and water reduction goals. Both of these goals are aimed at achieving reductions per pound of product produced. In the midst of a struggling economy, some of our locations are facing declining production volumes, making these goals even more difficult. Furthermore, low U.S. energy prices have made it more difficult to economically justify capital investments in energy-efficient technologies and process improvements. With this in mind, our Good for the Planet council is currently reevaluating our sustainability goals and how they are integrated into our business.
Despite this mixed performance, our commitment to sustainability remains strong. With each year, we further embed sustainability into the fabric of our organization. New employees learn about this commitment during orientation and our operations vice presidents and other leaders have sustainability objectives included in their performance expectations. We will continue to pursue this seamless integration, and rally the imagination of our people to deliver on our sustainability commitments.
|Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions|
|Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20||Reduced by 2 percent|
|percent per pound of product.||Behind Target
|Make Every Drop Count|
|Reduce water use by 15 percent per pound of product.||Reduced by 2 percent|
|Reduce Our Waste|
|Divert at least 75 percent — or 10 percent above the baseline,||Diverting more than 90 percent of waste from landfills|
|if greater — of all solid waste from landfills.||Achieved Goal
|Reduce packaging by 10 percent per pound of product produced.||Reduced by 4.6 percent|
|Increase the amount of packaging made from renewable resources||59 percent renewable|
|from 45 percent to more than 50 percent.||On Target
|Increase the use of recycled content in our packaging by 25 percent.||Increased by 6.6 percent|
|Sustainable Sourcing & Supplier Engagement|
|Actively work with our supply chain to encourage continual||We're beginning to engage our strategic suppliers on|
|improvement in the areas of energy, water, materials and waste.||our sustainability journey through scorecarding and|
|Collaborate with growers of key specialty crops to implement||Sustainable agriculture programs under way for|
|sustainable farming practices that optimize yield while improving land||three of four specialty crops where we directly|
|stewardship.||contract with growers.|