The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality recognized Smithfield Foods' Tar Heel, North Carolina, pork-processing facility as a Rising Environmental Steward for its continuing commitment to exceeding compliance with environmental regulations and maintaining a high standard of environmental excellence.

"Smithfield has prioritized environmental stewardship and transparent reporting for more than two decades," said Stewart Leeth, chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods. "This recognition from NCDEQ reflects the strength of our environmental programs in North Carolina and our commitment to enhancing and protecting the state's natural resources above and beyond what is required by law."

NCDEQ's Environmental Stewardship Initiative recognizes and supports companies and facilities that go above and beyond to reduce their impact on the environment. The Rising Environmental Steward designation is for organizations that have a mature environmental management system and measurable environmental performance goals.

Smithfield's Tar Heel facility has been recognized as an environmental leader under the Environmental Stewardship Initiative for the past 21 years and became a Rising Steward in 2005. The facility's wastewater treatment system produces renewable natural gas that provides power to the processing plant and more than 2,000 local homes and businesses. Tar Heel's reuse and reclaimed water systems send approximately 1 million gallons of water per day back to the refrigeration system and outdoor washdown hoses to significantly decrease the facility's use of potable water.

Smithfield's Clinton, North Carolina, facility has been recognized for environmental performance under the program since 2004 and is also a Rising Environmental Steward. Smithfield's facility in Wilson, North Carolina, has been recognized since 2005 and has been named a Steward, NCDEQ's elite designation for organizations displaying a commitment to exemplary environmental performance beyond what is required by law.

In 2001, Smithfield was the first U.S. agriculture livestock company to achieve ISO 14001 certification for its environmental management system. The company was also the first in its industry to announce an absolute greenhouse gas emission-reduction goal and first to commit to becoming carbon negative in all U.S. company-owned operations by 2030.


About Smithfield Foods, Inc.
Headquartered in Smithfield, Virginia, since 1936, Smithfield Foods, Inc. is a U.S. food company that employs nearly 60,000 people in seven countries and partners with thousands of American farmers. As one of the world's leading vertically integrated protein companies, we are dedicated to producing "Good food. Responsibly." to feed a growing world population. We have pioneered sustainability standards for more than two decades, including our industry-leading commitments to become carbon negative in our U.S. company-owned operations and reduce GHG emissions 30% across our entire U.S. value chain by 2030. We believe in the power of protein to end food insecurity and have donated hundreds of millions of food servings to food banks, disaster relief efforts and community outreach programs in all 50 U.S. states. Smithfield boasts a portfolio of high-quality iconic brands, such as Smithfield, Eckrich, Gwaltney and Nathan's Famous, among many others.