Smithfield Foods, Inc., Smithfield, Va., released its 2015 Sustainability & Financial Report, which was prepared in accordance with the core option of the G4 Guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative.

For the first time, Smithfield published its 15th annual sustainability report in segments organized by pillar of the company's robust program. The goal of the multiphase release was to deliver information in a more accessible, meaningful way while enhancing transparency. Over a period of several weeks, Smithfield published the animal care, environment, food safety and quality, helping communities and people sessions in succession.

Additional sections now available include governance and management, international operations and value creation, along with key metrics measuring the company's sustainability performance. Together, the newly issued sections demonstrate how the company's sustainability programs create value for the company and its stakeholders.

"At Smithfield, we understand that financial stability and sustainability efforts go hand-in-hand," says Stewart Leeth, vice president of regulatory affairs and chief sustainability officer. "By leveraging our vertically integrated business model, our sustainability efforts drive efficiency throughout our operations and yield benefits all along our supply chain."

Notable highlights from the report include:

  • Said to be the first in the industry to provide a clear, practical definition of “prevention” as it relates to antibiotics use in farm animals, part of the company's refined and increased reporting in this area.
  • Said to be the first pork company to publish an ingredient glossary, an online resource that lists and describes ingredients used in products across the company's brands.
  • Achieved and made significant progress in natural resource reduction targets, including meeting its normalized greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goal and nearly meeting its energy use reduction target four years ahead of its 2020 deadline.
  • Increased charitable giving by 30% over the previous year to $27.1 million.
  • Launched new employee engagement programs and reinvigorating employee resource groups.
  • Continued proven track record of employee safety with injury rates below the national average across all industries.

"Smithfield continues to lead the industry in sustainability, and I am proud that we have made such significant progress toward our sustainability goals and targets, even achieving some goals years ahead of schedule," says Ken Sullivan, president and CEO. "These achievements positively impact our business, advance the industry and better position our company as a global food producer and leading consumer packaged goods company."