Sanderson Farms, Inc., Laurel, Miss., released its 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report, highlighting the company’s commitment to social and environmental responsibility and its approach to fiscal responsibility, employee safety, animal welfare and nutrition, antibiotic usage, food safety, philanthropy, environmental conservation and more.
“As a public company with a responsibility to shareholder returns, it is our job to ensure that not only is today a good day for chicken, but [also] the day after that, the week after that, the month after that, the year after that and for the next decades to come,” says Joe Sanderson Jr., chairman of the board and CEO. “After reading this report, I feel confident that readers will come to understand why we, at Sanderson Farms, believe it is always a good day for chicken.”
Since 2008, Sanderson Farms has tracked its daily usage of electricity, gas and water at each poultry complex in an effort to continually innovate processes and conserve natural resources. The use of these natural resources and utilities are measured against company goals and industry standards per salable pound. When compared to baseline values established in 2008, Sanderson Farms has achieved a 24% reduction in electricity usage, a 43% reduction in natural gas usage and a 44% reduction in water usage at the company’s production and processing facilities.
According to the report, the amount of electricity conserved in 2018, as compared to baseline values established in 2008, would power all 11 of the company’s hatcheries for four years and over 165 days. By the same standard, the amount of natural gas conserved in 2018, as compared to baseline values established in 2008, would power all nine of the company’s feed mills for one year and over 235 days.
In addition to conserving natural resources, Sanderson Farms utilizes a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facility that treats water utilized in the company’s processing facilities to thoroughly clean and chill products as well as sanitize facilities. By utilizing biological treatment, oxygenation, clarification and ultraviolet disinfection to treat wastewater, Sanderson Farms is able to recycle the water it consumes back into the environment through direct discharge to local streams or through land application.
“As a company, we fully understand our obligation to protect our environment by conserving natural resources, recycling resources utilized in our operation and creating renewable resources when possible,” says Pic Billingsley, director of development and engineering. “We go to great lengths to ensure our facilities are designed and built to conserve precious natural resources like water, and we are always looking for ways to innovate and improve upon the progress we have already made in terms of being a responsible steward of the environment.”
Since 2011, Sanderson Farms has donated $10.6 million and over 1.7 million pounds of product to charitable and community organizations, as well as $3.6 million to disaster relief efforts. In addition, every time a new Sanderson Farms poultry complex is built, that complex creates approximately 1,100 new jobs, supports over 80 local family farmers and provides an estimated economic impact of $1.43 billion in the first 10 years.
“We feel like we have a responsibility to give back where we see the greatest need,” says Lampkin Butts, president and COO. “Our success as a business is dependent on the success of the communities in which we operate, and we are responsible to each and every one of the communities where we operate. That is one reason why helping our communities succeed has been at the core of our corporate culture since the company was founded. We owe it to our employees and their families.”