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Cargill Reduces GHG Emissions at US Plants

by 5m Editor
3 November 2011, at 7:45am

US – Ongoing efforts by meat, poultry and agrifood business, Cargill, to improve energy efficiency and expand its use of renewable energy sources has enabled the company to exceed the Chicago Climate Exchange's (CCX) required six per cent in annual greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target.

CCX established annual compliance milestones for absolute GHG reductions from baseline at its large emitting facilities.

For calendar year 2010 – the final year of CCX’s operation – Cargill reduced its GHG emissions at its US facilities by 11 per cent.

Cargill made a voluntary but legally binding commitment to reduce absolute GHG emissions from its large emitting US locations by joining CCX.

Cargill credits this progress to a number of the GHG-reducing systems and processes it has implemented in recent years, including:

  • At every one of Cargill’s US beef and pork processing plants, renewable energy systems are in place to capture methane – a powerful greenhouse gas – that would otherwise be emitted to the atmosphere. That methane is then used as fuel and displaces 20 to 25 per cent of natural gas demand at each location, further reducing GHG emissions

  • For two consecutive years, four of the company’s US corn milling plants have earned the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Energy Star, the national symbol for protecting the environment through energy efficiency, and

  • Cargill is implementing behaviour-based energy savings programmes, a system which engages employees in recognising and eliminating energy inefficiencies.

“We are pleased that we exceeded CCX’s annual greenhouse gas reduction requirements every year, and were proud to participate in this pioneering effort to develop understanding of carbon markets in the United States,” said Cargill’s Environment, Health and Safety Corporate Vice President, LaRaye Osborne.

“The rigour of the CCX rules and verification processes helped us refine our GHG management systems and improve performance against our five-year energy, GHG and fresh water goals.”

In addition to its CCX progress, Cargill in September announced that it had made strong progress toward its 2015 environmental sustainability goals.

By 2015, Cargill aims to improve energy efficiency by five per cent; improve GHG intensity by five per cent; increase renewable energy to 12.5 per cent of its energy portfolio and improve freshwater efficiency by five per cent.

In the 2011 financial year, Cargill said it harvested years of investment in developing the people, processes and technology to address these priorities:

  • Energy efficiency improved 3.7 per cent over its 2010 baseline;
  • GHG intensity improved 3.8 per cent over its 2010 baseline;
  • Renewables accounted for 11 per cent of the company’s energy portfolio; and
  • Freshwater efficiency improved 3.1 per cent over its 2010 baseline.