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Recognizing the importance of protecting the environment, and as part of its ongoing commitment to support the communities in which it operates, Del Monte Foods recently announced formalized environmental sustainability goals.
“Del Monte’s commitment to the environment and the communities in which we operate reflects our rich tradition,” said Richard G. Wolford, Del Monte’s chairman and chief executive officer. “For more than 100 years, Del Monte has been part of the fabric of American life. From our agricultural roots to bringing good food to family tables across the country, our commitment to environmental sustainability literally extends from the fields where our nutritious fruits and vegetables are grown to the grocery shelf.
“We are proud of our heritage and pleased with the progress we have made in reducing our environmental impact. We plan to do more, and our recent efforts reflect our heightened focus on three specific areas in which we can have significant influence – reducing waste, lowering water consumption, and improving air quality. This work will play a part in protecting the environment for future generations to come.”
Del Monte, with its deep agricultural heritage and direct connection to the earth’s resources, has historically been focused, with its growers, on sustaining the environment. Over the years, the company has demonstrated environmental leadership and concern for the communities in which it operates. These efforts include introducing agricultural practices that help farmers grow stronger, more productive crops using less acreage, and with less fertilizer, water and other materials. Today, this focus extends to the company’s manufacturing facilities to reduce its environmental impact from its cannery operations, and to its supply chain to reduce its impact from the sourcing and distribution of goods. At the same time, Del Monte has found that sound environmental practices coincide with improved business efficiencies.
In order to move Del Monte’s long-standing focus on environmental stewardship to a higher level, a cross-functional leadership team has led the effort to deepen the company’s commitment to sustainability by formalizing environmental goals under three key areas – waste, greenhouse gas emissions and water. While the company has been working against these objectives since 2007 and has made significant progress, this sharpened focus on these areas will further reduce the impact of Del Monte’s operations and contribute to healthier environments in communities where the company operates. Del Monte has committed to achieve or exceed these goals by the year 2016, using 2007 as a baseline. The company also plans to continually expand its environmental program and measure its progress in a more meaningful way.
Del Monte Pledges to Reduce Waste
In order to reduce the amount of waste that the company sends to landfills and help decrease the need for new ones, Del Monte has worked to lower solid waste (per ton of finished product) going to landfill from its operations, and has committed to a 75 percent reduction.
Del Monte has been working toward this goal since 2007, and during that period has made significant progress. Two of Del Monte’s locations have become zero-landfill facilities, meaning that 100 percent of their waste has been diverted from landfill. Both the Milk-Bone plant in Buffalo, N.Y., and the Del Monte Foods Distribution Center in Bloomsburg, Pa., are now zero-landfill facilities. As a result of these and other efforts, Del Monte has reduced its waste to landfill by almost 70 percent, and is well on its way to achieving its goal.
Separately, Del Monte commits to reducing its packaging materials by 15 percent, which will not only help reduce the amount of waste our consumers send to landfill, but also decrease the natural resources used across the entire supply chain to produce packaging. To date, the company has implemented several packaging initiatives to drive progress against this goal.
Del Monte Pledges to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Given the importance its production facilities and distribution network play in its operations, Del Monte has a great opportunity to improve air quality in the communities in which it operates.
To drive this work, Del Monte has committed to two goals. The first goal is a 10 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per ton of finished product from the company’s manufacturing, warehousing and research & development facilities. The second goal is a 7 percent reduction in total GHG emissions through improved efficiency in Del Monte’s transportation network.
Del Monte is pleased with its positive progress against each of these goals. The company has reduced its GHG emissions per ton of finished product by approximately 2.5 percent. A primary contribution to this is the 1.9-megawatt solar panel system Del Monte installed at its Hanford and Kingsburg, Calif., processing plants in late 2008. Del Monte has also reduced its transportation miles by approximately 29 million since 2007, which represents an approximate 6 percent reduction in GHG emissions through improved efficiency of the company’s transportation network.
To further support its GHG emission reduction goals, Del Monte recently joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Climate Leaders program, an industry-government partnership that works with companies to develop comprehensive climate change strategies. The company will be working with the EPA on a climate change strategy that will further reduce its GHG emissions.
Del Monte Pledges to Reduce Water Usage
Given the importance of water in Del Monte’s production facilities and driven by a desire to minimize water resources used by the company, Del Monte is working to find innovative ways to significantly reduce its water consumption.
Del Monte has committed to a 20 percent reduction in fresh water usage per ton of finished product. Since 2007, the company has reduced fresh water consumption by approximately 9 percent and is on track to meet its 2016 goal.
Del Monte is pleased with its progress to-date on all of its goals, and is committed to continuing to seek new ways to meet or exceed them.
The company has published its environmental goals on its corporate responsibility Web site, www.delmonte.com/cr, and commits to updating its progress against them on an annual basis.
About Del Monte Foods
Del Monte Foods is one of the country’s largest and most well-known producers, distributors and marketers of premium quality, branded pet products and food products for the U.S. retail market, generating approximately $3.7 billion in net sales in fiscal 2010. With a powerful portfolio of brands, Del Monte products are found in eight out of 10 U.S. households. Pet food and pet snacks brands include Meow Mix, Kibbles 'n Bits, Milk-Bone, 9Lives, Pup-Peroni, Gravy Train, Nature’s Recipe, Canine Carry-Outs and other brand names. Food product brands include Del Monte, Contadina, S&W, College Inn and other brand names. The company also produces and distributes private label pet products and food products.