Spam maker makes mincemeat of waste and water

Hormel Foods, the company behind the Spam brand, has exceeded its first set of five-year sustainability goals for reductions in waste, water and packaging.

In its latest corporate responsibility report released yesterday (May 16), the US-based food manufacturer announced it had reduced water consumption across its operations by 15%, saving 40.4m gallons in total.

Hormel has also increased recycling rates by 27% over the past 12 months and implemented a number of successful waste minimisation initiatives.

These included working with one of its tray suppliers to develop a process to collect excess trim material from the trays for remanufacture through a closed loop model.

Implemented in the second quarter of 2011, this change resulted in a reduction of 446 tonnes of solid waste to landfill, a figure which is expected to double by the end of the year.

By working with another supplier to move from thick, corrugated packaging slip sheets to thinner paperboard slip sheets, this transition helped save Hormel around 125 tonnes of fibre annually while still retaining quality and stacking strength

The company is also in the process of implementing several significant capital projects designed to reduce energy use and expects to see results in the 2012 fiscal year, as part of a new corporate energy conservation goal.

Maxine Perella

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