MINNEAPOLIS, April 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- To celebrate Earth Day and World Environment Day, Cargill employees in 30 countries will demonstrate their commitment to the environment by participating in community service initiatives, including river clean-ups, tree plantings, and water quality testing programs. This is the company's single largest community involvement initiative annually.
Between Earth Day and World Environment Day, more than 300 teams of Cargill employees are joining with local organizations across the globe to participate in programs that will bring positive change to the environment. The company also is supporting environmental projects and programs by matching donations made by Cargill businesses in their communities.
Beyond this initiative, Cargill works continuously to conserve resources in four goal areas – energy efficiency, greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity, renewable energy and freshwater efficiency. Some of Cargill's global practices include:
- Alternative energy resources: More than 80 Cargill facilities generate energy from more than 10 renewable resources such as sawdust, hulls from sunflower seeds and cocoa beans, and sugar cane bagasse. These systems help limit the use of fossil fuels and reduce associated GHG emissions.
- At its beef and pork plants, for example, Cargill reclaims methane from its waste water lagoons and turns it into biogas to fuel its plant boilers. Biogas now displaces up to 30 percent of natural gas demand at 11 of Cargill's North American meat processing plants. This renewable energy represents almost 20 percent of these facilities' total energy consumption.
- Cargill's complex in Uberlandia, Brazil, is using wood chips from fast-growing eucalyptus trees as biomass to power a bioboiler. This process generates 70 percent of the power and 100 percent of the steam at this location, resulting in a savings of 60,000 metric tons of fuel oil per year and reduced GHG emissions.
- In Vietnam, Cargill's Bienhoa plant is powered by steam that is purchased from a supplier who creates the steam with a biomass boiler.
- At Cargill's Medan plant in Indonesia, the company invested in a biomass boiler to produce aqua feeds.
- Behavior-based energy management: Cargill also is implementing behavior-based energy savings programs, a system which engages employees in recognizing and eliminating energy inefficiencies.
- A Cargill corn processing plant in Turkey was recognized by the Turkish government for its energy management program that includes web-based management of power consumption.
- Freshwater efficiency: Cargill is working to reduce freshwater consumption through behavioral, procedural and technical changes at its facilities.
- Cargill's malt plant in Spiritwood, North Dakota, is saving 264 million gallons of water a year through behavioral, procedural and technical changes to prevent overflows and improve awareness and education.
- Over 24 months, Cargill's poultry facility in London, Ontario, Canada, reduced freshwater consumption by 28 percent by recycling the water used for cooling and rinsing.
Additionally, Cargill's environmental efforts include supporting carbon trading markets, working in partnership with global NGOs and investing in alternative energy initiatives. Examples of these programs include:
- Supporting carbon trading markets: Cargill is an active trader of credits in the EU ETS and other regulated and voluntary markets globally. Cargill has invested in approximately 80 Clean Development Mechanism projects in developing economies to produce Certified Emission Reductions credits that decrease the cost of compliance with the Kyoto Protocol.
- Partnering with global NGOs: In the Santarem region of Brazil, Cargill has partnered with The Nature Conservancy to help restore area forests by providing on-the-ground support to help soy farmers to comply with the Brazilian Forest Code. To date, 383 farms in the area have been evaluated by The Nature Conservancy and are registered with the Para state government.
- Biogas as alternative energy: A new, Cargill-funded biogas plant on the island province of Jeju, Korea, will convert livestock manure into energy through a fermentation process that generates methane. The methane will then be converted into electricity and sold to the local power grid, generating nearly 700,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year.
- Wind-powered ocean vessels: Cargill's ocean transportation business has partnered with SkySails GmbH & Co. KG, a Hamburg-based company, to use wind power to reduce GHG emissions in the shipping industry. The 320 square meter kite will be installed on the vessel in December of 2011 and is expected to be fully operational in the first quarter of 2012. It will be connected by a rope and will be computer-controlled to maximize wind benefits.
Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 131,000 people in 66 countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to applying its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business. For more information, visit www.cargill.com.
About Cargill Volunteerism
Cargill's strong culture of volunteerism stems from two of the company's key performance measures: enriched communities and engaged employees. Every day, our employees and retirees lend their time and talent around the world to advance access to health and nutrition programming, support innovation in education, and protect our global natural resources. Collectively and individually, we build homes and schools, mentor youth, educate farmers, clean up shorelines and feed hungry people. Volunteer activities are planned by business units and by employee-led Cargill Cares Councils. Cargill has more than 300 Cargill Cares Councils in Asia Pacific, Africa, Europe, and Latin and North America.