As we celebrate the 125th anniversary of the company this year, we are excited to share our 10th annual corporate responsibility report and the progress we have made as a leading corporate citizen in our industry. The 2015 report can be found entirely online at 2015csr.hormelfoods.com.
Our food journey is how we produce food responsibly for customers and consumers around the world through five focus areas: the environment, animal welfare, our products, people and communities. Hormel Foods continues to make significant strides, and this past year was no exception. To build upon the efforts of the Corporate Responsibility Council, the company also established an executive Corporate Responsibility Steering Committee.
Other 2015 highlights:
After surpassing our 2020 solid waste goal last year, we continued to implement projects to achieve additional reductions. In 2015 alone, our operations implemented projects that reduced the amount of solid waste sent to landfills by 1,200 tons. We also made notable progress toward our other 2020 goals to reduce water, energy, greenhouse gas emissions and packaging.
Each year, Hormel Foods facilitates an Environmental Sustainability Best of the Best competition that recognizes internal teams of employees who identify and implement ways to help us operate more efficiently. In 2015, there were 58 entries generated across all Hormel Foods business segments, and our Farmer John (Vernon Calif.) team was chosen as the champion for their energy reduction initiatives. This team implemented projects that resulted in a savings of over 1.75 million kWh of electricity and 3,000 MMBtu of natural gas.
Nutrition and Wellness
In addition to our sodium reduction efforts, we implemented a clean label initiative to simplify the ingredient statements of many of our retail products through the removal or replacement of ingredients, while still delivering great-tasting items that consumers expect. Clean label projects that were completed in 2015 included: Valley Fresh® chicken and turkey, Hormel® Compleats® microwaveable meals and Hormel® Always Tender® meats.
We also partnered with the Cancer Nutrition Consortium to develop a line of food and beverage products designed to support the unique nutrition needs of patients recovering from cancer and undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy. In 2015, we launched Hormel Vital Cuisine™ high-protein shakes and whey powders and made them available directly to consumers for home delivery.
We continue to innovate and adapt our offerings to meet the constantly evolving needs of consumers. Delivering foods that fit today’s busy lifestyles, products focused on nutritious and holistic attributes, and items with new and adventurous flavors from many cultures around the globe will drive our future growth.
In 2015, we added several new products to our portfolio such as: Hormel® Black Label® premium bacon, Muscle Milk Pro Series® products, SKIPPY® P.B. bites, and SPAM® snacks. We also acquired Applegate Farms, LLC, which has allowed us to offer a new line of products to meet the growing demand for natural and organic foods.
Giving back is an important value of the company. Hormel Foods continues to focus its philanthropic efforts on hunger relief, education and supporting the local communities where we operate, and in 2015 contributed more than $7.7 million to support these initiatives.
For example, the company donated $400,000 to local hunger relief organizations in 40 communities where we have manufacturing facilities. Hormel Foods also continued its donations of SPAMMY®, a shelf-stable poultry product fortified with vitamins and minerals that is distributed to malnourished children in Guatemala. In 2015, we donated 2.4 million cans of SPAMMY® through our partnership with Food for the Poor and Caritas Arquidiocesana. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved the fortified poultry-based spread for purchase under Title I feeding programs and Title II for USAID programs, which will help us expand our reach to help malnourished people.
Hormel Foods continues to be recognized for its work in these important areas, such as being named one of the 100 Best Corporate Citizens by Corporate Responsibility Magazine, receiving Progressive Grocer Editors’ Picks accolades for eight of our product innovations, and being named a finalist in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Corporate Citizenship Awards for Project SPAMMY®.
Since 1891, producing food responsibly has been a key focus for the company. As you can see, this commitment remains just as strong today, and will continue to, thanks to the hard work and dedication of all employees.