Smithfield Foods Inc. has announced that its distribution center in North East, Md., has received Silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The state-of-the-art facility, which began operating in fall 2019, is the first building in the company’s portfolio to receive LEED certification and exemplifies Smithfield’s commitment to implementing sustainable best practices throughout its operations.

The $90 million, 420,000-square-foot facility features more than 47,000 pallet positions and the latest industry technology, including efficient refrigeration systems that reduce energy use by more than 19% and utilize 50% less ammonia compared to similar facilities and chilling systems.

The location of the newest distribution center in Smithfield’s footprint gives the company the ability to serve its customers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions by providing access to one-third of the U.S. population within an overnight drive, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, transportation mileage and fuel costs while improving delivery times. These operational efficiencies also contribute to Smithfield’s industry-leading carbon reduction goals to reduce GHG emissions across the company’s entire U.S. supply chain 25% by 2025 and to become carbon negative in all U.S. company-owned operations by 2030.

“Achieving LEED certification at our North East distribution center is an important milestone in our efforts to continually optimize our supply chain operations to meet our sustainability goals,” said Scott Saunders, chief supply chain officer. “This distinction recognizes energy-efficient operational features that are relatively uncommon in the food and cold storage space and are a testament to Smithfield’s leadership by example in sustainable, responsible food production.”

Additional green features of the facility include optimized and low-flow water fixtures to reduce unnecessary water use; zero-water landscaping that eliminates the need for sprinklers; LED lighting with occupancy sensors; electric car charging stations; and ongoing green cleaning and pest control practices, among others.

Source: Smithfield Foods