Murphy-Brown LLC, the livestock production subsidiary for Smithfield Foods Inc., recorded a stellar year in 2011 for successfully managing the complex environmental aspects of its hog farms across the country, and its feat hasn't gone unnoticed.
Murphy-Brown has earned Smithfield Foods' Zero Hero Award for its outstanding environmental management performance last year, which included managing more than 450 company-owned farms nationwide without incurring a single environmental notice of violation (NOV).
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state environmental agencies issue NOVs for violations of their environmental rules and regulations, and direct companies to take the appropriate corrective actions.
"In addition to shining a well-deserved spotlight on last year's outstanding performance, we are also recognizing Murphy-Brown for a decade of continuous improvement in environmental management at all of its facilities across the country," said Dennis H. Treacy, Smithfield's executive vice president and chief sustainability officer.
"Murphy-Brown's success clearly demonstrates that responsible companies can promote and achieve social change," Treacy added.
"Given the complexity of raising hogs today and the sheer number of farms and different manure management activities that we manage on a daily basis, 'zero' NOVs is truly an amazing accomplishment," said Kraig Westerbeek, Murphy-Brown's assistant vice president for environmental compliance and worker safety.
Westerbeek pointed out "the fact that we were able to achieve this level of compliance underscores the excellence of our environmental management systems. And a critical component in our success is the dedication of our management team and our employees to these systems."
A decade ago, Smithfield adopted a corporate environmental policy committing the company to pollution prevention and continuous improvement in its environmental performance. In 2002 Smithfield received ISO 14001 certification for all of its domestic company-owned farms, and by 2004 its U.S. processing facilities also earned the same ISO certification.
ISO 14001 is the international gold standard for environmental management. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), based in Geneva, Switzerland, promotes the development and implementation of voluntary international standards for environmental management systems. Receiving ISO certification means a facility has implemented state-of-the-art management systems that include formalized practices to protect the environment.
Source: Smithfield Foods Inc.