Improving energy efficiency and reducing air emissions are high priorities at Pilgrim’s. Air quality and greenhouse gases (GHG) are a top concern for our team and the communities where we operate, and we are constantly looking for opportunities to improve. Our energy reduction targets, while contributing to plant efficiency and cost savings, are also directly tied to our efforts to reduce GHG emissions.
Energy use reduction is a company priority, and our corporate environmental teams work to implement best practices for energy efficiency and to reduce GHG emissions across our operations.
Energy use depends on the nature of the activities at our facilities. For example, a packing facility has different energy requirements than a further processing facility. Energy use can also be impacted by extreme climate events, requiring additional energy to ensure temperatures are maintained at optimal levels to ensure the quality and safety of our food products.
Local regulations also influence the adoption and implementation of energy-efficiency goals and programs. Therefore, it is critical to focus our efforts to address the unique challenges in specific markets so we can develop customized programs that are relevant to the local energy challenges at each facility.
“This year, we will implement additional projects in renewable energy and are looking forward to expanding in this area.”
Leon Felipe Moya Daumas
Institutional Affairs Manager
The most common challenge when implementing energy-saving projects is the initial capital investment, as often the cost of implementation outweighs the expected return on investment (ROI) within a reasonable time frame. Where possible, we strive to invest in technologies that allow for better data retrieval and analysis of high energy-use equipment so the company can make informed decisions to justify ROI and make improvements critical to the long-term success of the business.
We are currently looking at opportunities to use waste-to-energy processes. To date, one of our facilities uses biogas as a renewable energy source. In 2018, the share of indirect energy from renewable sources used at our U.S. facilities was 5 percent.
We must also take into account the profile of any facility, including its type, size and age, when developing goals or target-reduction strategies. When establishing energy-reduction targets, it is important to implement meaningful strategies at each facility based on the type of production, the local energy source constraints and challenges, as well as the facility profile.
In 2018, all Pilgrim’s operations invested in improved energy efficiency. Our energy targets moving forward will continue to focus on maximizing operational efficiencies while reducing emissions and costs. Energy use will continue to be a critical priority in our sustainability program.
In addition to reducing GHG emissions and energy use, implementing odor-reduction technologies is a focus at Pilgrim’s. All our facilities with rendering operations use odor-reduction programs and technologies, including high-intensity air scrubbers that remove ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, which reduces odors from the rendering process.
20% reduction in GHG emissions. We have exceeded our goal of 14%.
*Goals set based on 2013, 2014, 2015 average baselines for our U.S. facilities
We measure and report energy use across facilities and invest annually in more energy-efficient equipment to reduce both fuel and electricity use. From 2017 to 2018, Pilgrim’s increased fuel use intensity by 2.5 percent and reduced electricity use intensity by 5.3 percent.
Our business units in the U.S. and Puerto Rico reduced their fuel use and electricity use intensity by 0.5 and 7.4 percent, respectively. Since 2015, these business units have achieved a 10.8 percent reduction in fuel use intensity and a 13.2 percent reduction in electricity use intensity, surpassing our 2020 electricity reduction target. These reductions are the result of improved operational efficiencies and reduced fuel and electricity use in our facilities. These teams will continue to stay focused on reducing energy use throughout our operations to meet our 14 percent reduction target in natural gas by 2020.
We track direct GHG emissions from stationary and mobile sources (Scope 1), excluding manure emissions from our live animal operations, and energy indirect emissions (Scope 2). From 2017 to 2018, we reduced our GHG emission intensity by 4.1 percent.
In the U.S. and Puerto Rico, overall GHG intensity decreased from 2017 to 2018 by 4.1 percent. Since 2015, these operations have reduced their overall Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions by 20.2 percent, meeting their 2020 target.