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Environmental Stewardship

Committed to our Natural Resources

We Believe in Being Responsible Stewards of our Natural Resources

A Message From Drew Getty VP Of Environmental Sustainability

At Perdue Farms, we are committed to stewardship and being the most trusted name in food and agriculture products. In FY24, we continued our focus on reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and water use and increasing the amount of waste we divert from landfills.

Here are a few examples across Perdue Farms that not only demonstrate our broad commitment to environmental stewardship but highlight the direct impact we are having across the communities where we live and work.

  • At our Cromwell, Kentucky processing facility we worked with GreenGasUSA to cover our anaerobic lagoon to capture the methane emitted and convert it to renewable natural gas. This work helped to further reduce our environmental footprint and advance our company-wide carbon-reduction goals.
  • At our processing facility in Washington, Indiana we completed a detailed sustainable operations assessment, which provides us direct line of site into the steps we can take to make the facility more sustainable. As we move forward, the assessment will help serve as a blueprint at other Perdue sites across the company to better improve our environmental footprint. 
  • The Washington, Indiana facility was also re-certified in FY24 as a zero-waste processing facility by GreenCircle. The feed mill operation, which supports the processing facility, was also named a zero-waste facility following an extensive audit by GreenCircle.
  • At our Marietta, Pennsylvania crude oil transloading facility, we significantly reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by improving our internal infrastructure and ability use rail transportation. Following our capital improvement, we removed the equivalent of 724 trucks off state roadways in one calendar year by switching to rail: that is equal to avoiding roughly 152 metric tons of emissions annually.
  • We also continued to see positive environmental impacts from existing projects. For example, our Bainbridge, Pennsylvania soybean processing facility has reduced 33,700 metric tons of CO2 equivalent over the past six years — that is equal to sparing 35.9 million pounds of coal from burning. By harnessing let-down steam from Lancaster County to power our operations, while also returning used process water to the county for treatment and reuse, in calendar year 2023 alone we sent back 22.35 million gallons of used process water to be reused.
  • At our Lewiston, NC plant, more than 142,000 metric tons of CO2e were captured from our anaerobic lagoons and converted to renewable natural gas since the project came online in 2023.

Tracking Our Environmental Goals


*The main reason for this increase was the reduction in total pounds of products or materials Perdue produced. When you make fewer products or materials, but still use a similar amount of water, the water intensity goes up. 


A New Partnership in Our Commitment to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emission

Learn how a new partnership with GreenGasUSA in Lewiston, N.C., is furthering our carbon-reduction goals.

Environmental Stewardship Is An Accountability Across The Organization

We recognize that our consumers, customers and communities expect us to be responsible stewards of our shared natural resources. We also recognize that producing more with less is not the full measure of sustainability, and that we need to take a holistic approach that overlaps with our commitments to food safety and quality, animal welfare, associate well-being, consumer preferences, community concerns and supporting family farms.

In pursuit of our vision “to be the most trusted name in food and agricultural
products®,” we know we must go beyond compliance to actively address the full range of environmental stewardship challenges related to animal agriculture and food production. We know that environmental stewardship includes partnering with and supporting efforts and organizations that bring stakeholders together to protect our natural resources.

We count stewardship among our core company values and incorporate environmental sustainability into our company goals, which the senior leadership team and board approve.

  • The environmental goals, including greenhouse gas emissions, water use, energy use, recycling and compliance, are factored into management compensation and represent an accountability that all associates share
  • Our senior leadership team and board review our environmental goals and results, and those results factor in management compensation
  • We have environmental managers responsible for each of our large facilities, and each facility has an environmental management system to reduce environmental impacts and lower our overall carbon footprint


Green Team Sustainability Project Wins

Each year, every Perdue facility commits to a Facility Sustainability Project that shows a reduction in emissions, wastewater, natural resources consumption or solid waste. The projects, which are a critical part of each location’s Environmental Sustainability Scorecard, are led by our committed associates. Called the “Green Teams,” the groups comprise both hourly and salaried associates who work together to deepen our collective dedication to environmental stewardship while also demonstrating our core value, teamwork, in action.

Here are some of our Green Teams’ latest accomplishments:

Water usage and care

  • The Accomac, Virginia plant is preserving freshwater previously used at high rates – 10 gallons per minute or 14,400 gallons per day –by using a new dry polymer in their production that can be mixed with recycled water instead. Not only does that mean more than 5.25 million gallons of water per year will now be recycled water versus fresh water, but it also unlocked around $200,000 in annual savings on chemical costs.
  • The Rockingham, North Carolina plant also made upgrades to their systems that aimed to reduce freshwater use. By replacing water-cooled oil coolers on several compressors, they are saving 10 gallons a minute or 14,400 gallons per day, and next up they plan to make the same upgrades to the
    remaining compressors.
  • The amount of water needed in daily operations is also being reduced at the Dillon, South Carolina plant where the team put in place an automated recycle and cleaning system that helps reduce the chemicals and water needed in the chiller system and disrupts the normal process of adding the chemicals and water to the system constantly by recycling it instead.
  • In Bridgewater, Virginia, the team invested in a Wastewater Effluent Monitoring system to help ensure compliance in wastewater management to protect and preserve the community water.
  • The Salisbury, Maryland operation has seen a 2% reduction in water use over the past year, thanks to a new pump that allows the tumblers and sprayers to use recycled water instead of drinkable, city water.
  • In Cofield, North Carolina, the team invested to reroute the water lines by removing an old cooling tower, no longer in use, which helped them reduce well water usage by more than 17%.

Recycling improvements and efficiencies

  • The plant team in Concord, North Carolina is cutting down on its trips to landfill through a partnership with Keter Environmental. One baler is being used to separate dry and wet cardboard to recycle more efficiently, and the other is being used for non-contaminated plastics/film to separate those for separate recycling. These efforts are expected to result in the removal of one compactor from pack out and eliminate one haul to landfill per week.

Reducing energy use

  • In Mount Vernon, Washington the team has partnered with its electricity provider, Puget Sound Energy, for a three-year-long program aimed at strategic energy management. By tracking the site’s energy usage and tracking energy-reducing projects as they are completed, the plant receives incentives that they can reinvest in operations – like adding a new wastewater system in July 2023. Estimated annual electricity savings is 3%, or more than 150,000 kWh, after just one year of partnership.

Mapping Out Our Actions

Map of United States westcoast Midwest midatlantic southeast

Select a region to learn more about projects and partnerships across some of our communities.

Perdue Stewardship Updates

Enhancing Animal Nutrition for Methane Reduction

Perdue Animal Nutrition, in partnership with a team from Cornell University, is embarking on a groundbreaking initiative to mitigate methane emissions through advancements in animal nutrition. This industry-academia match grant is funded by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. As the leading dairy state in the U.S., California faces unique challenges in managing methane emissions, particularly from dairy cows.

The grant received will help fund Perdue Animal Nutrition’s ongoing scientific research to learn more about how animal feed and nutrition impacts methane emissions. Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is a byproduct of livestock digestion, particularly in ruminant animals like cows. Through innovative approaches focusing on dietary modifications, particularly involving the supplementation of fatty acids, Perdue aims to reduce methane production in dairy cows. Research has shown that certain fatty acids can alter the microbial population in the cow’s rumen, leading to decreased methane emissions without compromising animal health or productivity.

This project, which is a core sustainability initiative proposed for the whole dairy industry, is a natural extension of Perdue’s commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability.

Perdue Farms extends its partnership with GreenGasUSA, furthering its commitment to reducing carbon emissions in food production

In our second initiative together, GreenGas has enhanced our existing methane-capture system at Perdue’s Cromwell, Ky., facility, improving operational efficiency and creating local jobs. The Cromwell project was completed and online in December 2023 and aims to reduce GHG emissions by 5,000 MTCO2e annually. GreenGas specializes in renewable energy solutions, helping companies convert waste streams into renewable natural gas (RNG) to offset fossil fuel consumption. Previously, Perdue and GreenGas successfully launched a similar project in North Carolina, reducing carbon emissions by 17%. This extension underscores Perdue’s commitment to sustainability and collaboration with innovative partners like GreenGas.

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Conserving & Recycling

We believe in being responsible with our natural resources.

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We believe in engaging our associates.

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Company Stewardship Report

Learn about the steps we're taking to reach our goal of becoming the most trusted name in food and agricultural products.