Innovations & case studies
Innovations promoting environmental sustainability
Cargill pioneers profitable businesses and products by making use of renewable raw materials. It’s just one more way Cargill shows its leadership in environmental practices. Explore this section to see our many innovative environmental solutions.
Our NatureWorks® polymer is the world’s first greenhouse-gas-neutral polymer, and makes NatureWorks one of the top 25 U.S. corporate consumers of green energy. And because it is compostable, recyclable and easy to incinerate, NatureWorks® polymers can reduce landfill waste by hundreds of millions of pounds per year.
We have developed an array of bio-based oils, lubricants, plastics and other products suitable for industrial applications. One of our innovations is our BiOH® polyols, a soy-based ingredient used in making flexible foam for upholstered furniture and bedding, carpet backing, and automotive cushioning. Such foam cushioning is traditionally made from petroleum. Switching to BiOH polyols reduces petroleum consumption, leaves a smaller environmental footprint and supports farmers. Every one million pounds of BiOH polyols used instead of petroleum-based materials saves 2,000 barrels of crude oil. Local retailers offer a variety of BiOH polyols products. This innovation received the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Through Cargill Process Optimizers (CPO), we share our own engineering expertise in thermal energy engineering and process modeling with our customers. Results include significant energy efficiency improvement in our facilities, as well as efficiency improvements in processing raw materials. Customers are now tapping into this Cargill strength.
Food manufacturing process optimization
CPO provides customers with cost reduction, capacity increase and yield improvements in food manufacturing operations. Our top-down approach provides solutions for increasing capacity from existing assets or tackling sustainability goals. We also help facility operating teams gain a deeper understanding of the interactions between energy, raw material and water use. CPO has completed projects at more than 100 operating facilities on five continents, and across a broad range of food-based processes.
Visit Cargill Process Optimizers to learn more.
What started as an idea could power a village. Cargill captures methane gas at our beef and pork facilities to produce energy. And we share the technology with ranchers and dairies worldwide. Three large dairies in the United States now use the anaerobic digesters we developed to produce electricity — 1.3 million kilowatt-hours per month. That’s enough to power 3,000 homes.
- Livestock manure from local farms. As part of our commitment to environmental innovation, Cargill has donated $500,000 to fund a biogas plant on the popular Korean tourist island of Jeju, to provide an alternative source of electrical power. The island’s local livestock farms convert manure into energy through a fermentation process to generate methane. Next, the methane is converted into electricity and sold to the local power grid, generating nearly 700,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year.
- Worldwide biogas projects. Cargill supports biogas projects around the world. We install digesters and engines that convert waste into power in Mexico, South Africa, China, Honduras, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Through this work we provide a sustainable alternative to traditional waste management to customers and help offset methane emissions in the process.
Cargill supports biogas projects around the world. We install digesters and engines that convert waste into power in Mexico, South Africa, China, Honduras, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Through this work we provide a sustainable alternative to traditional waste management to customers and help offset methane emissions in the process.