Environmental Performance



RSC Cargill Environmental Performance Mosaic


The future of Cargill and our planet depends on our ability to adapt to the changes around us and find more ways to reduce our environmental footprint.

Throughout our first 150 years in business, we have learned firsthand the benefits – for the company and our customers – of removing costs by improving yields, operations and transportation efficiencies, and eliminating waste.

Today this translates into a focus on using energy more efficiently, reducing our greenhouse gas, drawing power from renewable energy sources and using water efficiently, all of which is good for the environment, our customers, our communities and our business.

Progress against 2015 goals

Cargill first established environmental goals in 1995, with a focus on resource and energy efficiency beginning in 2000. As part of our ongoing pursuit of a better Cargill and a better planet, we set new goals every five years. Today, we continue to make steady progress within our operations against our 2015 goals.

RSC Cargill Environmental Performance Charts


The power within

Cargill uses more than 15 different renewable energy sources at nearly 100 locations. For example:

  • Our Uberlândia facility in Brazil uses wood chips from fast-growing eucalyptus trees as biomass to power the site’s bio boiler. This generates 70 percent of the power and 100 percent of the steam at this location.
  • In Thailand, our poultry processing facility uses recovered vegetable oils and animal fats to displace fossil fuels.
  • A fluidized bed boiler at Cargill’s facility in High River, Alberta, Canada, significantly reduces landfill waste and enables the facility to be powered using 80% renewable fuels. The technology also will eliminate 21,000 metric tons of fossil fuel emissions annually. This project makes High River the most “renewable” meat processing plant in North America.

RSC Cargill Environmental Performance Map

Expanding the reach of Behavior-based Energy Management

Our Behavior Based Energy Management (BBEM) program now includes most of Cargill’s businesses globally and is helping to make energy and energy conservation part of every-day life at Cargill. Whether that’s finding and fixing leaky pipes to operating equipment only when necessary, small changes are adding up to big improvements. To date we have conducted BBEM assessments at hundreds of locations representing more than 90 percent of the company’s energy costs.

A systems approach to improving energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gases

In Germany, several sites earned ISO50001 energy management systems certification, demonstrating clear processes for improving energy efficiency to reduce associated greenhouse gases, costs and environmental impacts. These sites join more than 100 Cargill locations around the world with existing certifications for environmental and safety management systems.

Respecting our resources

Water is a key component used for protein processing. Knowing how precious water is in many of the areas where we operate, Cargill treats and reuses water in specified areas of our plants. Many of our facilities further reuse treated water for cropland irrigation, ultimately utilizing the same water up to three times. Cargill’s beef processing facilities provide about half of their treated wastewater for local farm irrigation, displacing the need for groundwater irrigation.

RSC Cargill Environmental Performance Artwork Energy StarDoing more together

Cargill partners with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s voluntary ENERGY STAR program to help our businesses save money and improve energy efficiency. We also incorporate ENERGY STAR best practices into our global behavior-based energy management system – a program that helps employees find ways to save energy as part of our daily actions.

CDP names Cargill sector leader in tackling deforestation

Cargill has been recognized by the CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) as the leader in its sector for corporate action on tackling deforestation.

Cargill’s performance on CDP’s climate change disclosure evaluation in 2014 climbed 14 points over last year, to a score of 84 out of 100. The results highlight the many environmental sustainability actions the company takes within its operations, as well as its innovative sustainable products and services.

The company is committed to sustainable, deforestation-free, socially responsible palm oil and endorsed the U.N. Declaration on Forests in 2014, reinforcing the company’s commitment to sustainable palm.

RSC Cargill Environmental Performance Deforestation photo

RSC Cargill Environmental Performance Artwork McDonaldsMcDonald’s honors Cargill with seven “Best of Sustainable Supply” awards

McDonald’s, one of Cargill’s largest global customers, honored Cargill in 2014 with seven “Best of Sustainable Supply” awards, including recognition for implementing renewable energy sources in chicken housing to reduce the housing’s carbon footprint while improving animal health.

The innovation improved chickens’ leg health, and analysis of energy usage confirmed that the renewable technologies reduced the carbon footprint of the chicken houses by around 30 percent.

RSC Cargill Environmental Performance Artwork UnileverUnilever honors Cargill with ‘Visionary’ award

To help Unilever achieve its business goals, Cargill has delivered a series of ground-breaking solutions aimed at helping Unilever reduce its environmental impact, improve sustainability and grow its business through innovation. In 2014, this work resulted in Unilever selecting Cargill as its first-ever “Visionary” award winner during its fourth Partner to Win Supplier Summit.