Environmental Performance



RSC Cargill Environmental Performance Mosaic


For future generations

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.

A better Cargill, a better planet

As part of our ongoing pursuit of a better Cargill and a better planet, we set new goals every five years. At the close of our fiscal year ended May 31, 2015, we have proudly surpassed all four of our most recent five-year energy and natural resources targets.

Our first environmental goals were established in 2000, and since that time we have improved energy efficiency by 16 percent. In 2005, we set additional goals for greenhouse gas, freshwater efficiency and renewable energy. Since 2005, greenhouse gas intensity has improved by 9 percent and fresh water efficiency by 12 percent.

2015 Goals Achieved (as of May 31, 2015; from 2010 baseline)

  • Energy efficiency improved 5.1%, surpassing the 2015 goal of 5%.
  • Greenhouse gas intensity improved 7.1%, surpassing the 2015 goal of 5%.
  • Fresh water efficiency improved 6.6%, exceeding the 2015 goal of 5%.
  • Renewable energy increased to 14% of our energy portfolio, exceeding the 2015 goal of 12.5%.

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The power within: How we use renewable energy

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

  • In Thailand, our poultry processing facility uses recovered vegetable oils and animal fats to displace fossil fuels.
  • A fluidized bed boiler at Cargill’s High River, Alberta, Canada facility significantly reduces landfill waste and enables the facility to be powered using nearly 50 percent renewable fuels, eliminating thousands of metric tons of fossil fuel emissions a year.
  • Cargill’s North America beef-processing plants reclaim methane from wastewater lagoons, using the biogas to fuel its plants – displacing about 20 to 25 percent of natural gas demand at those plants.
  • At our wheat processing facility in the Netherlands, half of the biogas produced by anaerobic wastewater treatment plant is used to power the facility, saving 1,000 metric tons of CO2 per year.
  • Nearly half of the energy used to power Cargill’s oilseed processing facility in West Fargo, North Dakota, comes from renewables. The source? Sunflower hulls and landfill gas.
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North America

Latin America




Reducing emissions and saving energy

In Krefeld, Germany, our mill was recognized by the regional chamber of commerce for two projects that conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions: an innovative hot water loop that captures waste heat and distributes it for productive use; and a system that captures formerly lsot heat from compressed air, reducing the facility’s energy consumption by 1 percent.

In addition, three Cargill Salt facilities in the United States are replacing coal boilers with high-efficiency natural gas boilers, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 100,000 metric tons per year.

We also recently collaborated with Tesla and Pacific Gas & Electric to install Tesla’s Energy Storage product at our Fresno, California, beef processing facility. Tesla’s batteries help reduce energy costs by storing electricity at off-peak use times, then using it during peak periods of operation. Over the years, we have pioneered the use of new technology to improve our environmental footprint at Fresno. For example, in 2013, we worked with a third party to install a solar water heating system on the roof of the beef plant’s main building, resulting in a reduction of the facility’s use of natural gas while also reducing its cost to heat water for food safety and plant sanitation purposes. Years earlier, the plant installed a methane gas recovery system for its wastewater pond, which captures this greenhouse gas for use as a fuel source to heat boilers. Water from the boilers is used for daily plant sanitation. Using this system eliminates greenhouse gas emissions and lowers water use.

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Respecting our resources

Water is a key component used for protein processing, but we also know this is one of our most precious natural resources. That’s why our beef plant in Friona, Texas, has cut water use by nearly 25 percent over six years, earning the facility the Texas Water Foundation’s Blue Legacy Award for water conservation in 2015.

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.

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