Food Shippers Go Green

Food Shippers Go Green

From PepsiCo to Land O’Lakes, these food manufacturers and producers have sustainability best practices down pat.

Improvements to the food supply chain came fast and furious this year. Leading food companies are serving up improvements in supply chain safety and sustainability, while at the same time lowering costs and meeting ever-increasing demand for the highest levels of service from their customers.

Food and beverage manufacturers are incorporating sustainable practices in myriad ways—from minimizing greenhouse gas emissions and choosing packaging materials made of recycled or recyclable materials, to auditing water and energy usage at their facilities, and investing in energy-efficient equipment.

Inbound Logistics highlights leading companies in the food value chain that continue to optimize and energize their supply chain sustainability initiatives.


Purchase, NY |

PepsiCo is a food and beverage company offering products to more than 200 countries and territories. Net revenue reached more than $65 billion in 2012.

Brands: Aquafina, Aunt Jemima, Cracker Jack, Doritos, Fritos, Gatorade, Lay’s, Life, Mountain Dew, Quaker, Rice-A-Roni, Ruffles, Seattle’s Best Coffee, 7-Up, SoBe, SunChips, Tazo, Tostitos, Tropicana

Major Product Areas: Beverages, bakery, cereal, snacks

Sustainability Facts: PepsiCo uses its global supply chain relationships to ensure it works with partners that operate ethically and responsibly. The company pursues continuous packaging and agricultural innovation, and works to improve procurement practices within and beyond the direct material supply chain by leveraging its talent, programs, and policies across the world to all associates involved in purchasing functions and decisions.

Tyson Foods

Springdale, AR |

With approximately 115,000 employees at hundreds of facilities and offices around the world, Tyson sells its products in about 130 countries. The company reported $33.3 billion in sales in fiscal 2012.

Brands: Cut & Ready, Deli Slices, Grilled & Ready, Mexican Original, Open Prairie Natural Angus, Pizza Topper, Pizzano, Readi Rise, Solo Serves, Supreme Tender, TastyBird, Thorn Apple Valley, Weaver, Wilson, Wunderbar

Major Product Areas: Beef, pork, poultry, frozen and prepared foods

Sustainability Facts: Tyson Foods encourages supply partners to recognize the role they play in helping ensure product safety and quality. To that end, requirements in Tyson’s supply contracts emphasize the sustainability objectives it shares with more than 7,500 supply partners. Tyson also seeks to purchase goods and services from locally based supply partners who are situated in the same county, an adjoining county, or the same state as a Tyson Foods operation.


Glendale, CA |

Nestlé S.A.—the parent company of Nestlé USA with headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland—is the world’s largest food company. Sales totaled $94 billion in 2011.

Brands: Baby Ruth, Buitoni, Carnation, Cat Chow, Coffee-Mate, Edy’s Slow Churned, Häagen-Dazs, Skinny Cow, Fancy Feast, Gerber, Hot Pockets, Jenny Craig, Juicy Juice, Lean Cuisine, Nestea, Perrier, Poland Spring, PowerBar, Purina, Stouffer’s, Taster’s Choice

Major Product Areas: Beverages, baby foods, cereal, confections, frozen foods, ice cream, nutrition products, pet foods, water

Sustainability Facts: Nestlé optimizes distribution networks and route planning across all operations globally; explores opportunities to promote alternate transport modes; and uses telematics and the latest technology on vehicles where practical. The company is also exploring alternative engines such as electric cars; supporting the development and use of safe and efficient natural refrigerant solutions for commercial applications; and implementing energy-saving initiatives in its warehouses.

Kraft Foods

Northfield, IL |

With annual revenues of more than $18 billion, Kraft products are used in virtually every household in the United States and Canada. Its 10 brands generate more than $500 million in annual sales; and the company employs 23,000 workers in the United States and Canada.

Major Product Areas: Beverages, cheese, refrigerated meals, grocery, food service

Sustainability Facts: Kraft’s business uses a steady supply of farm products. Promoting sustainable farming practices can result in quality raw materials, while also helping to protect and improve the environment and the social and economic conditions of local communities. Kraftis committed to reducing the environmental impact of its activities, and promoting the sustainability of the natural resources it depends on. The company strives to continuously improve its environmental performance and to meet or exceed the requirements of all applicable environmental laws and regulations.

General Mills

Minneapolis, MN |

As one of the world’s largest food companies, General Mills markets its products in more than 100 countries on six continents. About half its 41,000 employees work outside the United States. In fiscal 2013, global net sales totaled $17.8 billion.

Brands: Betty Crocker, Bisquick, Cheerios, Chex, Fiber One, Green Giant, Hamburger Helper, Lucky Charms, Nature Valley, Old El Paso, Pillsbury, Progresso, Total, Totino’s, Trix, Wheaties, Yoplait

Major Product Areas: Cereals, refrigerated and prepared foods, dough products, baking products, snacks, yogurt

Sustainability Facts: Since 2010, General Mills and the World Wildlife Fund have been working together to integrate sustainability into the supply chain, conducting a supply risk analysis of the company’s agricultural sourcing and water risk assessment. In September 2013, General Mills announced a commitment to sustainably source 100 percent of its 10 priority ingredients by 2020. These ingredients represent 50 percent of General Mills’ total raw material purchases. The commitment, part of General Mills’ long-term sustainable sourcing strategy, covers a broad range of raw materials.

Smithfield Foods

Smithfield, VA |

From its small town beginnings in Smithfield, Va., Smithfield Foods has grown into a global food company with a presence in 12 countries. The $13-billion company is also the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer.

Brands: Armour, Cumberland Gap, Curly’s, Ember Farms, Farmland, Healthy Ones, Kretschmar, Lunch Maker, Mosey’s, Peyton’s, Sunnyland, The Peanut Shop

Major Product Areas: Pork and beef products

Sustainability Facts: Smithfield Foods has set the following aggressive sustainability targets: to reduce water and energy consumption by 10 percent over fiscal 2008 by fiscal 2016; reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent over fiscal 2008 by fiscal 2016; reduce solid waste to landfill by 10 percent over fiscal 2008 by fiscal 2016; tackle one new packaging reduction project per year per independent operating company; and add one zero-waste-to-landfill facility for each operating company by fiscal 2018.


McLean, VA |

In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Wash., kitchen and established Mars’ first roots as a confectionery company. Today, Mars has net sales of more than $33 billion, six business segments, and 72,000-plus employees worldwide.

Brands: 3 Musketeers, Altoids, Combos, Doublemint, Dove, Extra, Kudos, M&M’s, Milky Way, Orbit, Pedigree, Skittles, Snickers, Starburst, Twix, Uncle Ben’s, Whiskas

Major Product Areas: Pet care, chocolate, gum and confections, food and drinks

Sustainability Facts: Mars has set the following sustainable supply chain targets: to buy 100 percent of fish and seafood products from sustainable sources by 2020; increase the level of recycled content in packaging by 10 percent by 2015; reduce packaging weights by 10 percent by 2015, from a 2007 baseline; design packaging to be 100-percent recyclable or recoverable by 2015 where infrastructure exists.

Coca-Cola Company

Atlanta, GA |

Coca-Cola Co. is the world’s largest beverage company, with more than 500 brands. Its flagship product, Coca-Cola, has been served since May 8, 1886. The company distributes 3,500 products globally, has 700,000 system associates worldwide, and reported 2012 net operating revenues of $48 billion.

Brands: Barq’s, Canada Dry, Dasani, Fanta, Fresca, Fruitopia, Glaceau vitamin water, Hi-C, Minute Maid, Powerade, Schweppes, Seagram’s, Sprite, Tab

Major Product Areas: Beverages

Sustainability Facts: In the design of its packages, Coca-Cola strives to use the least amount of natural resources required to protect products and ensure their safe transport to consumers. Since 2011, a systemwide lightweighting program has resulted in an estimated cost savings of $180 million. Other sustainability achievements: trimming the weight of the 20-ounce PET plastic bottle by more than 25 percent, shaving 30 percent from the weight of the 12-ounce aluminum can, and lightening the eight-ounce glass bottle by more than 50 percent.

ConAgra Foods

Omaha, NE |

ConAgra is one of North America’s largest packaged food companies, with branded and private-branded food found in 99 percent of America’s households. A strong commercial foods business serves restaurants and foodservice operations globally.

Brands: Banquet, Blue Bonnet, Chef Boyardee, Country Pride, Egg Beaters, Fleischmann’s, Gulden, Healthy Choice, Hebrew National, Hunt’s, Marie Callender’s, Orville Redenbacher’s, Peter Pan, Reddi-Wip, Slim Jim, Swiss Miss, Van Camp’s, Wesson

Major Product Areas: Canned, frozen, and preserved foods; grain mill products; bakery; fats/oils

Sustainability Facts: ConAgra’s "2020 Vision" for packaging focuses on minimizing waste throughout the complete product and package system. The company uses lifecycle thinking and industry collaboration to evaluate the impacts of packaging materials from sourcing, manufacturing, delivery, and consumer use through end-of-life.

Hormel Foods

Austin, MN |

Hormel manufactures and markets consumer-branded food and meat products to the global marketplace. The company is a member of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, S&P Dividend Aristocrats for 2012, Maplecroft Climate Innovation Indexes, and Global 1000 Sustainable Performance Leaders.

Brands: Chi-Chi’s, Country Crock, Dinty Moore, Herb-Ox, Light & Lean, Little Sizzlers, MegaMex, Old Smokehouse, Quick Meal, Rosa Grande, Sandwich Maker, Spam, Valley Fresh, Wranglers

Major Product Areas: Meat and poultry; canned, frozen, and preserved foods; fats/oils

Sustainability Facts: In 2010, Hormel developed Supplier Responsibility Principles, and introduced them to key suppliers in 2011. These principles define expectations for suppliers within specific areas of corporate responsibility such as quality and product integrity, safe work environment standards, and environmental management procedures. Hormel also purchases most of its raw materials, equipment, and services domestically within the regions where it manufactures products.

Cargill Inc.

Minneapolis, MN |

Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial, and industrial products and services to the world, with 142,000 employees in 67 countries.

Brands: Diamond Crystal, Truvia, Peter’s Chocolate, Wilbur Chocolate, Honeysuckle White Turkey, Shady Brook Farms Turkey, Sterling Silver, Rumba, Tender Choice pork, Good Nature Pork

Major Product Areas: Meat, poultry, eggs, fats/oils

Sustainability Facts: Working with partners from industry, governments, non-governmental organizations, and local communities, Cargill is helping to identify and encourage the adoption of responsible and sustainable supply chain practices. The company’s responsible sourcing practices take into account social and environmental considerations when managing relationships with suppliers.

Kellogg Company

Battle Creek, MI |

With 2012 sales of $14.2 billion, Kellogg’s ranks as the world’s leading cereal company; second-largest producer of cookies, crackers, and snacks; and a leading North American frozen foods company.

Brands: Cheez-It, Corn Flakes, Eggo, Famous Amos, Froot Loops, Keebler, MorningStar Farms, Pop-Tarts, Pringles, Rice Krispies, Special K, Town House

Sustainability Facts: The company is on track to meet water use and waste-to-landfill goals, while acknowledging it needs to accelerate progress in energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions. Kellogg’s has set a 2015 goal to reduce water and energy use by 15-20 percent; reduce GHG emissions by 15-20 percent, and reduce waste-to-landfill by 20 percent (per metric ton of food produced, in manufacturing facilities).

Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation

Greeley, CO |

Pilgrim’s Pride employs approximately 37,500 people, and operates chicken-processing plants and prepared-foods facilities in 12 states, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. The company’s primary distribution is through retailers and foodservice distributors.

Brands: Easy Entrée, EatWellStayHealthy, EggsPlus, Wing Dings

Major Product Areas: Poultry, meat, eggs, deli

Sustainability Facts: Pilgrim’s Pride sustains air, water, and land resources by minimizing the resources needed and the wastes generated at its facilities and farms, at customer locations and throughout its supply chain in the production of poultry products. The company focuses environmental sustainability efforts in these functional areas: waste and wastewater, wastes and by-products, land and air transportation, packaging, energy facilities, and supply chain management.


Englewood Cliffs, NJ |

More than two billion consumers worldwide use a Unilever product on any given day. Its products are sold in more than 190 countries; emerging markets account for 55 percent of its business. More than 173,000 people work for Unilever worldwide.

Brands: Ben & Jerry’s, Bertolli, Breyers, Country Crock, Good Humor, Hellmann’s, Knorr, Lipton, Magnum, Solero, Promise, Slim-Fast

Major Product Areas: Miscellaneous grocery products, ice cream

Sustainability Facts: Unilever has reduced the greenhouse gas footprint of its products by about six percent since 2010. In addition, more than half of its 252 manufacturing sites across the world send no non-hazardous waste to landfill. The company also has developed a metric for the sustainable sourcing of raw materials, and has made good progress on the sustainable sourcing of its agricultural raw materials. The company plans to increase sustainable sourcing to 50 percent by 2015 and 100 percent by 2020.

Hershey Company

Hershey, PA |

With operations throughout the world, approximately 14,000 employees, and annual revenues of more than $6.6 billion, Hershey is the largest producer of quality chocolate in North America and a global leader in chocolate and sugar confectionery.

Brands: Almond Joy, Bubble Yum, Cadbury’s Candies, Good & Plenty, Heath Bar, Jolly Rancher, Kisses, Kit Kat, Mounds, Mr. Goodbar, Reese’s, Symphony, Twizzlers, Whoppers, York

Major Product Areas: Confectionery

Sustainability Facts: In 2011, the Reese’s plant in Hershey, Pa., was classified as a zero-waste-to-landfill facility, meaning that none of its routine manufacturing waste stream went to landfill disposal. Reese’s recycled more than 91 percent of the waste it generated from plant operations in 2010. The rest of the waste is sent to an energy incinerator, where it is used as a fuel source. In addition, new solar panels at Hershey’s global flagship retail store generate an estimated 273 megawatt-hours, and eliminate hundreds of metric tons of greenhouse gases each year.

J.M. Smucker Co.

Orrville, OH |

Founded more than 115 years ago, Smucker is a marketer and manufacturer of fruit spreads, retail packaged coffee, peanut butter, shortening and oils, ice cream toppings, sweetened condensed milk, and natural food products in North America.

Brands: Crisco, Dunkin Donuts, Eagle Brand, Folgers, Hungry Jack, Jif, Milestone, Natural Brew, Nature’s Peak, Pet, Pillsbury, R.W. Knudsen Family, Santa Cruz

Major Product Areas: Canned, frozen, and preserved foods; beverages

Sustainability Facts: Smucker’s identified five areas of focus as part of a long-term sustainability strategy: source reduction, reuse, reclamation, responsible disposal, and renewable energy. In 2009, an internal task force established three rigorous five-year operational goals, measured on intensity-based performance: reduce GHG emissions by 15 percent, reduce water usage by 25 percent, and divert 75 percent of waste from landfill to alternative use.

Land O’Lakes

Arden Hills, MN |

Land O’Lakes is a member-owned cooperative with operations that span the spectrum from farm production to consumer foods. With more than 92 years of operation, Land O’Lakes reported 2012 annual sales of more than $14 billion, and does business in all 50 U.S. states and 60-plus countries.

Brands: Alpine Lace, Kozy Shack

Major Product Areas: Butter, cheese, cocoa/cappuccino mix, desserts, eggs, milk, pudding

Sustainability Facts: In 2008, Land O’Lakes implemented aerodynamic truck models and super-single tires to optimize fuel economy. Since 2010, it has reduced fuel costs by up to five percent with these tires on the 2010-2012 models. The company also increased trucking route optimization by delivering milk to the nearest plant; and installed logistics applications in trucks. In addition, in 2012, Land O’Lakes shipped six million more pounds of product via rail cars, taking 157 trucks off the road and saving 319 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

H.J. Heinz Co.

Pittsburgh, PA |

H.J. Heinz Company, a global family of branded products, specializes in ketchup, sauces, meals, soups, snacks, and infant nutrition. The company sells its brands on six continents.

Brands: Boston Market, Classico, Earth’s Best, Ken-L-Ration, Ore-Ida, Smart Ones, Starkist, T.G.I. Friday’s, Truesoups, Weight Watchers, Wyler’s, Vlassic

Major Product Areas: Canned, frozen, and preserved foods

Sustainability Facts: As a global food company, Heinz relies heavily on transportation to move commodities from field to factory to store. Heinz is focused on continuously improving the efficiency of its transportation network while working closely with carriers to meet a global goal of a 10-percent reduction in fossil fuel consumption and GHG emissions per unit of production.

Dole Food Company

Westlake Village, CA |

Founded in Hawaii in 1851, Dole Food Company, with 2010 revenues of $6.9 billion, is the world’s largest producer and marketer of fresh fruit and vegetables. Dole does business in more than 90 countries.

Brands: Dole Classic Salad, Dole Complete Salads, Dole Fruit Bowls, Dole Lunch for One, Dole Special Blends, Dole Tropical Gold, Dole Premium Select, Wildly Nutritious

Major Product Areas: Canned, frozen, and prepared foods

Sustainability Facts: Dole’s sustainability efforts fall under four broad categories: water management, including programs that teach water recycling methods and processes that reduce overall usage; carbon footprint, including mapping and analyzing activities to locate the sources of carbon emissions and developing alternative practices; soil conservation, providing consumers with the highest quality produce, which is only made possible with healthy soil; and packaging, including a Reuse or Recycle policy to conserve material, reduce waste, and maximize efficiency throughout the supply chain.

Campbell Soup Co.

Camden, NJ |

Founded in 1869, Campbell Soup Company is a manufacturer and marketer of soup and sauces, snacks, and healthy beverages. Campbell is a member of the Standard & Poor’s 500 and the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes.

Brands: Arnott’s, Bolthouse Farms, Chunky, Franco-American, Godiva, Goldfish, Healthy Request, Hungry-Man, Pace, Pepperidge Farm, Prego, Royco, SpaghettiOs, Swanson, Supper Bakes, V8 Vegetable Juice

Major Product Areas: Meat and poultry; canned, frozen and preserved food; bakery; sugar/confectionery; beverages

Sustainability Facts: Campbell’s conserves natural resources through eco-efficient management strategies, performance metrics, and continuous improvement focused in these key areas: energy and water use, waste generation and recycling, sustainable packaging, sustainable agriculture, and supply chain optimization. Campbell has set performance targets, and will continue to take actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from both direct and indirect business operations.

Hillshire Brands

Chicago, IL |

Hillshire Brands provides focused food solutions for the retail and foodservice markets. With more than 9,000 employees, the company generated approximately $4 billion in annual sales in fiscal 2013.

Brands: Hillshire Farm, Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, State Fair, Aidells, Gallo Salame, Sara Lee Deli, Sara Lee Desserts

Major Product Areas: Processed meats

Sustainability Facts: The company partners with carriers to find ways to reduce fuel and energy use, as well as miles traveled. Logistics efficiency improvements include efforts to improve the transportation and distribution network. Areas of continuous improvement include: fuel-efficient equipment usage; fuel-efficient process improvements to dedicated fleets; alternative modes of transport (including intermodal); load planning optimization, and the common carrier selection process.

Perdue Farms

Salisbury, MD |

From its beginning on Arthur Perdue’s farm in 1920, to its expansion into agribusiness, chicken-processing company Perdue has remained family owned and operated.

Brands: Coleman Natural, Draper Harvestland, Rocky, Rosie, Valley Farms

Major Product Areas: Poultry

Sustainability Facts: Perdue was among the first poultry and agricultural products companies to establish an executive-level environmental department, and has a long record of investments in technology and upgrades to meet all federal, state, and local environmental regulations. Perdue Farms was the first poultry company to receive a Jewell Award, recognizing sustainability innovation and leadership in the poultry business.

Del Monte Foods

San Francisco, CA |

Del Monte is one of the country’s largest producers, distributors, and marketers of branded pet products and food products for the U.S. retail market, generating more than $3.8 billion in net sales in fiscal 2013. Del Monte products are found in eight out of 10 U.S. households.

Brands: Canine Carry Outs, Contadina, College Inn, Kibbles and Bits, MilkBone, Pup-Peroni, Meaty Bone, Snausages, Sun Fresh, Nature’s Recipe, Gravy Train, Canine Carry Outs, Jerky Treats, 9 Lives, Meow Mix

Major Product Areas: Pet nutrition, fruits, vegetables

Sustainability Facts: Del Monte’s sustainability efforts are based on preserving a healthy natural environment. The company works to ensure the lasting productivity of its growers’ fields through lower-impact agricultural practices, and strives to reduce its operational environmental footprint by eliminating waste and minimizing use of materials, energy, and water.

Chiquita Brands International

Charlotte, NC |

With annual revenues of more than $3 billion, Chiquita Brands is a leading marketer and distributor of fresh and value-added food products. Chiquita employs more than 21,000 people and has operations in nearly 70 countries worldwide.

Brands: Chiquita, Fresh Express

Major Product Areas: Canned, frozen, and preserved foods; beverages

Sustainability Facts: Chiquita’s innovative biodigester system at its Mundimar facility in Costa Rica is at the forefront of its global sustainability efforts. The system enables Chiquita to harness the full energy potential of discarded fruit materials that previously could not be captured. It provides a sustainable energy source for the facility, and a nutrient-rich fertilizer for local farmers. The system also filters processing water, which benefits the company, local communities, and the planet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *