Industrial Utility Efficiency

Cargill Energy and Water saving Innovations

Cargill LogoWe have been working on reducing our environmental impact for a long time. For example, since 2001 we have improved energy efficiency within our operations by more than 10 percent per metric ton of production (our energy efficiency per U.S. \$1,000 of sales has improved by more than 20 percent). Cargill invests in a variety of innovative solutions to use energy and resources more wisely.

Cargill Energy

Environmental innovation examples

Energy performance. Four Cargill Corn Milling North America locations – Blair, Nebraska; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Eddyville, Iowa; and Wahpeton, North Dakota, earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA's) prestigious ENERGY STAR, the national symbol for protecting the environment through energy efficiency. This places Cargill Corn Milling facilities in Blair, Cedar Rapids, Eddyville and Wahpeton, within the top 25 percent of wet corn milling plants in the nation, with regard to energy performance.

GHG emission credits. Over the past five years, we’ve developed – not merely invested in – projects that will generate an estimated 800,000 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions emission credits by 2012. For instance, we build and operate anaerobic digesters, including one on a pig farm in South Africa and two on large dairy farms in the United States. These sites generate carbon credits from reduced methane emissions in the atmosphere.

Fueled by sawdust. Our animal nutrition business in Honduras has replaced diesel-run boilers with a boiler fueled by sawdust from the local lumber industry. Switching from diesel to sawdust has reduced carbon emissions by about 6,000 metric tons per year.

Fueled by eucalyptus wood chips. Our complex in Uberlândia, Brazil, is using wood chips from fast-growing eucalyptus trees as biomass to power the site’s bioboiler. The process will generate 70 percent of the power and 100 percent of the steam at this location, resulting in a savings of 60,000 metric tons of fuel oil per year and reduced GHG emissions.

Recycling water. Our poultry facility in London, Ontario, Canada, reduced freshwater consumption by 28 percent in 24 months, in part because all of the water used for chilling at the facility is recycled twice for cooling and rinsing.

Biogas. At our beef and pork plants, Cargill reclaims methane from our waste water lagoons and turns it into biogas to fuel its plant boilers. Biogas now displaces 20-25 percent of natural gas demand at all eight of our U.S. meat processing plants, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 1.3 million metric tons in the last four years.


Behavior-based energy management.

Cargill is seeing great returns from its global behavior-based energy management (BBEM) system—a tool used to engage employees and integrate energy into daily actions to improve performance. It’s led to the formation of several new efforts, including a robust leak tag initiative at our seven U.S. corn milling facilities which has resulted in the identification of water, compressed air and steam leaks and major energy cost savings.


Goals and actions

Cargill has been working on reducing our environmental footprint for a long time. We’ve pursued operational excellence throughout our nearly 150-year long history. We’ve learned that using energy and water efficiently and reducing waste is good for the environment, our communities and our business.

Cargill’s vision is to be the global leader in nourishing people. In order to nourish a growing world population, we know we must produce food, feed and fuel in the most sustainable and efficient way possible. We set these goals to ensure we are a leader in continuously improving our efforts to ensure the vitality and conservation of our natural resources.

Cargill first set comprehensive environmental goals nearly a decade ago, in 2001. New goals are established every five years.


2015 environmental goals

* Improve energy efficiency by 5 percent from our fiscal 2010 baseline.

* Improve greenhouse gas intensity by 5 percent from our fiscal 2010 baseline.

* Increase renewable energy use to 12.5 percent of our energy portfolio.

* Improve freshwater efficiency by 5 percent from our fiscal 2010 baseline.