In 2006, Hormel Foods set a goal to reduce energy consumption at our U.S. manufacturing facilities by 10 percent per thousand pounds of production by the end of fiscal year 2011 using fiscal year 2006 as the baseline year. At the end of 2011, we held the growth of normalized energy consumption to less than 1 percent of the fiscal year 2006 benchmark level. By the end of fiscal year 2011, direct energy consumption decreased 1 percent compared to 2006 levels when normalized for production, and indirect energy consumption increased approximately 1 percent. Increases in normalized energy consumption from increased cooling demand and the acquisition of additional manufacturing facilities was offset by the implementation of energy-saving projects throughout our facilities.

Despite the implementation of engineering and administrative projects, we did not meet the energy reduction goal established in 2006. Although we did not reach our initial goal, we did realize significant benefits in energy savings, and we remain committed to reducing our energy footprint. We have established a new energy goal, which began in fiscal year 2012 and will be reported in the 2012 Hormel Foods Corporate Responsibility Report.

Our direct energy consumption at our U.S. manufacturing facilities, which is the amount of natural gas, fuel oil and propane used, increased from 4.00 million MMBtu in 2010 to 4.22 million MMBtu in 2011. Our indirect energy consumption, which is the amount of electricity we use, decreased from 757 million kilowatt hours (kWh) in 2010 to 708 million kWh in 2011. Combined energy use as measured in MMBtu was held to less than 1 percent of the 2006 base year.

Energy Reduction Initiatives

Recent projects to reduce energy consumption include the following:

  • Capture of nitrogen exhaust: At the Jennie-O Turkey Store – Benson Ave. (Willmar, MN) Plant, operations began using captured exhaust from nitrogen equipment to cool condenser water and lower head pressure, resulting in 14,061 kWh of electricity savings.
  • Equipment optimization: In an effort to use all sections of its pasteurizer to its optimum efficiency, employees at Diamond Crystal Brands in Sparta, WI, modified the equipment to use cold product against warm cooling water, saving natural gas for steam and kWh for cooling.
  • Boiler economizer control improvement: An auto control was added to the boiler stack economizer at the Jennie-O Turkey Store – Barron (WI) Plant to reduce the amount of water going through the economizer, then to the supply, raising the temperature. This project resulted in saving 365,200 kWh of electricity and 6,505 MMBtu of natural gas.
  • Reduction in energy use: To help reduce energy use, improved control on chiller systems and air handling unit improvements were made at the Creative Contract Packaging Corporation (CCPC) facility in Aurora, IL. These improvements resulted in saving 310,382 kWh of electricity.