Living Our Principles

Living Our Principles

Burke Corporation Receives Governor’s Award for Water Quality

Burke Corporation (Nevada, IA) was recognized with a Governor’s Iowa Environmental Excellence Award for water quality, one of 20 companies to receive this premier environmental honor in the state. Burke, the winner of the companywide 2010 Sustainability Best of the Best competition, achieved water reductions of 24 percent from 2008 through employee involvement, the implementation of a weekend water shutdown list, equipment changes and training. They also increased usage efficiency by 42 percent from 2008. In total, the project resulted in a two-year savings of more than 18 million gallons of water.

“This is a plantwide success, as our water reduction projects only accounted for about half of the water savings,” said James L. Stevens, supervisor of waste water, Burke Corporation. “Our success is due to everyone changing their behaviors by reducing their water usage while actively becoming involved in looking for further ways to conserve.”

The awards program recognizes comprehensive environmental programs by organizations and businesses, along with special project awards in water quality, air quality, waste management, habitat restoration and development, energy efficiency and renewable energy, and environmental education.

“On behalf of all Iowans, I would like to congratulate these organizations for their leadership and innovation in protecting Iowa’s natural resources,” said Governor Terry Branstad. “These awards serve as a small token of appreciation for their commitment to preserve Iowa’s precious natural resources for future generations of Iowans to enjoy.”

Environmental Achievement and Recognition Awards

The American Meat Institute (AMI) awarded 25 Hormel Foods locations with Environmental Recognition Awards. The annual awards recognize the dedication to continuous environmental improvement through the development and implementation of Environmental Management Systems (EMS).

An EMS provides a proven framework by which AMI member companies can minimize their environmental footprint, improve efficiency and effectiveness, reduce accidents and injuries, lower costs and demonstrate corporate responsibility to the public.

AMI Awards Environmental Achievement Award

Progressive Processing (Dubuque, IA) was awarded with a first-place Environmental Achievement Award in AMI’s resource conservation category. The facility received LEED Gold certification in 2010 and uses 25 percent less energy and water than a plant built to meet current building codes and industry standards. The facility was constructed using materials with more than 36 percent recycled content. A total of 10 meat and poultry plants were honored with Environmental Achievement Awards in 2011.

Environmental Sustainability Best of the Best Winners

Farmer John (Vernon, CA) Plant was named the champion of the 2011 Environmental Sustainability Best of the Best, an annual competition that rewards employees for their work in the area of sustainable projects. Each project is evaluated and scored on the following categories: goal setting, teamwork, problem solving, achievement and cost savings. In 2011, our employees submitted 42 projects – the largest response in our company history for this internal award.

Location: Farmer John (Vernon, CA)

In an effort to improve recycling, the Farmer John team pursued an opportunity to convert landfill waste into energy that would power local residences and businesses. An audit was done to measure the heat sensibility of the waste material determining that it was a good source of fuel. It was then diverted to a local incinerator energy plant for local use.


  • Increased recycling tonnage by 27 percent.
  • Reduced solid waste to landfill by 445 tons.

Location: Osceola (IA) Food

To improve the efficiency of the cooling system’s water usage, employees at Osceola Food implemented a closed-loop cooling system. Cooling water that had made a single pass through plant equipment was originally disposed of, but now, the water is captured and used in a continual loop through the system.


  • More than 10.4 million gallons of water saved.

Location: Fremont (NE) Plant

In an effort to reduce water usage, temperature control valves were installed on equipment with coolers, and new equipment was put in place where cooling systems were not required. This allowed the employees at the plant in Fremont, NE, to manage and meter water to areas where water was previously uncontrolled.


  • More than 31 million gallons of water.

Location: Diamond Crystal Brands Mitchellville (IA) Blending Plant

To reduce solid waste in Iowa, employees partnered with International Paper to eliminate additional costs associated with starting a new recycling system for materials that enter the waste stream.


  • Reduced solid waste to landfills by 250.2 tons.