Best Practices

“Environmental stewardship is a core value of Tyson Foods’ business
philosophy because we believe protecting natural resources is essential
to achieving clean air, water, and land for our world.”
— from the Tyson Foods Environmental Policy

The people of Tyson Foods have always been fortunate to live and work in some of the most beautiful and scenic areas of our country. It is a privilege we acknowledge and appreciate. In the Core Values, we affirm our role as stewards of the environment, and the Tyson Foods’ Environmental Policy states the expectations of our Team Members.

To this end, Tyson always strives to use the latest technology in our facilities, while we work with others to develop and implement new environmental advances as they become available. Our efforts in continual improvement, natural farming techniques, water quality, and greenhouse gas emission reductions show Tyson’s commitment to environmental stewardship. We strive to produce the high-quality food products our consumers and customers depend upon, while recognizing our responsibility to be good corporate citizens in the communities in which we work, live, and play.

Our commitment to the environment also extends to encouraging the independent contract farmers we work with to take care of the land they depend on for their livings. We recognize poultry, beef, and pork producers for outstanding stewardship of our environment each year at the annual shareholders’ meeting.

Continual Improvement Efforts — Management Systems

Achieving environmental excellence begins with setting clear expectations, establishing procedures, and measuring progress. As part of our pursuit for continual improvement, we are implementing an environmental management system (EMS) at all of our domestic processing facilities. Modeled after the international standard ISO 14001, our EMS enhances existing environmental practices and establishes a performance-based program for the company. Our goal is to have this framework in place throughout our U.S. operations, and to incorporate health and safety performance into the EMS by December 2008.

Natural Farming Techniques

When Tyson independent farmers prepare their chicken houses for use, rice hulls and/or wood shavings are added as bedding material. Typical farmers will clean out their houses once a year and use the organic material, which is still 60-70 percent bedding, as organic fertilizer.

chicken house

To be sure this organic fertilizer is properly applied; farmers working with governmental officials and guidelines develop site-specific Nutrient Management Plans and implement best management practices for the proper utilization of chicken litter. To maximize crop growth without harming the environment, the practices recommend a specific amount of this fertilizer per acre depending on the farmer’s land area, soil type, crop to be grown, type of litter used, and nitrate/phosphate concentration per ton.

The guidelines determine how far from waterways the fertilizer should be applied by the farmer to retain the quality of these watercourses. Both environmentally sound and inexpensive, chicken-litter fertilizer is a welcome alternative to chemical fertilizer, the only other acceptable option for higher crop yields.

Awards for Outstanding Stewardship

Each year at our annual Shareholders’ Meeting, we present awards to poultry, beef, and pork producers from around the country who have exhibited excellence in environmental stewardship. The 2004 Pork Environmental Stewardship winner operates in Holdenville, Oklahoma. A cattle feedlot from Broken Bow, Oklahoma, received the 2004 Environmental Stewardship award for the beef segment. Tyson presented five Poultry Environmental Stewardship awards to poultry farmers located in Monroe, North Carolina; Oxford, Alabama; Pine Bluff, Arkansas; Forest, Mississippi; and New Holland, Pennsylvania. Winners receive a trophy, a $2,500 check, and a $500 donation to the environmental organization of their choice.

The responsibility these families feel can be summed up in the words of Troy Alderfer, a 2004 Poultry Environmental Stewardship winner: “As farmers, we need to constantly evaluate our operations and how they effect the environment and those around us. We need to take the necessary steps to keep our farms in compliance and to uphold a positive image in the community.”

Watching Our Waterwaterfall

Wastewater treatment, water conservation, and recycling are key environmental concerns at Tyson Foods. Wastewater from our facilities are treated with various processes before it either is sent to a city treatment plant or is cleaned to government-approved levels and discharged into a nearby waterway. Tyson operates 38 full treatment plants and 32 partial treatment plants nation wide. More than 75 million gallons of wastewater are treated each day in our wastewater treatment plants. Returning clean water into the natural environment is one of Tyson Foods’ most important environmental responsibilities.

Team Members are tasked with ensuring that the water leaving our plants meets governmental regulations. Additionally, Tyson spends more than $100 million each year on wastewater treatment efforts. Our commitment to water quality will help ensure the communities where we live and work continue to enjoy and use high quality water.

Greenhouse Gas Reduction Efforts

SmartWay Transport Partnership

On October 4, 2004, Tyson officially signed as a SmartWay Partner with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). SmartWay is a national, voluntary environmental and energy conservation program for companies that ship freight. Tyson’s transportation group worked with EPA to develop measurable goals to reduce air emissions and to improve fuel efficiency in our transportation fleet over the next three years.

Climate Leaders/Climate Resolve

Companies within the United States are forming and joining voluntary GHG programs to show their commitment for reductions. In early 2004, Tyson Foods joined Climate RESOLVE, a voluntary GHG reduction program developed by the Business Round Table (BRT).

Later in 2004, Tyson began discussions with EPA regarding a separate program called Climate Leaders. The program is a national voluntary effort in cooperation with the EPA that targets the reduction of GHG emissions. On November 1, 2004, Tyson officially became a Climate Leaders Partner with the EPA. As a Climate Leader Partner, Tyson will develop and maintain credits for GHG reductions achieved prior to regulatory mandates.

Additionally, Tyson has permission to use the Climate Leaders/EPA Partner logo as a means of showing our environmental leadership.

Tyson is currently working to complete a company-wide GHG inventory. Later in 2005, Tyson, in collaboration with the EPA, will set future GHG reduction goals to be achieved over the next five to ten years. All goals and reductions achieved through the Climate Leader program will meet our companies’ goals for the Climate RESOLVE program.