Seara´s environmental commitment is to have the “efficient usage of natural resources”.
Sustainability means running our operations based on responsible use of natural resources, food safety, animal welfare, respect for internal guidelines and building stronger partnerships. Adoption of best governance and social and environmental management practices has helped us develop successful initiatives that generate value for our products and our shareholders.
JBS adopts sustainability actions and strategies – which are applied throughout the value chain – to drive development of high quality products and services and create value for our target markets by reducing environmental impacts and promoting local development. The JBS Sustainability Department coordinates these efforts and can act independently to identify the most relevant issues for the success of our businesses and define strategies and target activities based on the challenges and opportunities in each of the company’s markets. These activities are supervised by the Sustainability Committee.
As a global leader in animal protein and one of the world’s largest food companies, JBS believes that it is important to implement Animal Welfare practices throughout its supply chain in order to support business sustainability. Our focus on Animal Welfare means all of the company’s routine operations include issue-related procedures, performance indicators, targets, audits and training. Seara also counts on a specific checklist that quality assurance teams at industrial units use to evaluate Animal Welfare indicators on a quarterly basis, complying with issue-related ethical, legal and technical principles. The checklist was based on current legislation, recommendations from the WAP – World Animal Protection NGO and customer requirements and certifications. This routine includes developing action plans to address any issues that arise.
Indicators such as transportation density and appropriate unloading conditions, ambience and waiting conditions, stunning efficiency, fasting times, bleeding efficiency, slips/falls and transportation mortality records (with root cause studies when required) are all included on the checklist.
Throughout the company’s history, we have created, tested and been recognized for our various campaigns and regulations. From the beginning of each process through to product delivery, all our products are rigorously controlled to maintain satisfactory and exemplary sustainability levels.
JBS has an annual investment plan for environmental improvements focused on wastewater treatment, the management of solid waste, atmospheric emissions and greenhouse gases (GHG) and the management of water use. This plan is drafted based on a comprehensive environmental assessment performed by the company to identify opportunities to improve the environmental indicators of the processing units in Brazil.
The Investment Plan has been updated on an annual basis, since 2011, and has many completed projects. Last year, more than USD 20 milion were invested in environment.
The Company’s compliance with these principles in its day-to-day activities is guided by the Environmental Policy, which provides the standards and best practices to be adopted, as well as the environmental monitoring and control points to be implemented to ensure uniformity in actions and routines across all production plants.
Responsible purchase of raw material
We follow the public commitment of livestock, an agreement led by the NGO Greenpeace. In order to comply with these criteria, the operations undergo independent auditing each year. The company also develops, in partnership with Greenpeace, annual work plans to seek improvements to its socio-environmental processes. In order to guarantee the origin of pork raw materials, Seara has implemented vertically integrated production systems. Under this business model, producers are provided all of the inputs needed to rear safe and healthy pork and guidance on production processes and best enviromental pratices. Seara tightly manages every stage of production process, from genetic selection of breeding animals and processing to product point of sale delivery. This affords us greater control over sanitary and nutritional issues and guarantees product quality, food safety and cost efficiency.
Relationship with suppliers
When purchasing pork from third parties, suppliers are contractually required to comply with technical requirements or production regulations, which are monitored on arrival, alongside production and laboratory controls. The focus on quality means that the company's relations with its suppliers of raw material are guided by the partnership. Therefore, we support and guide suppliers on the improvement of practices and processes helping them to act in a sustainable way. How do we guarantee sustainable hogs sourcing? Seara works with own farms and integrated pork producers. New suppliers are evaluated for their environmental compliance before supply to the company. The best practices are adopted at our pork farms and by all of the Company’s integrated producers, which are guided by Internal Documents known as Technical Guidelines (OTs), lot-monitoring datasheets, pest control manuals, and forms for monitoring farm equipment maintenance, farm cleaning, and safety and emergencies. The integrated producers receive technical assistance and training (on average, 20 hours of training per year/producer), as well as regular visits by the team of more than 300 field professionals of Seara, who verify whether practices are conducted in accordance with the principles required by the company.
Animal feeding and breeding, as well as JBS’s other operating procedures, depend, to a great extent, on water availability. Water is essential for the production chain and the wider industry to guarantee process and product health standards and to clean facilities, equipment and tools.
This means it is an input that runs through all other material issues identified by the Company.
Water management on the South America platform is based on corporate and water reduction guidelines that include water usage awareness and encompassing the entire water cycle. In 2017, the Company progressed in the following areas:
• A 12% reduction in overall water consumption in its Brazil operations as a result of increasingly efficient production processes. This has saved over 8.2 trillion liters of water.
• A 6% reduction in water use intensity in its global operations outside of Brazil.
• A 2.8% increase in water reuse in Brazil compared with the previous year, avoiding the capture of 1.7 million liters.
• A 34% year-on-year increase in rainwater capture in Brazil.
Our work routines also comply with the Sustainable Water Management Program, which is supervised by a Committee representing all the Company’s businesses.
Sustainable water management programs include:
Developing projects that go beyond the company’s operations and include the efforts to recover and protect water resources;
Develop innovative water recycling solutions;
Developing projects, defining investments and setting targets to reduce water consumption in production processes;
Liaising with government agencies and lawmakers.
Seara manage the solid waste produced by their operations with a view to:
Reducing the volume of waste generated and minimize environmental impacts;
Reusing recyclable materials;
Providing environmentally appropriate disposal methods for disposable materials.
Over 80% of our post-industrial waste is used for composting, recycling or energy reuse. JBS complies with the National Solid Waste Policy (PNRS) which involves investing in best practices, such as reverse logistics for post-consumption packaging, in order to increase the percentage of recycled materials and reducing the volume of landfill waste.
In 2017, there was a 16% reduction in operational waste volumes compared with the previous year. This change was mainly driven by a significant drop in waste volumes sent to landfills. 59.89% of post industrial waste generated by JBS operations was used for composting, recycling, energy reuse and energy cogeneration. In 2017, this system processed over 1.0 million tons of waste.
Waste management is carried out by our environmental teams at each unit, or by JBS Ambiental, the business division that manages, recycles and appropriately disposes of post-industrial waste and guarantees that all waste can be tracked throughout the process.
The company has been carrying out annual GGE emission inventories of at JBS operations since 2009 in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GGE) across all production processes.
The following year, the survey included all our global operations; the resulting data generated was by a computerized system and we now use sustainability and production indicators to monitor each unit’s performance based on the emissions logs produced each year.This information is reported via the Brazilian GHG Protocol Program and on the CDP – Driving Sustainable Economies – Climate Change module.
JBS emmited 55,567 tons less of greenhouse gases comparing to the previous year, equivalent to 306,019 trees.