water & energy conservation

Preserve, Protect & Perpetuate Water, Soil & Energy.

JBS recognizes the need to preserve, protect and perpetuate the environment. This is not a simple desire, it's a necessity. Our operations, our people, and our neighbors depend on clean water, soil, and air.

Our business requires a substantial amount of water, electrical energy, and fuel, for the process of raising the animals and producing safe and nutritious food products. JBS recognizes that minimizing the use of our natural resources is a priority for increasing sustainability in the industry. We actively participate in efforts, both internal and external, to further our industry’s efforts to minimize our impact on the environment.

Company Initiative: Focus on Energy

Green Master Program Certificate

Green Masters Program Certification
awarded to JBS Green Bay

Each production facility has its own conservation team, with members representing all aspects of our business. This team is tasked with identifying energy- and water-saving opportunities, educating other employees, and implementing best practices. They also focus on lost product, material lost to the wastewater stream, which could otherwise have been made into a safe food product.

These efforts have won accolades from the public sector, lessened our demand on natural resources, and positively impacted our carbon footprint. The use of energy and water is talked about, from the general employee to highest management, and is constantly on our radar. Weekly metrics regarding our water, electricity and natural gas use (among others), are compiled and reported. Our Green Bay, Wisconsin facility has received critical acclaim for their "Focus on Energy" progress.

Water Conservation at JBS Five Rivers Cattle Feeding

Water Conversation

Water Conservation

Recycling and reuse of water extends the life of underground aquifers and surface water resources. Society's demand for water is constantly increasing. JBS Five Rivers Cattle Feeding is deploying technology to beneficially use overflow water from cattle drink tanks and storm water runoff.


Pilgrim's Chicken Plants Reduce Water Usage

Each of our Pilgrim’s chicken facilities has an active Water Conservation and Waste Minimization team. These teams aggressively identify opportunities, and implement best practices, to limit the use of natural resources. Many of our plants employ a water reuse system, saving upwards of 550,000 gallons per day, per plant.

Louisville Pork Plant Reduces Water Usage by 22%

From calendar year 2006 to 2009, the Louisville, Kentucky pork plant has reduced water usage, in terms of gallons per head, by nearly 22%. The number of individual best practices implemented is immense, ranging from replacing water-cooled equipment with air-cooled and installing variable frequency drives on pumps and other motors (to reduce both electrical energy and water usage), to reclaiming certain waste streams for reuse in non-edible areas.

Beef Division Water Conservation Programs

Retention Pond

Retention Pond

The beef plants are actively engaged in water conservation efforts. Plants use a weekly call to share best practices, coupled with engaging all plant employees and tackling challenges one-by-one, and have shown a dramatic reduction in water usage over the years. Year-to-date for 2010, the beef processing division is saving over 10,000,000 gallons, per week, of water. A graph of our Grand Island, Nebraska plant shows our efforts year to date:

Biogas Systems

Biogas Recovery

Biogas Recovery

Our facilities utilize the biogas, produced by their wastewater treatment systems, to reduce the consumption of natural resources (natural gas and fossil fuel oil) and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The design of additional systems is underway. Our pork processing plant in Marshalltown, Iowa recovers biogas from their anaerobic treatment lagoon (used to treat manure). Using the biogas as an energy source, reduces natural gas consumption and emits fewer green house gas emissions.

Manure Gasifier

Producing Renewable Energy

Producing Renewable Energy

We have spent five years researching a viable technology to capture, and utilize, the energy in feed yard manure. We have worked with David Brookes and Harsh International, to successfully develop a pilot scale manure gasifier. The gasifier "burns" manure, and produces hot air, that is then used to make steam. The gasifier technology has the potential to replace the natural gas boilers located in all our feed mills. The gasifier produces renewable energy, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and reduces the amount of land needed for manure management.

New Warehouse Minimizes Energy Use

The new frozen and refrigerated warehouse we are building in Marshalltown, Iowa will use energy-efficient lighting, in occupied areas, and no lighting at all, in unoccupied storage areas. This helps in two ways: it expends less energy to light and reduces the heat generated from lighting.

Existing Facility More Efficient

We have a project underway in our Marshalltown, Iowa pork processing plant to reduce electricity consumption, using technology provided by Advanced Energy Dynamics.

New Warehouse Saves Fuel

The new warehouse in Marshalltown, Iowa will reduce consumption of diesel fuel by 1,000,000 gallons per year, the amount of fuel used in the past to move the product to outside cold storage.

Reduce Transportation Fuel Consumption

JBS Transportation continues to actively implement methods to improve their fleet efficiencies and reduce emissions. Over the past 30 years the average fuel efficiency of our fleets has more than doubled. Such improvement comes from attention to details, even seemingly minor details, including engine calibration, engine idle times, engine service schedules, shipping schedules, tire pressure, observing speed limits, etc. Below is a highlight of some of our improvements.

  • The Smart Way program will require all fleets to achieve a four percent fuel savings by Jan. 1, 2013. We will be using a combination of fuel-saving devices, including tires, tank skirting, trailer skirting, and even mud flaps, which allow air to flow through. The Volvo, Kenworth and Peterbilt tractors and Utility, Great Dane and Wabash trailers that JBS carriers operate are Smart Way certified. The tractors are all California Air Research Board (CARB) certified, as well. The reefers are being posted on the CARB system, a large percentage have already been certified, and we expect to receive certification on the remainder shortly.
  • Trailer skirts are being retrofitted to trailers over 48 feet long. Skirting the underside of the trailers is estimated to improve fuel efficiency by four to seven percent. This may not seem significant, however, considering that our typical tractor racks up more than 140,000 miles per year, it amounts to a sizable reduction in fuel consumption. The skirting of trailers is scheduled to be substantially complete by the end of 2012.
  • JBS has installed a governor on all over-the-road tractors, to limit the speed of the tractor to 68 miles per hour. A trial is underway, to examine reducing the maximum speed to 65 miles per hour. Monitoring of these tractors will yield sufficient data, so we can determine if the fuel-efficiency savings merits a further reduction in maximum speed.
  • ECM (electronic control module) Calibration updates occur annually on each over-the-road tractor. This verification of the fuel injection system, assures that the engine is properly tuned, in order to provide highest efficiency and lowest emissions.
  • Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) are installed on some of our fleet. APUs provide an alternate power source for the tractor’s heating/air conditioning system, microwave, etc., during non-driving time. APUs are thought to demand less fuel input than the tractor’s main engine. JBS continues to research, and validate, alternative APU systems, in an effort to further improve fleet efficiency and reduce emissions.