Our Commitment

JBS USA’s commitment is to reuse or recycle the maximum amount of materials, with the goal of sending as little to landfills as possible. Each facility works to recycle material and reduce waste by optimizing facility logistics and team member training.


Waste and Recycling Practices

In each of our production facilities, we have goals to decrease the amount of packaging used in our finished products and decrease waste sent to landfills. Our Pilgrim’s Moy Park team maintained its commitment of zero waste to landfill in all of their facilities, and Pilgrim’s UK maintained their commitment of zero waste to landfill in the majority of their facilities.

In Europe, Pilgrim’s Moy Park was the first poultry company to undertake a commitment to reduce packaging and food waste in its supply chain. The initiative is part of an ambitious campaign to combat the use of plastics and packaging in its business and in the industry. The company plans to lower its global use of packaging by 5% each year, while simultaneously raising the percentage of recyclable packages by 5%. Among actions planned, Moy Park will collaborate with researchers and supply chain partners to develop sustainable packaging for its entire product portfolio and will eliminate single use plastic from its office and restaurants by 2020. Moy Park and Pilgrim’s UK have adopted the strategy of “Remove, Reduce, Recycle and Research” and will begin using 100% recyclable rigid packaging by 2022. All other packaging will be widely recyclable by 2025.

As a company, we continue to explore alternative materials that offer recyclability and technologies that allow us to reduce the amount of packaging needed, while still maintaining strict product safety requirements. In our day-to-day operations, we work to improve recycling opportunities at each facility and reduce overall waste generated.

Product packaging provides a unique challenge for our industry. To prevent contamination at recycling facilities, packaging materials used at production facilities that come into contact with blood, meat or fat cannot be recycled, per the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) standards. Due to the nature of our products, this reduces our ability to recycle packaging material used at our production facilities.

The meat processing industry is incredibly efficient from a food waste prevention standpoint. We process byproducts, such as blood, meat and bones, to create saleable materials and reduce waste. Nearly 100% of inedible byproducts are rendered to produce tallow and blood and bone meal, which we then sell to other companies to be used in consumer goods, such as cosmetics and pharmaceuticals or in livestock or poultry feed. Pilgrim’s UK has commitments to both the Sustainable Development goal 12.3 and to Courtauld Commitment which are both working towards halving food waste by 2030. Currently only 0.1% of Pilgrim’s UK’s production is classified as food waste. Actions currently employed to reduce this number even further include using the Waste Hierarchy to derive as much value as possible from all product and donating approximately 90,000 meal equivalents in 2020 to food redistribution charities to prevent food waste.

Reducing and Recycling Waste

In the U.S., we strive to recycle all that we can at our facilities. We recycle:

80%

of clean cardboard material, which is sent to recycling centers or paper mills to be reused

95%

of our pallets, which are returned to our suppliers for reuse

95%

of all metal, which is sent to a salvage yard

95%

of clean, non-contaminated plastic, which is collected in bins and then sent to either a recycling center or melted down and repurposed to make new products

95%

of our plastic high-density polyethylene (HDPE) tote bags, which are sold to our original manufacturer and then reused in our next order, creating a closed loop system

2020 Progress

We have continued to focus on improving data quality related to waste and packaging, as a result we are tracking more indicators and are able to better understand and monitor our waste streams. Improved data quality also leads to more complete measurements which are higher than partially complete past data. As a global company, from 2019 to 2020,  our total waste generated decreased by 21% and decreased waste sent to landfills by 7% and decreased waste to landfill per ton of finished product by 3%.

Our Pilgrim’s Moy Park team maintained its commitment of zero waste to landfill in all of their facilities, and Pilgrim’s UK maintained their commitment of zero waste to landfill in the majority of their facilities.

In the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada,  our percent of biodegradable and recyclable packaging material used increased by 12%; and, our total packaging material per ton of finished product decreased by 23%. We continue to stay focused on increasing our recyclable packaging. We expect packaging material per ton to increase due to customer and consumer demand for smaller pack sizes.

The data below represents our best efforts at tracking waste and recycling at our facilities. In some cases, the local municipality collects all waste and recycling, which makes tracking the data impossible. We are currently working to develop collaborative partnerships in these locations, so that we can share data to better track our performance.

Waste Performance4

JBS USA1 Pilgrim’s USA2 Pilgrim’s Europe3 Pilgrim’s Mexico JBS Australia
2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Total Waste Generated
(Tons)
394,503 366,915 447,942 432,396 350,235 88,325 98,239 79,156 61,111 41,355 109,314 95,262 179,115 210,859 135,364 207,551 196,376 113,026 87,436 74,622 103,476 107,811 88,029 88,113 93,361
Total Waste To Landfill
(Tons)
49,223 58,106 73,149 74,773 82,218 73,438 82,046 70,117 54,360 34,302 0 0 0 721 516 207,551 31,509 14,709 21,433 19,930 6,734 6,026 4,513 14,020 17,097
Waste to Landfill Intensity
(Per Ton of Finished Product)
0.0066 0.0074 0.0093 0.0537 0.0463 0.0153 0.0165 0.0142 0.0106 0.0067 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0007 0.0005 0.2134 0.0317 0.0147 0.0875 0.0741 0.0059 0.0054 0.0038 0.0309 0.0939
Total Waste Recycled
(Tons)
73,194 72,838 99,968 85,877 7,432 14,887 16,193 4,904 6,751 7,053 13,119 0 56,443 69,012 16,699 0 164,848 27,590 5,384 2,659 1,960 1,933 4,439 5,451 6,691
Total Waste Composted
(Tons)
201,088 164,978 84,476 82,247 92,719 0 0 0 0 0 11,453 0 1,602 0 0 0 6 70,714 60,614 52,030 62,870 66,311 64,349 68,641 57,709
Total Waste Incinerated
(Tons)
2 1 8 1 69 0 0 0 0 0 2,328 10,976 12,330 14,246 26,578 0 13 14 5 4 0 0 0 0 0
Total Waste For Energy Reuse
(Tons)
0 0 0 0 17,650 0 0 0 0 0 35,164 40,627 105,708 109,628 47,878 0 0 0 0 0 0 6,764 0 0 7,817
Total Waste Cogenerated/Coprocessed
(Tons)
0 0 0 0 643 0 0 0 0 0 0 504 3,031 17,252 14,436 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total Waste For Fertigation/Land Application
(Tons)
70,996 70,993 190,341 189,499 149,504 0 0 0 0 0 47,251 43,155 0 0 29,257 0 0 0 0 0 31,912 26,778 13,189 0 4,047
  1. Includes U.S. and Canadian facilities, excluding poultry facilities
  2. Includes U.S. and Puerto Rican facilities
  3. Pilgrim’s acquired Tulip Limited in October of 2019 and that data is reported in 2019 within Pilgrim’s Europe.
  4. We make every effort to report accurate data. We provide updated data from previous years in cases where improved information is available. JBS USA/Pilgrim’s revisited data collection processes and as a result, this report includes some improved metrics from past years.

Packaging Performance

JBS USA1 Pilgrim’s USA2
2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Packaging Material Used
(Tons)
157,734 184,369 196,490 297,904 181,328 147,037 152,989 159,472 165,952 164,752
Total Packaging Material Used Intensity
(Per Ton of Finished Product)
0.0210 0.0233 0.0249 0.0370 0.0240 0.0307 0.0307 0.0322 0.0325 0.0321
Total Biodegradable and Recyclable Packaging Material Used
(Tons)
142,202 165,056 178,981 224,193 179,009 98,045 105,925 113,753 116,593 122,065
Percentage Biogradable and Recycling Packaging Materials 90.15% 89.52% 91.09% 75.26% 98.72% 66.68% 69.24% 71.33% 70.26% 74.09%
  1. Includes U.S., Puerto Rican and Canadian facilities, excluding poultry facilities
  2. Includes U.S. and Puerto Rican facilities