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Recently, Hormel Foods Corporation (HRL - Analyst Report) presented its corporate social responsibility report for the fiscal 2012. According to the company, producing its products in a sustainable and responsible way is the key driver.

At the end of fiscal 2011, the company adopted a new set of environmental goals for the fiscal years 2012-2020, taking fiscal 2011 as the base year. In the fiscal year 2012, Hormel invested roughly $3.4 million in environmental and facility improvements.

The new set of goals includes a 10% reduction in non-renewable energy use, water use, solid waste sent to landfill and greenhouse gas emission. Along with these objectives, Hormel also targets to reduce product packaging by 25 million lbs.  

In fiscal 2012, Hormel successfully achieved its aim of reducing 11,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. The new target is now set at reduction of 77,000 metric tons of the gas emissions by fiscal 2020.

Hormel uses intermodal shipments to transport its products, which cuts the fuel use and green house emissions by 65% compared with transportation by trucks. The use of these new methods of shipment saved 940,000 gallons of diesel fuel in the fiscal year 2012.

Hormel also has a target of reducing energy usage by 664,000 MMBtu by fiscal 2020, out of which roughly 14%, i.e. 92,000 MMBtu have been reduced in fiscal 2012.

On the water front, 24% of the total water use reduction target was achieved, with about 0.122 billion gallons less water used. The total target is set at saving 4.9 billion gallons of water.  

The company’s other accomplishment was its reaching the target of solid waste management, where Hormel achieved 51% of its target for the fiscal year 2020. Hormel’s goal is to reduce solid waste to landfills by 3,300 tons, out of which there was a reduction of 1,700 tons in fiscal 2012.

Coming to the total sales increase, in fiscal 2012 Hormel achieved its target of earning $2.0 billion of revenue from the products initiated since fiscal 2000. This target has now been increased to $3.0 billion by fiscal 2016.

Apart from these meaningful activities, Hormel also trains its employees properly to avoid any fatalities and take proper care of animals and reduce energy usage.

Hormel currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other stocks worth a look in the industry are Sanderson Farms, Inc. (SAFM - Snapshot Report), carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Annie's, Inc. (BNNY - Snapshot Report) and H. J. Heinz Company each carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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