The quality of water returned to nature is also a priority. That is why the Company continuously works to make sure that reclaimed water meets or exceeds all regulatory requirements.
Each production unit has a water reclamation treatment program specifically tailored to that facility’s effluent discharge permit requirements. These programs help to reduce total discharged water volume and address noncompliance issues. All feedlots and hog operations are managed in accordance with legally mandated nutrient-management plans or equivalents. Manure also generated plays an important role, since it is composted and used by local farmers to enhance soil quality in place of synthetic fertilizers.
In feedlots and hog operations, surface water and groundwater are protected by appropriately sized and sealed retention ponds that hold all storm water runoff. Collected water is then used for dust control or to irrigate surrounding farmland.
The Company strives to capture the greatest amount of reusable product from wastewater treatment to reduce nutrient loading in discharged water. In 2019, the Tolleson, Arizona facility reduced organic waste production by removing and capturing a greater amount of tallow during the water reclamation process. The project captures on average 12 pounds of tallow per head, saving the facility significant water treatment costs.
Emissions and energy
GRI 305-4, GRI 305-5
Improving energy efficiency and reducing air and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are priorities at JBS USA. Especially in the communities where it operates, its impact on air quality are among the critical responsibilities for the Company.
JBS USA issues annual public reports on greenhouse gas emissions as well as data on fuel use, fuel use intensity, electricity use and electricity use intensity.
By 2020, JBS USA aims to lower electricity use intensity by 12%, natural gas use intensity by 20%, and greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 20%.
BS USA continuously invests in technologies that result in better recovery and monitoring of data from equipment with high energy consumption. In addition, the Company continues to invest in energy efficient technologies including LED lighting, real-time measurement devices and predictive maintenance, more efficient equipment, electrification of heating systems and transportation and more efficient refrigeration systems.
Eleven of the Company’s facilities use biogas as a renewable energy source and two have implemented solar systems. The share of indirect energy from renewable sources used at facilities in U.S. varies between 3% and 25%, depending on where the facilities are located.