Smithfield Foods’ newest food and cold storage distribution center (DC) has earned a Silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, the company said today.
Located in the town of North East, Md., the $90 million, 420,000 square-foot facility features more than 47,000 pallet positions along with cutting-edge green technology, including efficient refrigeration systems that reduce energy use by more than 19% and utilize 50% less ammonia compared to similar facilities and chilling systems. The DC also uses optimized and low-flow water fixtures to reduce unnecessary water use; zero-water landscaping that eliminates the need for sprinklers; LED lighting with occupancy sensors; electric car charging stations; and ongoing green cleaning and pest control practices, among others, company leaders said.
The facility also gives Smithfield access to one-third of the U.S. population within an overnight drive, reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, transportation mileage, and fuel costs while improving delivery times, the company said. This contributes to Smithfield’s goal to reduce GHG emissions across the company’s entire U.S. supply chain 25% by 2025 and to become carbon negative in all U.S. company-owned operations by 2030.
“Achieving LEED certification at our North East distribution center is an important milestone in our efforts to continually optimize our supply chain operations to meet our sustainability goals,” Scott Saunders, Smithfield Foods chief supply chain officer, said in a statement. “This distinction recognizes energy-efficient operational features that are relatively uncommon in the food and cold storage space and are a testament to Smithfield’s leadership by example in sustainable, responsible food production.”