On October 25, RO Britt, Sr. Environmental Resource Manager for Smithfield, and VPC board member, spoke with fellow agriculture industry members from across the state at the Virginia Agribusiness Council’s Annual Meeting. Britt shared updates around Smithfield’s sustainability efforts and the Biogas Waverly Project. Smithfield Renewables is a platform that Smithfield developed in 2017 to accelerate progress toward realizing the industry leading carbon reduction goals.
The Align RNG Waverly Project in Sussex, Surry, Southampton and Isle of Wight counties will utilize farm manure digesters to capture methane from 20 Smithfield farms, transport it by a low-pressure biogas gathering line, deliver to end users through existing underground infrastructure, and produce enough clean energy to power 2,500 homes. A major environmental benefit of the Waverly Project is the annual reduction of greenhouse gas emissions — the same amount as taking 20,000 cars off the road, planting 1.5 million new trees totaling an annual emission reduction of 103,000 metric tons of CO2e. Britt reminds both industry members and consumers that robust sustainability programs are not only the right thing to do, they’re imperative to maintaining a company such as Smithfield’s social license to operate. He says, “when we innovate our business to become more sustainable, we are effectively helping our customers achieve their own sustainability goals and targets across their supply chains.”