Land O’Lakes committed to reducing environmental impact

The second largest co-operative in the US, Land O Lakes, has cut their energy consumption by almost 10 per cent over the last four years.

The second largest co-operative in the US, Land O Lakes, has cut their energy consumption by almost 10 per cent over the last four years.

This was revealed in their annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report that shows their commitment to being a more sustainable environmentally friendly organisation.

In 2008, Land O’Lakes set a goal to cut energy and water consumption at its facilities by 25 percent in 10 years. By the end of 2011, the company had cut more than 9 percent of energy consumption.

They have developed ways to reuse byproduct water in production, in some cases as much as a half million gallons of water a day and used more rail cars to transport products, saving 319 tons of greenhouse gas emissions by taking 157 trucks off the road.

"As a farmer-owned co-operative, Land O'Lakes is committed to operating openly, honestly and responsibly," said Chris Policinski, president and CEO of Land O'Lakes. "We make quality and safety our priorities, we follow a clear code of ethical conduct, we operate with strong financial integrity, we are transparent in our dealings, and we build enduring relationships with customers, members, employees and communities."

This is the third CSR report Land O Lakes has been released.

"In the last 50 years, U.S. farm productivity has increased by about 250 percent. In 1930, the average U.S. farmer fed 10 people. Today, the average American farmer feeds more than 150," continued Policinski. "Since 1960, corn and wheat yields have tripled while soybean yields are up 70 percent. In that same timeframe, milk production per cow has tripled, pork production per sow has more than doubled, and beef production per head of cattle is up 50 percent. We're feeding more people with less impact on the environment and using fewer resources.”

Along with environmental impact, they also help in the local community, donating $2.8 million in cash and more than $1 million in product to communities in which Land O'Lakes members and employees live and work over the last year.

Land O Lakes have also taken an active approach to reducing sodium and fat – they have managed this from 25 to 50 per cent in many of their products.

“What better way to meet the calcium and protein needs of growing children than to provide a Land O’Lakes cheese product that offers flexibility in menu planning for breakfast, lunch and after school snacks?

“Cheese is naturally nutrient-rich in calcium, potassium, and other vitamins and minerals, and provides high-quality protein for healthy bones and teeth,” said Christa Spaeth, R.D., Food & Nutrition manager for Land O’Lakes.

They also participate in the Feeding Our Communities initiative, they have has committed themselves to donating 12 truckloads of fresh product annually to food banks across the country through the First Run program. The program annually donates approximately 600,000 pounds of fresh product made specifically for donation.

In 2011, Land O'Lakes managed 33 agricultural development projects in 28 countries, mostly in Africa and Asia. This work helped address the food insecurity of and increased the self reliance of 428,000 people.

Policinski added: "Today CSR is becoming far more fundamental. It's authentically sustainable corporate social responsibility: helping people move up the value chain, providing real opportunities for public-private partnerships and feeding more people while using fewer natural resources and reducing the impact on the environment."

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