It was about a decade ago that the idea of sustainability evolved from being a peripheral issue to a front and center driving force for one of the world’s largest meat processing companies. Today, OSI Group doesn’t make a move in managing its operation without first asking: “How can we do this in a more sustainable fashion?”
OSI Group operates 70 facilities in 17 countries. Around the world, it processes hundreds of thousands of tons of meat per day. That includes everything from the hamburgers we eat at McDonald’s restaurant, to snacks we buy in convenience stores.
With the planet’s population quickly rising toward 8 billion people, OSI management feels a deep and critical responsibility to produce healthy, safe and wholesome food in a way that ensures it can keep doing so into the future.
OSI Group has already been recognized worldwide as a leader in sustainability. The firm has won numerous awards from both governmental environment watchdogs and NGOs alike. A few examples: The North American Meat Institute recently awarded OSI Group its Tier 1 Environmental Recognition Award. In Spain, the National Association of Meat Industries gave OSI its ANISE Environmental Award. In Poland, OSI Group was given the Eco-responsible in Business award by the International Congress on Environmental Protection.
The sustainability programs it has implemented are wide-ranging, from adopting alternative sources of energy to implementing carbon offset programs.
A driving force behind the OSI sustainability effort is CEO Sheldon Lavin. He has led OSI since the 1970s. That means he’s witnessed many trends and changes in the food industry over the decades. None is more critical today that sustainability, Lavin said.
It’s not uncommon to see banks of solar panels gracing the rooftops of OSI plants around the world. Inside every meat processing facility, one will find low-flow faucets that dramatically cut down on the use of fresh water. Refrigeration units are fitted with high-tech insulation materials to make them highly energy efficient. The amount of waste coming out of OSI facilities has also plummeted. The company is constantly innovating, always looking for ways to reduce waste to an absolute minimum. OSI Group acquires Rose Packing