MINNEAPOLIS — Cargill made major progress toward its 2015 Environment, Health and Safety goals – five-year, companywide goals centered on worker safety and environmental sustainability – during fiscal 2011, which ended May 31.

"We've made meaningful progress toward achieving our E.H.S. 2015 goals," said LaRaye Osborne, vice-president of corporate environment, health and safety. "We are harvesting the value of our considerable investment in research, people, processes and technologies. As a result, more of our employees and contractors return home safely at the end of their work day, and we are reducing the environmental impact of our operations."

Cargill aims to achieve by 2015 zero fatalities, zero injuries at 75% of its more than 1,200 operating locations globally, and a Reportable Injury Frequency Rate – the number of injuries per 200,000 hours worked – of 2.0. Introducing new strategies contributed – in one year – to a 50% reduction in fatalities, a 7% improvement in the company's reportable injury frequency rate and 68% of Cargill's locations operating injury-free.

By 2015, Cargill aims to improve energy efficiency by 5%; improve greenhouse gas intensity by 5%; increase renewable energy to 12.5% of its energy portfolio; and improve fresh-water efficiency by 5%.

In fiscal year 2011, Cargill harvested years of investment in developing the people, processes and technology to address these priorities:

* Energy efficiency improved 3.7% over its 2010 baseline.
* GHG intensity improved 3.8% over its 2010 baseline.
* Renewables accounted for 11% of the company's energy portfolio.
* Fresh-water efficiency improved 3.1% over its 2010 baseline.

Several environmental initiatives were established by Cargill that contributed to this recent progress and will play a key role in the coming year. Examples include:

• Cargill's recently announced $36 million waste-to-energy project at its High River, Alta., beef processing facility will increase to 80% the plant's ability to generate energy from byproducts (or non fossil-fuel sources) upon completion.
• Through Cargill's Behavior Based Energy Management system – a tool that engages employees in recognizing and eliminating energy inefficiencies – nearly 200 Cargill facilities conducted rigorous self-assessments to identify opportunities to run their plants more efficiently.
• Cargill established "Project Crowbar," with seed funds for use by its Technology Development Center to identify and deploy energy efficiency technologies that may be replicated rapidly across numerous operating plants and manufacturing technologies.
• Cargill invested in numerous new technologies at its facilities to expand its use of renewable energy, including combined heat-and-power units – which operate with improved efficiencies – at two Cargill facilities in Brazil.

This momentum is continuing for Cargill in the early months of fiscal 2012, particularly with worker safety. In the first three months of fiscal 2012, the company's R.I.F.R. was 24% better than the same period last year.