Water use and water quality are priorities at JBS USA and critical pillars in our sustainability program. We recognize that water scarcity is a major global issue and is critical to securing a consistent, high-quality global food supply. We embrace our responsibility to reduce water use and strive to improve our water stewardship by monitoring its use at each JBS USA facility and prioritizing usage reductions, while preserving our high standards for food safety and sanitary conditions. We are also aware that some JBS USA facilities are located in water-stressed areas and require more strategic focus to ensure proper management. Water quality is an important priority for us as well, and we continuously work to ensure that all wastewater we discharge meets or exceeds all regulatory and internal standards.
At JBS USA, water stewardship is crucial to our long-term viability. Companywide, our approach to water stewardship is defined at the corporate level, but goals and targets are set by each facility to ensure ownership and accountability. We work closely and collaboratively with federal, state and local municipalities to address complex issues and jointly develop solutions. Finally, every facility devotes financial resources to make sure it stays in alignment with and committed to our Environmental Policy while appropriately addressing local challenges.
Water plays an important role in producing safe food. This necessitates its everyday use so we are meeting the highest food safety standards. To ensure that our water conservation efforts do not interfere with food safety, we work cross-functionally with our environmental, engineering, operations and food quality and safety teams when designing and implementing these strategies.
Each of our production and further processing facilities has a wastewater treatment program specifically tailored to that facility’s discharge permit requirements. These site-specific initiatives have helped reduce our total discharged water volume and addressed noncompliance issues. All of our feedlots and live hog operations are run in accordance with federally mandated, nutrient-management plans or an equivalent program. Manure from our feedlots and live hog operations plays an important role in conservation as a soil amendment and fertilizer. It is composted and used by local farmers to enhance soil quality and as a sustainable alternative to synthetic fertilizers.