Murphy-Brown, LLC, Smithfield Foods’ livestock production subsidiary, has earned an environmental award from the parent company for its stellar performance in 2011.

Murphy-Brown has earned the Zero Hero Award for its outstanding environmental management performance last year, which included managing more than 450 company-owned farms nationwide without experiencing a single environmental notice of violation (NOV).

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state environmental agencies issue NOVs for violations of their environmental rules and regulations, and direct companies to take appropriate corrective actions.

“In addition to shining a well-deserved spotlight on last year’s outstanding performance, we are also recognizing Murphy-Brown for a decade of continuous improvement in environmental management at all of its facilities across the country,” says Dennis H. Treacy, Smithfield’s executive vice president and chief sustainability officer.

“Murphy-Brown’s success clearly demonstrates that responsible companies can promote and achieve social change,” Treacy adds.

“Given the complexity of raising hogs today and the sheer number of farms and different manure management activities that we manage on a daily basis, ‘zero’ NOVs is truly an amazing accomplishment,” says Kraig Westerbeek, Murphy-Brown’s assistant vice president for environmental compliance and worker safety.

“The fact that we were able to achieve this level of compliance underscores the excellence of our environmental management systems,” Westerbeek says. “And a critical component in our success is the dedication of our management team and our employees to these systems.”

Smithfield Foods adopted a corporate environmental policy a decade ago that committed the company to pollution prevention and continuous improvement in its environmental performance. In 2002, Smithfield received ISO 14001 certification for all of its domestic company-owned farms. By 2004, its processing facilities also earned the same ISO certification.

ISO 14001 is the international gold standard for environmental management. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is based in Geneva, Switzerland, and promotes the development and implementation of voluntary international standards for environmental management systems. ISO certification means a facility has implemented state-of-the-art management systems including formalized practices to protect the environment.

Learn more about Smithfield Foods at www.smithfieldfoods.com and www.smithfieldcommitments.com.