Meet the 100: Kraig Westerbeek, Sr. Director/Smithfield Renewables – Smithfield Foods

By Alyssa Danigelis
Sep 9, 2019 10:25 AM ET

The E+E 100 are the VPs, directors, managers and engineers who are making significant strides in driving our industry. See the complete list here or download the report for more detailed information about these leaders. And stay tuned for the Call for Submissions coming in the fall, when you can nominate your favorite sustainability or energy management professional!

Now, meet Kraig Westerbeek, senior director of Smithfield Renewables with Smithfield Foods. Smithfield Renewables was formed in 2017 as a platform to help the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer cut carbon and advance renewable energy. Westerbeek notes that in 2016 Smithfield became the first major protein company to announce a greenhouse gas emissions goal, targeting a 25% reduction by 2025.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced in the last year or two?

Our biggest challenge is how to realize the full energy value of manure when faced with clusters of farms. Farms are generally in the same general area but not necessarily connected. It’s very difficult to make the manure energy projects work because the farms are too small. So we’re trying to find ways to connect our farms in a way that makes sense.

Read the full interview