With more than seven billion people on the planet and a still-growing population, the concept of sustainability has taken center stage in all aspects of the food production industry. From the way farmers grow crops and raise livestock, to processing food in the factory, operators on all levels understand the critical responsibility they have to ensure they are preserving fundamental resources for the future. The idea of sustainability is a core value for OSI Group, the suburban Chicago-based meat processing giant. As one of the largest companies of its kind in the world, OSI Group management is leading the way in developing and implementing sustainability in the way it processes food.
Much of the sustainability vision of OSI is supplied by its long-time CEO Sheldon Lavin. He joined OSI Group in the 1970s as an outside financial advisor. Mr. Lavin was brought in to help spur OSI’s ambitious plan to grow the company – his nimble and his creative approach to finance turned out to be a perfect match. Before long, Sheldon Lavin moved from an outsider into an ownership position with OSI. As CEO today, Lavin has led the company to a remarkable level of global growth. While aggressive expansion was always a central goal, OSI Group has made extraordinary efforts to build in the value of sustainability along the way.
No growth can be accomplished without also taking steps to reduce the carbon footprint of all operations. That means adopting alternative and renewable sources of energy. To that end, OSI has made enormous efforts to adopt solar and wind power to drive its plant processes. It has also focused heavily on waste production and adopting high tech solutions to provide energy-saving insulation techniques for refrigeration. The latter is a key function for a meat processor. It is critically important to keep meats at optimum levels of coolness to maximize safety. Refrigeration is naturally energy intensive, thus the need for new food solutions to counter the ever-increasing demand. OSI Group has been recognized around the world by industry observers and government regulators for its excellence in adopting sustainable and environmentally friendly operational procedures.