In 1972 the Club of Rome published Limits To Growth, a book that put forward a dire warning about the rapidly growing global population and the alarming rate at which the world’s resources were being used to sustain all those people.
Most major industries shrugged their shoulders and maintained “business as usual.” But OSI Industries took another view. From a very early stage in its aggressive plans to grow in size, OSI Industries also incorporated a philosophy that recognized the extreme importance of sustainability.
The given most credit for a far-reaching vision of sustainability is Sheldon Lavin. He became CEO of OSI Industries in 1975. He still holds that position today and has presided over the expansion of a company that has become a model for the world in terms of environmental management.
Lavin was determined that OSI Industries would become a premier processors of meat in the world, but at every step of that development, the concepts of sound environmental practice and sustainable use of resources would play a central role in how business got done.
Today OSI Industries stands as a model for the rest of the world. The company has leveraged high technology and made intensive use of alternative forms of energy as it opened new facilities across the globe. Today it is operating in 17 countries with 70 facilities.
It is not an uncommon site to visit an OSI plant and see banks of solar panels sprouting from rooftops or power configurations that employ wind power. Each facility is also fitted with low-flow faucets to preserve water, as well as ingenious water recycling systems — and that’s just for starters.
Reducing waste has also been an bona fide obsession with OSI engineers. From the plastics and cardboard used for shipping containers to the trucks it employs to deliver products to end users, OSI has found ways to leave behind a bare minimum of waste.
OSI has a long-term goal to become a “carbon-zero” operation. That means no net contribution of greenhouse gases as its dozens of operations process and deliver fresh foods to the market.
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