This $125m pig poop partnership plans to save the climate one turd at a time

What do you get when you combine the world’s largest pork producer and a huge energy company? A whole lotta pig poop -- enough to heat thousands of homes.


November 28, 2018

The world’s largest pork producer, Smithfield Foods, partnered with utility company Dominion Energy to launch a 10-year, $250m poop project that will harness methane from pig manure to heat homes.

Out-of-control manure mounds have increased US methane emissions 71%. This stinky solution will lay waste to greenhouse gases, cutting CO2 emissions by an equivalent of 700k homes.

Business from the Poop Lagoon

Hog lagoons are a foul-smelling byproduct of the big bacon business: When Big Pig producers send their little piggies off to market, they deposit the mountains of manure left behind into poop lagoons. 

These ponds o’ poop produce oodles of methane — a greenhouse gas 25x as potent as CO2. But methane also has a business use: Dominion can convert poop-fumes into biodiesel.

One company’s crap is another company’s treasure

With Dominion’s help, Smithfield plans to cover 90% of its poop ponds in North Carolina and Utah with high-density plastic, capturing methane and adding it to Dominion’s 65k-mile pipeline.

The poop partnership is a small, smelly step in the right direction for both companies: Smithfield hopes it will help reduce its carbon footprint 25% by 2025, and Dominion hopes it will increase its renewable gas to 4% of its total. 

Smithfield’s first attempt to convert its waste into fuel 13 years ago was a $30m failure, but this time, Smithfield thinks its sh*t sales will be less of a sh*tshow.

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