While our sustainability program initially focused on operations in the United States, the program also applies to our operations in Europe. Of course, regulatory frameworks vary from country to country. Therefore, we, like many other companies, are working hard to align our goals and approaches to important issues, such as environmental management, with international operations.
When we acquire a new company, we conduct various reviews, including an assessment of the company’s practices related to key sustainability areas such as employees, safety, sow housing and the environment. We also try to address the current relationship with local regulators and the communities in which they are based. Following an acquisition, we promptly implement our environmental and health and safety management systems (described in the respective areas of our sustainability program on this site) and identify practices already in place, as well as gaps. We then use our corporate-level training programs and intranet sites to communicate best practices.
We also make available our environmental management expertise and safety expertise to the companies in which we hold a minority interest, and we encourage them to utilize environmental and safety compliance practices that are consistent with our own.