Circular Economy

At JBS, we are working to apply strategic, circular-economy concepts across our operations to reduce, reuse, recover, and recycle materials and energy within closed loop systems and minimize disposal and waste. Doing so not only creates new business opportunities for our company, but also disruptive solutions that support our operational continuity into the future. It is an integral component of our business model and influences the long-term decisions we make.

Historically, the meat processing industry has become incredibly efficient from a food waste prevention standpoint. Over the last two decades, we have implemented a number of initiatives to sustainably dispose of our processing waste, such as hides, blood, meat, bones, and others to create marketable materials. Nearly 100% of these inedible byproducts are processed and transformed into consumer goods such as biodiesel, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, soaps, animal feed, and more. Packaging and organic waste generated during JBS processing is also transformed into new packaging for use at JBS operations and fertilizers for sale, respectively.

In alignment with this strategy, JBS has two business units in Brazil that are dedicated to circular economy principles: JBS Couros and JBS Novos Negócios.


JBS Couros

With a global presence and operations across four continents, JBS Couros produces leather for sale at wet blue, wet white semi-finished, and finished stages of hide processing. The company primarily operates in three major markets: automotive, furniture, and footwear and accessories. It also provides processing solutions that incorporate innovation, logistics, and value chain control to help improve product quality and consistency, as well as ergonomics and industrial automation.

By transforming animal hides into leather through tanning, we create a material with various useful applications. In this regard, we also prioritize environmental impact and waste reduction, as any unused raw material would otherwise need to be incinerated or disposed of in landfills.

JBS Novos Negócios

Closed-loop systems for reusing and recycling waste can play an important role in the long-term viability of operations. JBS Novos Negócios creates value out of traditional waste streams, converting byproducts and waste from animal protein processing into value-added products, such as biodiesel, collagen, natural casings, fertilizers, pharmaceutical ingredients, personal care and cleaning products, and more that are sold in Brazil and 50 other countries. As a pioneer in this space, JBS Novos Negócios is advancing innovation, efficiency, and sustainable practices in line with circular economy principles, and we are exploring how we can further apply this model across our global operations.

Our Ambitions:

  • Develop solutions that minimize the disposal of waste generated by our operations;
  • Diminish the environmental impact of packaging used in our products;
  • Advance the circular economy within and outside the company’s operations; and
  • Promote recycling in our value chain.

JBS Novos Negócios’ businesses are divided into Value Generation and Strategic Solution Generation.

Value Generation

Hygiene and Cleaning Solutions:

As a leading producer of soap, bar soap, base mass, and glycerin for the B2B segment in Brazil, the JBS Hygiene and Cleaning business has a production capacity of more than 1 billion units per year, produced with 100% renewable electricity.

Health Solutions:

Our Genu-in business produces high-performance collagen peptides for healthy and nutritional markets as well as gelatins for food and pharmaceutical industries.

Our Orygina business also provides products to the pharmaceutical industry, research centers, and other technology-focused and scientific markets.

Environmental Solutions:

JBS Ambiental (JBS Environmental) develops products and solutions from solid industrial waste and manages and treats non-recyclable items, tracking their lifecycle and ensuring they are properly disposed.

JBS Biodiesel is a Brazilian leader in transforming organic waste generated by cattle processing and used cooking oil into biodiesel. Annually, it produces more than 700 million liters of clean fuel and neutralizes more than 600,000 MT of carbon emissions through RenovaBio Certification.

Food Solutions:

Our Novaprom business converts bovine collagen into high-functioning protein solutions that improve the texture, yield, and stability of processed foods. It also develops innovative solutions in ingredients for various sectors of the food industry.

JBS Natural Casings is also a global leader in producing animal-based casings for salamis, sausages, and more.

Agribusiness Solutions:

Our Campo Forte business produces a complete line of fertilizers from organic waste, using improved efficiencies and sustainability-focused practices to help reduce its carbon emissions.

Strategic Solution Generation

Sustainable Packaging Solutions:

As a leading aerosol and food 4.0 metallic packaging company in Brazil, Zempak has three production facilities with a combined capacity to produce more than 1 billion packages per year. The operation supports Prolata, a Brazilian non-profit association dedicated to reverse logistics, toward a shared goal of promoting circular economy and sustainability throughout our value chain.

Solutions for Buying and Selling Commodities:

JBS Trading specializes in the sale of oils, fats, and chemical products, serving several different market segments through strategically located tankage facilities in the primary ports of Brazil.

Transportation Solutions:

The JBS Carriers fleet in Brazil is made up of more than 1,100 modern, owned trucks, which are renewed every three years to help ensure live animals, leather, dry cargo, containers, and other commodities are transported safely.

In addition, No Carbon, our fleet of electric trucks in Brazil, specializes in the transport of frozen and refrigerated products.

Our live cattle land transport app service, Uboi, also has trained drivers, a 24-hour monitoring center, and appropriate animal welfare certifications (please see Our Animals for more information).

Lastly, TRP Semi-novos acquires new vehicles for JBS companies and sells semi-new trucks and trailers to the market.

Reverse Logistics

In Brazil, JBS supports reverse logistics projects in accordance with the National Policy on Solid Waste. The company renewed partnerships with Prolata, the Instituto Recicleiros’ Cidade+ Program, and eureciclo in 2022 to promote recycling of packaging downstream of JBS operations. By directing resources and investments to co-ops and collection centers, the recycling chain for post-consumer packaging is strengthened and numerous workers are provided a source of income.

Through these initiatives, our Brazilian operations collectively recycled 11,458 metric tons of plastic and cardboard packaging and 12,004 metric tons of metal in 2022. In addition, other projects developed in collaboration with JBS Ambiental to improve the segregation of recyclable materials are currently ongoing. Learn more about JBS Ambiental at our website.

Case Studies:

In JBS beef and lamb facilities, animal fat from processing waste material is cooked down into a liquid form known as “tallow” and refined into renewable fuels that contribute to reducing transportation emissions globally.
In 2022, approximately 465,000 metric tons of tallow produced in JBS facilities in the U.S., Australia, and Canada were refined into renewable fuels. These renewable fuels are used to power hard-to-abate transportation sectors including aircraft, heavy vehicles, and ferries in some parts of the world. Renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuels refined from JBS tallow by our customers can emit upwards of 50% fewer GHG emissions than conventional fossil fuels.
JBS Couros transforms the leather derived from our production process into products with a unique, natural, and timeless style. One of the business’ main products, Kind Leather, aims to produce
leather that allows for greater cutting efficiency when assembling consumer goods (bags, shoes, seats), thus generating less solid waste and using raw materials more efficiently.
In 2022, Pilgrim’s Mexico implemented a Circular Economy Program in which five suppliers were invited to participate. The course explained the importance of circular economy practices
while simultaneously helping each supplier develop a project to implement on their own operations, aimed at reducing energy, water, and waste.
In 2022, JBS Brasil continued to invest in creating additional value through its byproducts, reinforcing the company’s circular economy strategy to align to its pledge to reach net zero GHG emissions by 2040.
It began producing organic, organomineral, and special fertilizers, and marked its entrance into the fertilizer market under the Campo Forte Fertilizantes brand. It also entered the health and nutraceuticals market with the launch of Genu-in, a company specializing in collagen peptides and gelatin.