Private working lands account for more than 141 million acres in Texas, making up 82 percent of a state that’s 95 percent privately owned. These lands provide food and fiber for the world, and also provide critical wildlife habitat and ecosystem services to millions of Texans. From 1997–2017 there was a net loss of 2.2 million acres of working lands to non-agricultural use. Texas ingenuity within the agriculture industry is helping produce more with less, while increasing environmental stewardship.

With roots dating back more than 135 years, Darling Ingredients based in Irving, has grown from a small rendering company to a global organization with more than 200 locations on five continents. At the heart of that growth is Darling Ingredients’ commitment to providing sustainable ingredients to feed and fuel a growing a population.

Led by CEO Randall Stuewe, Darling Ingredients’ purpose is to repurpose. Finding economically and ecologically viable ways to provide food, feed, and fuel, Stuewe, along with Director of Environmental Affairs and Sustainability, Martin Guthrie, ensures that Darling Ingredients’ commitment to the health of human, animals, industries, and the planet remains at the core of Darling Ingredients’ mission by engaging multiple conservation technologies within its business.

A prime example of those state-of-the-art technologies is Darling Ingredients’ minimization of energy and water usage. Wastewater from its plants runs through systems to produce biogas—a cocktail of methane and CO2 that can be burned for heat, cooking, or compressed to run automobiles. The company also uses treated water from plant operations in green zones and crop irrigation.

In 2018, Darling Ingredients produced 163 million gallons of renewable diesel that generated 1.92 million fewer metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions than petroleum-derived diesel, which equates to taking 456,000 cars off the road for a year. Darling Ingredients also produced 1.67 billion gallons of water, the equivalent of 2,530 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

“Whether we’re developing eco-friendly fertilizer to enhance crops or producing renewable fuel from food industry by-products, our constant aim is to generate new resources, rather than depleting existing ones,” says Stuewe. “We do so by repurposing bio-nutrients, thus protecting the planet and the life it sustains for future generations. We view this as an obligation, not an option.”

Click here to see the full TxN 20 list, representing large companies and small across sectors as diverse as the state itself: transportation, construction, healthcare, agriculture, and more.