General Mills has pledged to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent, compared to a 2010 baseline, across its full value chain — from farm to fork to landfill — by 2025.
General Mills’ focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions formally began within its direct operations in 2005. Over the last 10 years, General Mills has reduced absolute emissions within its operations by 13 percent, compared to a 2005 baseline. The company accomplished this by using energy more efficiently across its facilities and by converting to less greenhouse gas-intensive forms of energy.
However, nearly two-thirds of the company’s total greenhouse gas emissions occur upstream of its direct operations.
“We know our greatest impact is outside our four walls — particularly in agriculture, ingredients and packaging,” says Ken Powell, chairman and CEO of General Mills. “To reduce emission levels, we must work across our value chain with growers, suppliers, customers and industry partners.”
In 2013, General Mills made a commitment to sustainably source 100 percent of its 10 priority ingredients by 2020. These ingredients represent 50 percent of the company’s total raw material purchases and have a significant impact on its total environmental footprint. As part of this commitment, the company works closely with suppliers and farmers to strengthen sustainable farming practices. This work addresses key growing dimensions including GHG emission reduction, water management, and soil quality in an effort to establish more climate resilient farms.
In addition to broadening existing partnerships with organizations like Field to Market, the Innovation Center for US Dairy and others, the company has outlined four specific actions to help fulfill its climate commitment over the next 10 years, including:
- Continue to lead the way in its own, direct operations by investing more than $100 million in energy efficiency and clean energy. This level of investment is in-line with the work the company has been doing within our operations to reduce our environmental footprint since 2005.
- Partner with suppliers to accelerate adoption of more sustainable agriculture practices that build climate-resilient, healthy soils.
- Help consumers reduce their carbon footprint through products and packaging with smaller footprints.
- Support climate resiliency of farmers in the supply chain.