General Mills to cut value chain carbon emissions by 28 per cent

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
6 September 2015

Food maker General Mills has announced it will cut greenhouse gases (GHG) across its global value chain by 28 per cent over the next 10 years against a 2010 baseline.

The company, behind brands including Cheerios and Häagen-Dazs, said to achieve the goal it would be investing $100 million (£65.8 million) in cleaner energy and greater efficiency, partnering with suppliers to boost the adoption of more sustainable agricultural practices and altering packaging.

General Mills said almost two-thirds of its GHG emissions occurred outside of its direct operations and it would be reducing its carbon footprint by introducing 250 new organic products over the next decade, improving the sustainability of more than 3,000 products and sourcing from an additional 250,000 acres of organic farmland.

The firm said its long-term aspiration is to “achieve sustainable emission levels in line with scientific consensus by 2050”.

Ken Powell, chairman and CEO of General Mills, said: “For 150 years, General Mills has served the world by making food people love. Our aim is to be around for another 150 years.

“We recognise that we must do our part to protect and conserve natural resources. Our business depends on it and so does the planet.”

The move follows a 13 per cent cut in emissions from General Mills’ direct operations since 2005, achieved by greater energy efficiency and moving away from less carbon intensive energy sources.

In 2013 the company also committed to sustainably sourcing 10 priority ingredients, which represent 50 per cent of what it buys, by 2020. It also aims to achieve zero net deforestation in supply chains for commodities including palm oil, beef, soy and packaging fibre, by the same date.

In the financial year to 31 May General Mills, worth $34.5 billion (£22.7 billion), made operating profits of $3.035 billion (£1.996 billion) on global sales of $17.63 billion (£11.597 billion).

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