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General Mills reports progress on global responsibility efforts

General Mills reports progress on global responsibility efforts
General Mills logo

General Mills logoGeneral Mills released on April 30 its 2013 Global Responsibility Report, which outlines the company's progress and commitments in the areas of health, environment, sourcing, workplace and community engagement.


"Through our products, we are continuously striving to make consumers' lives healthier, easier and richer," says Ken Powell, Chairman and CEO of General Mills. "Through our actions, we are simultaneously working to source responsibly, to conserve the natural resources on which our products depend, and to strengthen the communities producing them."


New this year, the report unveils the company's sustainable sourcing commitment to improve the environmental, economic and social impacts of the materials it purchases. The commitment is a direct link to General Mills' sustainability mission of conserving and protecting the natural resources on which the business depends. The report details progress against strategies on 10 priority agricultural raw materials, representing more than 50 percent of the company's annual purchases.


In fiscal year 2012, General Mills worked with data expert Trucost to study its environmental dependence on natural resources across the value chain from farm to fork - including agriculture, ingredient production, packaging supply chain, product production, distribution and consumer use. The assessment revealed nearly two-thirds of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 99 percent of water use occurs upstream from General Mills' operations, primarily in agriculture and in the preparation of the ingredients used to produce the company's products. The findings reinforced the importance of the company's sustainable sourcing commitment.


"Responsible companies must share a clear and common interest in advancing a more sustainable global supply chain," says Jerry Lynch, Chief Sustainability Officer, General Mills. "We recognize that a significant portion of the environmental footprint of our products occurs upstream of our supply chain, primarily in agriculture. While we are working to conserve resources within our supply chain, we believe we can also impact those inputs by sourcing responsibly."


Packaging highlights


Some packaging highlights in the press release and from the packaging section of the report:


  • Reducing the company's environmental footprint: General Mills continues to work toward its fiscal 2015 goal of achieving significant, measurable reductions in energy usage, GHG emissions, water usage and on other sustainability metrics. The company exceeded its 2015 packaging volume improvement goal three years early and has reset its 2015 goal to reflect this performance.
  • Increasing the packaging goal to state that 60 percent of the company's global product volume will be sold in packaging that has been improved since fiscal 2009. In 2012, General Mills reached a milestone with 52 percent of its packaging volume improved from a fiscal 2009 baseline - exceeding the 2015 goal of 40 percent improvement three years early.
  • How2Recycle labels are featured on all eight-count Yoplait fridge packs sold at U.S. retailers nationwide to increase consumer awareness of recyclability, especially of the polypropylene cup.
  • Switching from cartons to printed-film packaging (for Totino's pizza rolls) reduces packaging weight by 66 percent and allows 58 percent more packages per pallet.
  • Pillsbury dough cans contain more than 60 percent post-consumer recycled fiber. The company's supplier also is investigating how to recover dough cans.


Click here for the packaging section's web page.

About General Mills
General Mills is one of the world's leading food companies, operating in more than 100 countries. Its brands include Cheerios, Fiber One, Haagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Yoplait, Betty Crocker , Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, and Wanchai Ferry . Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., USA, General Mills had fiscal 2012 worldwide sales of US $16.7 billion.


Source: General Mills



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