General Mills, Inc.
The Value of Sustainability
The General Mills, Inc. Leadership Team for Global Responsibility Programs and Performance is headed by Chief Executive Officer, Ken Powell, and Chief Sustainability Officer, Jerry Lynch. With two other top-management leaders, this team is dedicated to proactively working towards sustainability. The company mission statement hints at sustainability goals with phrases such as “products that make life healthier, easier, and richer”, “Do the right thing, all the time”, and “Grow and inspire”. Based on the achievements and goals set by the company, General Mills, ...view middle of the document...
Furthermore, General Mills, Inc. is proud of their exceptional food safety standards and can boast on this achievement by acknowledging the fact that over 1,500 of the organization’s research and development employees are dedicated to incorporating food safety into new product evaluation.
Regarding the sources of the ingredients for the General Mills, Inc. product lines, sustainability is proactively pursued by the company’s efforts to support small farmers in developing economies. For example, in the case of vanilla, General Mills, Inc. launched a program in northern Madagascar to support the Belmabi vanilla farmers, which benefitted 325 farming families (over 1,900 people). Regarding the sourcing of their oats, General Mills, Inc. implemented the Western Canada Sustainability Pilot in 2013, which was created to help measure the sustainability of 540 oat farmers in the region. In packaging, General Mills has made an effort to use virgin fibers, pulp, and paper more avidly to reduce contribution to global deforestation by using recycled materials for their packaging. Another example of proactive sustainability pursuit in sourcing their products can be seen in the $1.1 million given to small artichoke farmers in Peru to finance training on crop-management practices, helping to increase yields and profitability.
To begin with, General Mills, Inc. can brag on the fact that since fiscal 2005, North American operations have saved approximately $65 million through proactive environmental management and other initiatives to make production facilities more efficient and environmentally sustainable. The company seeks to increase the sustainability of its ingredients by committing to source their 10 priority ingredients by 2020, which represents more than 50% of their ingredient purchases. The company also cares about reducing Greenhouse gas emissions, as it has seen a decrease in its output rate of 23% through 2014 and 20% through 2013, with a goal of an additional 20% in 2015. Energy usage rates have also seen a decrease of 10% through 2014, unchanged from 2013, and aims to decrease energy usage a further 20% in the 2015 year. General Mills, Inc. has...