General Mills has released its 2016 Global Responsibility Report, which outlines the company’s goals and progress in the areas of health and wellness, sustainability, workplace and community engagement.
General Mills has released its 2016 Global Responsibility Report, which outlines the company’s goals and progress in the areas of health and wellness, sustainability, workplace and community engagement. This marks the 46th year General Mills has shared a report with stakeholders and the community.“For 150 years, General Mills has been serving the world by making food people love,” said Ken Powell, chairman and CEO of General Mills. “Our goal is to continue doing so for another 150 years by treating the world, its resources and people with care. We are encouraged by our progress over the last year and remain committed to doing even more.”General Mills said that its progress towards its health profile improvements, sustainable sourcing commitment, and climate and water stewardship efforts are among the key highlights of this year’s report.As a food company, General Mills says it recognises that consumers around the world seek nutritious, convenient and affordable food for themselves and their families every day, and believes that proper nutrition is essential for overall health and wellness.Since the company implemented its U.S. Health Metric in 2005, more than 1,000 products have been nutritionally improved. In 2010, General Mills accelerated the company’s sodium reduction efforts by pledging to reduce sodium 20% in 10 key U.S. retail product categories by 2015, and by the end of 2015 the company met or exceeded its goal in seven out of 10 categories and made significant progress in the other three.Similarly, in response to consumers’ changing preferences, in 2015 General Mills committed to removing artificial flavours and colours from artificial sources from all of the company’s cereals by the end of 2017.In 2013, General Mills committed to sustainably source 100% of its 10 priority ingredients by 2020, representing more than 50% of the company’s annual raw materials purchases. These raw materials, ranging from palm oil to wheat, oats, cocoa, dairy and corn, are ingredients the company believes can have the greatest impact from a sourcing standpoint.To date, the most significant progress has been made toward fibre packaging (99% and palm oil (100%) as well as nearly 50% or more sustainably sourced in vanilla, sugar cane and U.S. sugar beets.The company says it achieved its 2015 targets related to GHG emissions and packaging within its direct operations. However, General Mills says its greatest environmental impacts – including more than two-thirds of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 99% of water use - occur outside its supply chain, primarily in agriculture. Taking its GHG emissions commitment to the next level, the company set targets to reach science based, sustainable emission levels by 2050, and to make an initial reduction of 28% across the full value chain – from farm to fork to landfill – by 2025.To advance the company’s water stewardship work, General Mills continued its long-standing partnership with The Nature Conservancy to analyzse challenges and opportunities within the company’s most material and at-risk watersheds. Findings from this work were used to develop collaborative plans with stakeholders and communities to optimize water use and conservation.In 2015, General Mills also released its Water Policy, which guides the company as it engages with stakeholders to improve the health of watersheds critical to its business.“The most collaborative work we do as a company is through our climate and water stewardship efforts,” said Jerry Lynch, vice president and chief sustainability office at General Mills. “With each commitment, it becomes more evident that we can make a significant impact and accomplish more by working together.”