General Mills to Invest $100M to Cut Down GHG Emissions
(3BL Media/Justmeans) â Human-caused greenhouse gases (GHG) lead to climate change and climate volatility, which puts the agricultural supply chains of food companies under stress. As a result, climate change has a direct adverse impact on food companies that depend on agricultural production.
As one of the largest food companies in the world, General Mills recognizes this challenge, and has decided to invest more than $100 million in energy efficiency and clean energy within its own facilities worldwide. The company will also partner with suppliers to foster more sustainable agricultural practices, including sourcing products from an additional 250,000 acres of organic production globally by 2020.
General Mills has set an ambitious target of reducing its GHG emissions by 28 percent by 2025 â not just within its own operations but from farm to fork to landfill.CEO Ken Powell said that the company realizes the urgency to act because climate change is bound to be bad for business.
What distinguishes General Millsâ carbon reduction effort from that of many other major food companies is that it has targeted its entire chain â from raw material suppliers to consumers. According to the companyâs estimates, 92 percent of GHG emissions associated with its supply chain arise from entities that it does not control. But because of its size, the company hopes to exert a strong influence over its suppliers.
Other leading food companies such as Unilever, NestlÃ©Â and Mars have set GHG reduction targets for their own operations.But the unique plan of General Mills extends all the way up the supply chain. Eric Olson, senior vice president with the nonprofit Business for Social Responsibility, said that General Mills is setting an audacious goal, which is going to be good for their business in the long-term.
Powell acknowledged that getting partners to pursue sustainability will be a key challenge. Expanded organic acreage and promoting agricultural innovations are part of the solution.Organic agriculture promotes soil that helps farms better endure droughts, heavy rains and pests, pulling more carbon from the air and putting it into the ground in the process.Better dietary and manure management practices in the dairy industry are other opportunities.
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