Responsibility

Reducing GHG emissions

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General Mills works to tackle greenhouse gas emissions across our value chain.

Our climate policy establishes a framework to track and reduce GHG emissions across our value chain.

Changes in climate not only affect global food security but also impact General Mills’ raw material supply. This influences our ability to deliver quality, finished products.

General Mills takes a broad approach to address this issue:

  • We work to decrease Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions from our directly controlled operations, which represent about 11 percent of our carbon footprint. 
  • We also collaborate with others to reduce Scope 3 emissions from across our value chain. These represent the vast majority of our carbon footprint.

Progress

We surpassed our target goal, set in 2005, to reduce GHG emissions rate 20 percent by 2015.

In 2015, we decreased the rate of GHG emissions by 23 percent, the same as in 2014.1

Recent progress against our goal is largely due to significant use of renewable energy sources at our Yoki facilities and our ongoing commitment to energy efficiency.

Since 2005, we have decreased our absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions by 11 percent, while net sales rose 57 percent.

Also during this period, emissions decreased by 14 percent, not including Yoki and Yoplait.

We have set additional science-based targets:

  • We plan to reducing GHG emissions (Scopes 1-3) 28 percent by 2025 across our entire value chain.
  • Our longer term goal is to reduce absolute GHG emissions across our full value chain by 41-72% (compared to 2010) to achieve sustainable levels in line with scientific consensus by 2050.

The areas of greatest environmental impact in our supply chain – including more than two-thirds of GHG emissions and 99 percent of water use – occur outside General Mills’ operations, primarily in agriculture.

We are working to reduce those impacts through our climate ambition goals, sustainable sourcing initiatives and water stewardship program.

Collaboration

Effective collaboration across industries and organizations has a critical role in combatting climate change:

  • Through the Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy coalition, we work with other businesses and policymakers to advocate for innovative and impactful climate and clean energy policies.
  • We are also signatories to the New York Declaration on Forests and the UN Caring for Climate Declaration.
  • To urge governments worldwide to take meaningful action at COP21, General Mills joined the We Mean Business coalition.
  • Chairman and CEO Ken Powell joined CEOs of nine other global food companies to release a joint letter on the role of climate change in the food industry.

The statement of progress against the 2015 target, which is normalized to production, represents wholly owned or controlled production facilities globally and includes Yoki and Yoplait.

Learn more

2016 Annual Report

150 years of growth 

Global Responsibility

2016 report