We use milk to make yogurt at our facilities in the U.S. and France.
General Mills collaborates with industry partners to measure the environmental footprint of dairy production and identify sustainability improvements.
We continue working with dairy farmers and farmer cooperative partners in the upper Midwest region of the United States to pilot the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy Sustainability Council Framework.
We also support dairy sustainability initiatives connected to our Yoplait and Häagen-Dazs businesses in France.
In addition, we participated in a life-cycle analysis of yogurt production conducted by the Dairy Research Institute.
Pilot programs and analysis
The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy sustainability pilot program – involving Midwest milk producers and our Reed City, Michigan, yogurt facility – uses online software tools to measure the carbon footprint, energy usage, water consumption from milk production and processing, and animal care.
This effort supports the U.S. Dairy Innovation Center’s voluntary, industrywide goal to reduce the dairy carbon footprint by lowering GHG emissions for fluid milk production 25 percent by 2020.
We are adding a second engagement to the pilot program at our Reed City facility to help us move closer to achieving our sustainability commitments.
In addition, we are using the results from the U.S. Dairy Research Institute’s life-cycle analysis of the environmental footprint of yogurt production from farm to consumer – released in late 2015 – as a benchmark for our work.
Improving dairy sustainability in France
Our Yoplait business in France sources fresh milk exclusively from 1,900 farms in the Sodiaal dairy cooperative:
- The cooperative’s “La Route Du Lait” program helps farms continuously improve milk quality, breeding conditions and environmental impacts.
- Each farm is audited every three years to analyze progress.
- As of December 2015, 100 percent of Sodiaal milk was collected from audited farms.
- Our Yoplait business is working with Sodiaal to update the program and enhance environmental evaluation, including biodiversity and animal welfare.
Our Haagen-Dazs business continues working with dairy supplier Ingredia, the French Breeding Institute and a group of farmers using an online tool to conduct farm assessments to measure GHG emissions and provide farmers with deeper insight about their farming practices. In 2015:
- One hundred farm assessments were conducted in northern France near our Häagen-Dazs facility.
- Progress was made on several initiatives, including implementation of carbon soil sequestration and energy reduction programs and introduction of a feed autonomy program.
- Ingredia’s program and tools are now considered a standard in the Nord Pas De Calais region of France, which will enable benchmarking with peers and improve analysis.
In northern France, we support in-depth analysis of GHG emissions and energy consumption on participating farms conducted by the Grignon Experimental Farm.
In 2014, the pilot program analyzed six farms.
Now the initiative is expanding to include more farms and using the data to help decrease the carbon impact of milk production.