MINNEAPOLIS — General Mills, Inc. released its 84-page Global Responsibility Report for the 2022 fiscal year, detailing the company’s progress against its environmental and nutritional commitments. The company’s main climate goals include reducing greenhouse gas (GhG) emissions across its value chain 30% by 2030 and reaching net zero emissions by 2050. Since 2020, General Mills has reduced overall GhG emissions by 1% across its entire value chain and by 49% in its owned operations. On the nutrition front, the company is increasing nutritional value of key retail product categories through ingredient fortification that helps provide key nutrients such as vitamin D, calcium, iron and dietary fiber.
“For more than 150 years, General Mills has been guided by the belief that doing good and good business are not mutually exclusive,” said Jeffrey Harmening, chairman and chief executive officer. “We’ve proven year-over-year, including throughout an unprecedented global pandemic, that they go hand-in-hand. We are more committed than ever to ensuring the G in General Mills stands for Good, and our focus on people and planet remains central to how we operate.”
To address GhG emissions, General Mills is working to reduce the Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions of its own operations, which contribute just 5% of the company’s overall emissions, while also addressing the Scope 3 emissions from the agriculture, ingredients and packaging arms of the company’s value chain.
Points of sustainability progress in fiscal 2022 included the adoption of an additional 120,700 acres of regenerative farmland, bringing the company’s total regenerative acreage to 235,000; the sourcing of 87% renewable electricity across its global operations; reaching 92% of recyclable or reusable packaging by weight in the North America Retail and North America Foodservice operating segments; and achieving zero waste to landfill status in six more global production facilities, advancing the zero waste to landfill status to 41% of the company’s facilities.
“A healthy planet is critical for General Mills to continue making food the world loves, and climate change is putting our ability to do so at risk,” said Mary Jane Melendez, chief sustainability and global impact officer. “While we have more work to do, we’ve made tremendous progress to better understand our environmental impacts and how we can most effectively reduce them across our full value chain.”
In the food category, 2022 achievements were centered on strengthening relationships with consumers and combating malnutrition in North America. General Mills’ North American Foodservice business continued providing support to families and children experiencing or at risk of food insecurity through its ongoing partnership with the US Food and Drug Administration’s feeding programs. These programs include the School Breakfast Program (SPB), the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Additionally, the company offers over 240 products eligible for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Children and Infants (WIC).Forty percent of the company’s global food volume in fiscal 2022 met Nutrition-Forward criteria. Nutrition-Forward foods must contain at least 8 grams of whole grain, a half serving of low-fat or nonfat dairy per regional definition, or a half serving of fruits, vegetables or nuts/seeds, or they must meet the FDA’s Healthy criteria: 21 Code of Federal Regulations 101.65. Key product categories that meet Nutrition-Forward standards include the company’s whole grain cereals (99%), low-fat or nonfat yogurts (56%), snack bars (80%), soups (48%) and fruits and vegetables (99%).