Company advances new climate plan; shares progress against diversity, inclusion and belonging commitments; and maintains its leadership as the largest producer of natural and organic packaged food in the U.S.
General Mills (NYSE: GIS) today released its annual Global Responsibility Report, highlighting actions and progress made across three priority areas – Planet, People and Food – during its 2022 fiscal year, June 1, 2021 through May 31, 2022. The report details how General Mills is Standing for Good, a core pillar of its Accelerate strategy, and marks the company’s 53rd year of transparent reporting on its environmental and societal impact.
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A healthy planet is critical for General Mills to continue making food the world loves. That's why the company has committed to reduce GhG emissions by 30% by 2030 and net zero by 2050. (Graphic: Business Wire)
“For more than 150 years, General Mills has been guided by the belief that doing good and good business are not mutually exclusive. We’ve proven year-over-year, including throughout an unprecedented global pandemic, that they go hand-in-hand,” said Jeff Harmening, chairman and CEO, General Mills. “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.”
Standing for Planet
General Mills has developed a new climate plan to guide its ongoing work to drive progress toward its goals and across its key climate levers, including regenerative agriculture, dairy, deforestation, renewable electricity, and transportation efficiency. The company has set a series of strategic Planet commitments, including reducing greenhouse gas (GhG) emissions across its value chain by 30 percent by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions by 2050. Because the majority of its climate footprint falls outside of its direct operations, the company’s goals reach beyond its own walls, addressing Scopes 1, 2 and 3 emissions.
While only five percent of General Mills’ GhG footprint comes from its owned operations, the company is driving significant reductions here. Since 2020, the company has reduced GhG emissions from its owned operations by 49 percent, including a 26 percent reduction in fiscal 2022. With this progress, the company has met and exceeded its 2030 Scope 1 and Scope 2 Science Based Target goals.
Collective action and collaboration across its value chain are critical to addressing the company’s Scope 3 emissions. To successfully advance decarbonization strategies, General Mills has built new ways of working and new teams across the company. The company has a central climate team, as well as GhG lever teams, each of which are focused on one area of its carbon footprint, including dairy, transportation, and supplier engagement.
General Mills plans to report both challenges and progress against its climate plan annually to provide transparent insight into the company’s work and foster a learning environment for its own business and industry peers.
“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, General Mills. “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.”
Additional progress against Planet commitments in fiscal 2022 includes:
- Advancing regenerative agriculture: Adoption of regenerative techniques on more than 120,700 new acres of farmland, for a total of 235,700 acres;
- Transitioning to renewable electricity: Successfully sourced 87 percent renewable electricity across its global owned operations;
- Designing recyclable and reusable packaging: Ninety-two percent of packaging for its North America Retail and North America Foodservice operating segments was recyclable or reusable (by weight); and
- Achieving zero waste to landfill status: Six additional global production facilities achieved zero waste to landfill status, totaling 17 (41 percent) of General Mills’ owned facilities.
Standing for People
Supporting its employees and strengthening hometown communities are two of General Mills’ greatest priorities. In fiscal 2022, the company continued its journey to create a safe, inclusive, and rewarding workplace. One important step is expanding its U.S. racial ethnic and global gender diversity reporting to include support, production, and retail employees.
“A diverse workforce is important for our business and central to our core value of championing belonging,” said Jacqueline Williams-Roll, chief human resources officer, General Mills. “Meaningful change takes time, and we remain committed to advancing racial equity both within our walls and in our communities. Our Employee Networks, Courageous Conversation internal speaker series, and community partnerships are just a few of the ways we’re fostering inclusion at General Mills. I’m incredibly proud that our most recent engagement survey results show we’re moving in the right direction on our journey to drive a culture that truly champions belonging.”
Progress against People commitments in fiscal 2022 includes:
- Improving racial equity: Increased representation of people of color in officer positions to 29 percent and professional roles to 21 percent for the first time ever. People of color also represent 33 percent of its Board of Directors and 24 percent of its total U.S. employee population.
- Advancing female representation: To date, maintained global representation at 50 percent women consistently over the last three years, at and above the professional level.
- Investing in diverse suppliers: Increased spending with diverse suppliers by 40 percent, creating 3,535 jobs and contributing nearly $500 million in economic impact.
The company’s commitment to Standing for People extends beyond its operations and into its hometown communities, which General Mills continues to support through local charitable giving and employee volunteerism. Additional achievements in fiscal 2022 includes:
- Strengthening communities: The company contributed $90 million in charitable giving worldwide (financial grants and food donations), including $3 million raised by employees for 2,554 non-profit organizations through General Mills’ employee match program.
- Supporting equity-focused charitable giving: Eighty percent of all Twin Cities non-profits funded in 2022 are organizations primarily focused on improving the lives of Black, Indigenous and/or people of color.
- Alleviating hunger: Through donations of General Mills food, the company enabled 29 million meals worldwide.
Food the World Loves
General Mills exists to make food the world loves, and the company is reaching more people than ever before with brands and products that both delight and meet diverse and evolving needs and preferences. Notably, achievements in fiscal 2022 includes:
- Expanding natural and organic products: The company maintained its leadership as the largest producer of natural and organic packaged food in the U.S., and one in nine products within the company’s North American portfolio is certified organic or made with organic ingredients.
- Making nutrition-forward foods: Forty percent of General Mills’ global volume met Nutrition-Forward criteria. General Mills continues to invest in nutrition research through collaboration with scientists, universities, and consortiums, as well as its own Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition, which is the company’s source for scientific health and nutrition expertise.
- Meeting consumer needs: Through our venture capital arm, 301 INC, the company continues to invest in new products and brands that align with evolving consumer preferences, including plant-based brands such as Everything Legendary and No Cow.
To learn more about General Mills’ progress, visit GeneralMills.com/howwemakeit.
G STANDS FOR GOOD
General Mills stands for good – for the people we serve, the brands you love and the planet we depend on. For more than 150 years, General Mills has believed doing good and good business go hand-in-hand. The company is putting people first by improving food security and advancing a culture of inclusion, equity and belonging, and by creating positive planetary outcomes through actions beyond its walls. Learn more at GeneralMills/gstandsforgood.
ABOUT GENERAL MILLS
General Mills makes food the world loves. The company is guided by its Accelerate strategy to drive shareholder value by boldly building its brands, relentlessly innovating, unleashing its scale and standing for good. Its portfolio of beloved brands includes household names such as Cheerios, Nature Valley, Blue Buffalo, Häagen-Dazs, Old El Paso, Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, Yoplait, Annie’s, Wanchai Ferry, Yoki and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills generated fiscal 2022 net sales of U.S. $19.0 billion. In addition, the company’s share of non-consolidated joint venture net sales totaled U.S. $1.1 billion.