This morning, Kellogg announced a new set of commitments aimed at protecting its supply chain and increasing the efficiency of its operations. Specifically, the company has pledged to responsibly source its top 10 ingredients and materials by 2020 (as rival General Mills did last fall); boost its agricultural sustainability by supporting smallholder farmers; and meet more aggressive goals around increased energy efficiency and reduced water use, waste and packaging.
“This company was founded on the belief that there’s an inherent goodness in grains and that continues to hold true today,” said John Bryant, Kellogg Company CEO and chairman of the board. “We are committed to nourishing families so they can flourish and thrive. Our new sustainability goals will help us do this by delivering the high-quality grains in a responsible way that enriches the lives of consumers and agricultural growers around the world.”
Kellogg’s high-level goals around sourcing include:
- Responsibly source its top 10 ingredients (such as palm oil, which in February the food giant committed to working with its global suppliers to only source oil that's fully traceable and “produced in a manner that's environmentally responsible, socially beneficial, and economically viable” by the end of 2015) and materials by 2020, and validate compliance across all direct suppliers by 2015.
- Continue to provide resources and education to key agricultural suppliers, millers and farmers to help them increase their resilience to climate change; optimize their use of fertilizer inputs; reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in their agricultural practices; optimize water use and enhance watershed quality; and improve soil health.
- Build programs to help small-scale farmers improve their livelihoods by adapting to climate change and improving their agronomic practices and business skills.
- Identify areas within Kellogg’s supply chain with a high prevalence of women farmers and workers and develop programs to provide resources and education that improve the livelihoods of these women, their families and their communities.
Kellogg says it works with its growers, suppliers and partners around the world to improve their livelihoods and reduce the company’s overall impact on the environment. This includes helping wheat farmers in the United Kingdom improve soil health, supporting a women’s cooperative of more than 600 farm families in Bolivia, and promoting new rice growing methods in Thailand that reduce GHGs.
In the US, Kellogg, its leading corn supplier, Bunge, and The Nature Conservancy are driving agricultural conservation management in the Midwest Corn Belt, including portions of the Missouri River, Upper Mississippi River and Ohio River watersheds. The goal is to encourage farmers to implement best management practices, track farm-level and watershed outcomes that will benefit the region, and measure continuous improvement of on-farm practices using Field to Market metrics.
To do so, Kellogg partners with organizations such as Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE), a leading global humanitarian organization working to empower women, families and communities to escape poverty. CARE promotes solutions to and advocates on behalf of global responsibility. The group also was instrumental in guiding the development of Kellogg’s new commitments.
“We are proud to partner with companies like Kellogg who understand the critical importance of enriching the lives of people who are part of their value chain,” said Helene Gayle, president and CEO of CARE. “Through these new and expanded commitments, Kellogg can make a lasting difference in the communities where their ingredients are sourced. We applaud Kellogg for their efforts and look forward to hearing about their progress.”
In terms of conserving natural resources, Kellogg has committed to:
- Supporting watershed quality, implementing water reuse projects in 25 percent of plants by 2020, and further reducing water use by an additional 15 percent (per metric ton of food produced) from 2015 performance.
- Increasing to 30 percent the number of plants sending zero waste to landfill by 2016.
- Ensuring that 100 percent of its timber-based packaging continues to be either recycled or from certified sustainable sources, while implementing resource-efficient packaging, as measured by improved performance for recycled content, recyclability and food-to-package ratios.
- Further reducing energy and GHG emissions by an additional 15 percent (per metric ton of food produced) from 2015 performance.
- Expanding its use of low-carbon energy in plants by 50 percent by 2020.
For example, Eggo®, fans will be happy to know their beloved waffles are now being produced in a more environmentally friendly way: Kellogg says its Eggo bakery in San Jose, Calif., recently installed fuel cell technology that generates enough clean energy to produce approximately half of the facility’s annual electrical consumption. The system also uses less water to generate this power than if it had been supplied by the utility grid.
“This is just one example of how Kellogg is continuously looking for new processes and technology to delight consumers with foods made in innovative ways that minimize the environmental impact of our operations,” said Diane Holdorf, Kellogg’s chief sustainability officer. “We’re making progress but also recognize the need to drive change, which is why we’re stepping up our plans now with new goals for 2020."