General Mills has released its 2012 Global Responsibility Report, detailing the company’s progress in the areas of health, communities and environment. The 2012 report can be viewed or downloaded at GeneralMills.com.
“Our approach to global responsibility is straightforward,” said Ken Powell, chairman and CEO of General Mills. “It’s all about living our values. When a company’s values are in alignment with employees’ personal values, good things can happen. My hope is that our stakeholders will see our values reflected in this report—both in the company’s performance and in the stories behind the numbers.”
Highlights from General Mills’ efforts to nourish lives around the globe this past year include:
• Reaching the halfway mark toward achieving three of the company’s 2015 global sustainability goals: water, solid waste and packaging. General Mills is more than 50 percent of the way to achieving a 20 percent reduction in its water usage rate and a 50 percent reduction in its solid waste generation rate. In addition, the company has improved the packaging for 27 percent of its sales volume—more than halfway toward the 40 percent goal.
• Leveraging Continuous Improvement and Holistic Margin Management to make General Mills’ plants more efficient and environmentally friendly. By eliminating non value-added processes, labor and materials, and focusing on what matters most to its consumers, these strategies have helped minimize cost, reduce waste and drive the company’s environmental performance—while helping to keep products affordable for consumers.
• Achieving a new record for improving the health profile of General Mills’ products. The company improved the health profile of products representing nearly 25 percent of its U.S retail product sales in fiscal 2011. Since 2005, more than 600 of General Mills’ U.S. products have been nutritionally improved by adding whole grain, fiber or vitamins, reducing calories, fat, sugar or sodium or through other health enhancements.
• Delivering more whole grain than any other single ingredient in every Big G cereal. Whole grain is now listed first on the ingredient panel of all Big G cereals, indicating that whole grain is the most prevalent ingredient.
• Expanding our commitment to fight hunger around the world. General Mills championed hunger relief efforts from Minnesota to Malawi in fiscal 2011. The company contributed nearly $30 million in product donations to food banks and increased its hunger and nutrition wellness grants by more than 25 percent. Extending its global reach, General Mills launched Partners in Food Solutions, a hunger-fighting nonprofit organization that links the technical expertise of General Mills’ employees with small- and medium-sized food processors in Africa.
• Hitting $1 billion in philanthropic giving. The General Mills Foundation has given $1 billion to charitable causes around the globe since its inception in 1954. This includes a record-breaking fiscal 2011 donation totaling nearly $119 million.
General Mills’ 2012 Global Responsibility Report marks the first time the company has adopted the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines. GRI is a globally recognized, standardized framework for reporting on environmental, social and governance performance.
General Mills is one of the world’s leading food companies and operates in more than 100 countries and markets more than 100 consumer brands, including Cheerios, Häagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Progresso, Yoplait, Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., General Mills had fiscal 2011 global net sales of $14.9 billion.