USA – General Mills, a multinational manufacturer and marketer of branded consumer foods, has pledged to reduce absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30% across its full value chain over the next decade.
According to the company, the newly announced commitment aligns with guidance from the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) based on the aim to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C.
As well as the absolute greenhouse gas reduction commitment, the company also says that it has committed to a long-term goal to achieve net-zero emission levels by 2050.
Jeff Harmening, chairman and CEO of General Mills said that they were proud to be making this ambitious goal which will take strong leadership and collaboration to drive holistic change.
“From farmers and suppliers, to where we make our food, to packaging producers and shippers, to retailers, and finally how we get it to our consumers’ tables, each step in our value chain has a critical role to play — that’s how we’ll tackle this to ensure we are doing more and taking bolder actions,” he added.
In addition, General Mills has laid out three other key aims for the next ten years. These include advancing regenerative agriculture practices on 1 million acres of farmland by 2030 and activating programmes across the ingredient categories with the largest GHG footprint.
The 1-million-acre commitment, announced in 2019, has seen General Mills join forces with farmers on initiatives such as a three-year programme in Kansas involving 24 wheat growers. All in all, more than 250,000 acres are collectively managed across three pilot programmes.
General Mills also aims to reduce food loss and waste by 50% in its operations and ‘advance respect for human rights’ in its value chain in accordance with the United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
The company recently signed on to the Business Ambition for 1.5°C, a global initiative bringing together companies aligning their businesses to the Paris Agreement 1.5°C goal, as well as its target for net-zero emissions by 2050.
These goals, which include limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, aim to provide the best chance of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.
The Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign is led by the SBTi in partnership with the UN Global Compact and the We Mean Business coalition.
“The science is clear: in order to limit the catastrophic impacts of climate change, we must ensure warming does not exceed 1.5°C,” said Paul Simpson, CEO of CDP, one of the SBTi partners.
“The ambition is high but it’s achievable — and science-based targets give companies a roadmap for getting there. Corporations worldwide have an unprecedented opportunity to be at the very forefront of the transition to a net-zero economy — and there is no time to lose.”
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