General Mills released its annual Global Responsibility Report, outlining its approach to creating economic, environmental and social value in the countries where it operates. The company reported progress in the areas most material to its business – health, environment, sourcing, workplace and community engagement. The full report can be accessed on the General Mills Website.
For 2013, which marks the 44th year General Mills has shared an annual responsibility report with stakeholders and the community, the company again aligned the report with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework. This is the third year General Mills has used GRI, the globally recognized standard for environmental, social and governance reporting.
"In pursuit of our goal to stand among the world's most socially responsible food companies and to sustain our business for the long term, we continue to improve our practices, our products and our supply chains as we work to fulfill our mission of Nourishing Lives," saidKen Powell, chairman and CEO of General Mills, in a prepared statement. "We are encouraged by the progress we're making and remain committed to our pursuit of continuous improvement."
General Mills' 2020 sourcing commitment, health profile improvements and water stewardship efforts are among the key highlights of this year's report.
The company's sustainability mission is to conserve and protect the natural resources and communities upon which the business depends. In fiscal 2013, General Mills committed to sustainably sourcing 100 percent of its 10 priority ingredients by 2020 – representing more than 50 percent of the company's annual raw material purchases. The commitment, part of General Mills' long-term sustainable sourcing strategy, covers a broad range of raw materials including oats, wheat, corn, dairy, fiber packaging, cocoa, vanilla, palm oil, sugar cane and sugar beets.
In addition, as a food company, General Mills recognizes the nutrition-related challenges faced by global consumers, ranging from hunger and malnutrition to obesity. The company reported this year on how it is working to be part of the solution – through products, consumer education and philanthropic efforts.
Also in fiscal 2013, General Mills strengthened its commitment to global water stewardship. This year's Global Responsibility Report outlines progress towards a global water risk assessment of all General Mills plants and growing regions. Part of this assessment includes the identification of eight at-risk watersheds and collaboration with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) on a global water stewardship strategy.