General Mills, Citing Threats to its Bottom Line, Makes Major Climate Commitment
This spring, the food giant General Mills was unequivocally labelled a climate “laggard” by activists at Oxfam International. Now, just two months later, General Mills has taken it upon itself to shape up, big time. The food giant, which owns classic household brands like Cheerios and Pillsbury, announced a comprehensive suite of new climate policies this week. Key policies include accounting for emissions across its entire operation and setting emissions targets that will keep global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius.
According to Oxfam, these policies make General Mills “the first major food and beverage company to promise to implement long-term science-based targets to cut emissions.” General Mills’ rationale for the commitment is perhaps just as important as the commitment itself. General Mills wasn’t just motivated by concerns about corporate social responsibility. According to the text of the new policies, General Mills’ reason for action is due in large part to the fact that climate change threatens the raw materials the corporation depends on, and in turn, its bottom line.
James West, Contributor to Grist
A few months ago, the international food manufacturing giant General Mills was branded a “clear laggard” by climate activists for not doing enough to cut its carbon footprint. Oxfam International accused the company of dragging its feet on reducing so-called “scope 3″ greenhouse gas emissions — those not directly controlled by the company, but essential in making its products; for example, emissions from a farm contracted by General Mills to grow the oats that eventually wind up in your cereal bowl. Oxfam also faulted the company for not using its clout to engage directly with governments to “positively influence climate change policy.”
General Mills’ worldwide sales total $17.9 billion, and it owns familiar consumer brands like Cheerios, Old El Paso, and Pillsbury
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