Kellogg’s new sustainability report has revealed reductions to water use and carbon intensity, while the company has also had to establish new waste targets after surpassing the original threshold for the second year running.

“To help address the risks climate change poses to our company and world, we expanded our environmental commitments. Historically, our environmental goals focused within the four walls of Kellogg Company—in other words, on the water, energy, GHG emissions,” Kellogg’s chief executive officer John Bryant said.

“The biggest GHG impacts of our foods are at the farms themselves, so we are focusing on ways to encourage climate-smart agricultural practices that not only reduce the carbon footprint of crops such as wheat, rice and corn but also help to improve the livelihoods of the farmers who grow them.

“The strong actions we took this past year will help protect the planet for the long term. Our own business depends on it. After all, the viability of grains is essential to the success of our company.”

The company has announced that since 2005 carbon emissions have fallen by 14% per metric tonne of food produced, just short of its 15-20% target for the end of 2015. Water use decreased by 10% in this timeframe – again short of the 15-20% target, while energy use fell by 8%.

While Kellogg’s seemingly missed the 2015 targets, the company has had to account for the purchase of Pringles back in 2012, which requires twice as much energy and more than 70% more water use in the production phrase.

Target acquired

With the 2015 targets – warped by the Pringles acquisition – reaching their time limits, Kellogg’s has turned to new science-based targets in order to cut its key footprints in line with a 2C global warming limit.

With Kellogg’s surpassing two waste targets in the last two years to bring overall reduction to 62% since 2005, the company will turn to delivering the science-based targets which were established last year.

Kellogg’s will aim to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions – across manufacturing, offices and distribution – by 65% by 2050 and working with suppliers for the first time to reduce absolute Scope 3 emissions by 50%. To tackle the Scope 3 emissions, Kellogg’s will engage with 75% of its Tier 1 suppliers to instruct them to produce annual carbon reports through a CDP initiative by 2020.

The company has also unveiled plans to expand the use of low-carbon energy across 50% of facilities, as well as introducing water recycling projects across 25% of its plants in order to reduce water use by an additional 15%. The company will also increase the number of plants sending zero waste to landfill to 30%.

In an attempt to align with the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Kellogg’s continues to improve its supply chain relations. Having already achieved a 92% palm oil traceability rate across mills – although Greenpeace believes the company could do better – Kellogg’s is working to improve the livelihoods of at least 500,000 farmers by 2030.

Alongside the 500,000 farmers, Kellogg’s will work to implement sustainable initiatives to improve the working aspects for at least 15,000 smallholders by 2020, with current estimates claiming that the company has reached out to around 8,000 smallholders, 3,000 of which are women.

edie Sustainable Supply Chain Conference

Realising the reputational, efficiency and economic benefits of a truly sustainable supply chain has become a core objective for multinational firms and ambitious SMEs alike. 

But while the paybacks are clear to see, the process of identifying material issues within supply chains; formulating an ethical and responsible CSR strategy, and communicating that strategy both internally and externally is a complex and challenging endeavour.

Now in its fifth year, the edie Sustainable Supply Chain Conference will discuss all of these issues and more, on 6 July in London. Find out more about the Conference and register to attend here. 

Matt Mace

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