The cereals producer has pledged to reduce energy, GHG emissions and water use across its operations by an additional 15% per metric tonne of food produced from a 2015 baseline, and expand its use of low-carbon energy in plants by 50% by 2020.

The number of plants sending zero waste to landfill will increase by 30% by 2016, and water reuse projects will be implemented a quarter of facilities by 2020. The company is also looking to introduce resource-efficient packaging through a number of measures – these include improving recycled content, recyclability and food-to-package ratios.

The pledges follow a rise in energy and water use and GHG emissions in 2013, as reported on edie earlier this year.

One example of product innovation is the Kelloggs waffle brand, Eggo. The Eggo bakery in San Jose, California, recently installed fuel cell technology that generates enough clean energy to produce approximately half of the facility’s annual electrical consumption. The system also uses less water to generate this power than if it had been supplied by the utility grid.

According to Kellogg’s chief sustainability officer Diane Holdorf, this demonstrates the importance of technological innovation to minimise operational environmental impact. “We’re making progress but also recognise the need to drive change, which is why we’re stepping up our plans now with new goals for 2020,” she said.

Responsible sourcing of ingredients is another focus area for Kellogg, and will involve supply chain collaboration. The company has pledged to responsibly source its top 10 ingredients and materials by 2020, and validate compliance across all direct suppliers by 2015.

Kellogg says it will continue to provide resources and education to key agricultural suppliers, millers and farmers to help them increase resilience to climate change and optimise their use of fertiliser inputs. The company hopes these measures will also result in optimised water use and reductions in GHG emissions across supplier agricultural practices.

In the US the company is working with its leading corn supplier, Bunge, together with The Nature Conservancy to drive better agricultural conservation management in the Midwest Corn Belt.

The goal is to encourage farmers to implement best management practices, track farm-level and watershed outcomes that will benefit the region, and measure continuous improvement of on-farm practices using field-to-market metrics.

Commenting on the initiative, Holdorf said: “We also want to support the smallholder farmers and women farmers who grow our ingredients around the world. Through our work with growers we’re building trust in our foods.”

Maxine Perella

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