General Mills Speaks Up on Climate Change

The Lempert Report
September 18, 2015

General Mills, will invest more than $100 million in energy efficiency and clean energy.

American food giant, General Mills has spoken out on climate change. CEO Ken Powell stated that global warming is being created by human activity and is threatening to disrupt global food supplies. He told the Associated Press, “We think that human-caused greenhouse gas causes climate change and climate volatility and that's going to stress the agricultural supply chain, which is very important to us. Obviously we depend on that for our business, and we all depend on that for the food we eat."

A spokeswoman for General Mills, whose brands include everything from Yoplait yogurt and Pillsbury to Haagen-Dazs ice cream and Green Giant vegetables, expanded on Powell's thoughts when telling The Huffington Post that a failure to address climate change would make it extremely difficult to feed the world’s growing population, which is expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050.

The company has announced a goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent over the next decade across its entire chain, from farm to fork to landfill, and Powell called on others to follow their lead. In a statement he said; “While our success depends on our actions, we cannot get there on our own. We believe every company, government and individual has a role to play. Climate change is a shared, global challenge that is best addressed at scale.” 

General Mills, will invest more than $100 million in energy efficiency and clean energy and last year became a member of Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP), a leading advocacy coalition of businesses committed to working with policymakers to pass climate and energy legislation. 

While not every supermarket has the capability of such investments;  General Mills, for example has $19 billion in annual sales, they set a good example for others to follow. Every retailer, small and large should be looking at ways they can work towards reducing their impact on climate change. Supermarkets are also in the unique position to relate directly to consumers, and as such, can educate and show shoppers all the small ways that they too can make a difference. 

Tune in next Friday to hear more about why its time for supermarkets to help shoppers understand the impact of climate change.