Kellogg ups the sustainability ante

by Keith Nunes
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Kellogg's sustainability efforts include installing fuel cell technology in its frozen waffle manufacturing plant in San Jose, Calif., that generates enough “clean” energy to produce approximately half of the plant’s annual electrical consumption.

BATTLE CREEK, MICH. — The Kellogg Co. said it will require its suppliers to measure and disclose their operation’s greenhouse gas emissions, and develop targets for reducing them. For its part, Kellogg said it will take steps to provide assistance to growers to help make their operations more sustainable.

The company made a number of commitments in its latest sustainability report, including: reducing greenhouse gas emissions by an additional 15% from its 2015 performance; expanding the use of low-carbon energy in plants by 50% by 2020; implement water reuse projects in 25% of its plants by 2020; increase the number of plants sending zero waste to landfills by 2016; and ensuring that 100% of timber-based packaging is sourced from either recycled or certified sustainable sources.

As an example of its efforts, Kellogg said its frozen waffle manufacturing plant in San Jose, Calif., has installed fuel cell technology that generates enough “clean” energy to produce approximately half of the plant’s annual electrical consumption.

“This is just one example of how Kellogg is continuously looking for new processes and technology to delight consumers with foods made in innovative ways that minimize the environmental impact of our operations,” said Diane Holdorf, chief sustainability officer at Kellogg. “We’re making progress but also recognize the need to drive change, which is why we’re stepping up our plans now with new goals for 2020.”

Kellogg also committed to the responsible sourcing of such ingredients as corn, wheat, rice, oats, potatoes, sugar, cocoa, palm oil and honey using a combination of certification and documented continuous improvement by 2020.

“We know that our most significant environmental impacts occur in our supply chain, in the growing of our agricultural ingredients,” the company said in the report. “In recent years, food security, feeding the ever-increasing global population going forward, has also emerged as a critical issue facing the agriculture industry. As a responsible food company, we want to do our part to minimize the impacts of agricultural production and help the agricultural sector be more sustainable.

“Through our work with suppliers, millers and growers, and other partner stakeholders we will provide data, maps, tools, agronomic support, and/or training to support continuous improvement in climate adaptation, including smallholder farms, optimization of fertilizer inputs while measuring and improving greenhouse gas emissions, optimization of water use and improvement in soil health.”
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