MINNEAPOLIS — General Mills, Inc. has achieved its goal of improved efficiency and reduced energy consumption, four years ahead of its plan.

As part of a 10-year goal established in 2012, General Mills set out to improve energy efficiency in its 26 largest U.S.-based plants by 20%. On May 17, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the Minneapolis-based company had achieved its goal, with a total efficiency improvement of 20.4% since fiscal 2012.

“We are honored to be recognized by the D.O.E. for our progress to improve our efficiency and reduce our energy consumption,” said John Church, chief supply chain officer and global business solutions officer at General Mills. “We started this journey by looking within our walls back in 2005 and since then have extended our commitments and work across our entire value chain. We have to own the entirety of our impact, and this is one of the many ways General Mills is working to reduce our impact on the environment.”

 According to General Mills, the 20% improvement represents a total of more than 2 million MMBTUs (one million British Thermal Units) of energy (combined electricity and natural gas). The company said it completed more than 60 energy efficiency and reduction projects across the company in fiscal 2018. In total, the improvement projects saved more than 12 million kWh (kilowatt hours) and delivered $4.8 million in cost savings, the company said.