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Gina-Marie Cheeseman headshot

Kellogg Sets Bold Sustainability Goals for 2020


Fans of Frosted Flakes and Eggo, two Kellogg Co. brands, who are also champions of sustainability have something to cheer about: Kellogg announced new social and environmental commitments earlier this month.

Among other things, the company committed to responsibly source its top 10 ingredients and materials by 2020. The 10 ingredients include corn, wheat, rice, oats, potatoes, sugar (beets and cane), cocoa, palm oil, fruits and honey. A combination of certification and documented continuous improvement will be used. In addition, Kellogg will validate compliance across all of its direct suppliers by 2015.

Kellogg will work with its global palm oil suppliers to source “fully traceable” palm oil, as stated on its website, from certified sources that are “environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable.” It will require its suppliers to comply with Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) principles and criteria by Dec. 31, 2015. The majority of palm oil comes from Indonesia and Malaysia, and palm oil plantations are causing massive rainforest destruction in both countries.

Kellogg will source cocoa, fruits and honey through direct investment where continuous improvement occurs in the areas where those ingredients are grown. The company will engage with its suppliers and local experts and will assess continuous improvement on metrics such as water fertilizer use, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and livelihoods. It will source sugarcane from sources that are both responsible and sustainable using Bonsucro measurement standards, a global metric standard for sugarcane.

"This company was founded on the belief that there's an inherent goodness in grains and that continues to hold true today," said John Bryant, Kellogg Co. chairman and CEO, in a statement. "We are committed to nourishing families so they can flourish and thrive.  Our new sustainability goals will help us do this by delivering high-quality grains in a responsible way that enriches the lives of consumers and agricultural growers around the world."

Lightening impact

Kellogg’s environmental commitments include expanding the use of low-carbon energy in plants by 50 percent by 2020. To help achieve its low-carbon energy goals, Kellogg’s Eggo bakery in San Jose, California recently installed fuel cell technology that generates enough renewable energy to produce about half of the facility’s annual electrical consumption. The system also uses less water to generate the power than if it had been supplied by the utility grid. That is a great thing in the midst of California’s three-year drought.

Kellogg is committed to increasing the number of plants sending zero waste to landfill to 30 percent by 2016. About 3 percent of the company’s overall waste ends up in landfills. The other 97 percent is either recycled or sold to livestock operators to be used for animal feed and a small amount -- .01 percent -- is sent for energy recovery.

Other environmental commitments include reducing energy, GHG emissions, water use and packaging:

  • Kellogg will reduce energy and GHG emissions by an additional 15 percent from 2015 performance.

  • It will implement water reuse projects in 25 percent of its plants by 2020.

  • It will further reduce water use by an additional 15 percent from 2015 performance.

  • It will ensure that 100 percent of timber-based packaging continues to be either recycled or from certified sustainable sources.

Helping  to make sustainable agriculture a reality

Kellogg is also committed to sustainable agriculture, particularly working with farmers, millers and agricultural suppliers to produce more sustainable agriculture, including adapting and being more resilient to climate change. To that end, the company provides data, maps, tools, agronomic support and training to support improvement in climate adaptation. In addition, Kellogg works with small holder farmers and women farmers.

Image credit: Kellogg Co.

Gina-Marie Cheeseman headshotGina-Marie Cheeseman

Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by Mashable.com.

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