General Mills has the makings of a climate leader thanks to your campaigning

Posted by Kiri Hanks Climate Change Policy Adviser

29th Jul 2014

After two months of campaigning we're thrilled to announce that General Mills - once ranked last on climate change policies on our Behind the Brands scorecard - has committed to setting targets to reduce emissions, participating in real climate advocacy, and becoming a true climate leader. And we have you to thank!

Hundreds of thousands of people like you heard that droughts, floods and other natural disasters caused by climate change are stopping farmers from growing enough food to feed their families and make a living, and that General Mills didn't seem to care. They didn't fully disclose most of their emissions, let alone set targets to reduce them. And they did business with companies that worsen climate change by burning down forests and over-using polluting fertilisers.

There is no way General Mills would have made these commitments to change without your support: the new policy comes after more than 230,000 people like you signed petitions and took action as part of Oxfam's campaign to urge food and beverage companies to help stop climate change from making people hungry.

The fact that so many of us came together makes this victory that much sweeter!

As one of the 10 largest food and beverage companies in the world, General Mills took a bold step forward yesterday as the first among the Big 10 to agree to cut emissions from both its operations and its agricultural supply chains. That's huge!

And as a global player, General Mills' action will be felt across the food and beverage sector - serving as a model for what others can do. In fact, General Mills has agreed to take on a leadership role to push for strong climate policy changes with governments and within the industry.

Specifically, General Mills has pledged to:

  • "Know and show" by disclosing their emissions as well as their suppliers of sugar cane and palm oil.
  • Set emissions reductions targets by 2015 and put in place stronger safeguards against deforestation.
  • Advocate by taking a leadership role in addressing climate change with businesses and governments.

In the coming months we will continue to work with General Mills to make sure they reach their goals; you can follow their progress with us on our climate roadmap. These commitments could make a real difference in the lives of farmers like Eric Pyne in Komonah, Liberia, Richard Oswald in Missouri, United States, and so many others around the world.

Soon more companies will have to act too. And we have our eye on just who is next: Kellogg.

As one of General Mills' main competitors, Kellogg has not yet stepped up their game. They need a wake-up call.

Today we congratulate General Mills and urge Kellogg to step up. Watch out for our next exciting chapter this week and join us in calling on Kellogg to take meaningful action. We hope you will stay with us in this fight.

Blog post written by Kiri Hanks

Climate Change Policy Adviser

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