At General Mills, our environmental sustainability mission is to conserve and protect the natural resources our business depends on. We do this by continually improving our environmental performance.
We’re continuing to work toward our fiscal 2015 goal of achieving significant, measurable reductions in solid waste generation, water usage, greenhouse gas emissions and other sustainability metrics.
Fiscal 2011 was a challenging year for progress toward our goals primarily due to a decrease in business volume. Because our goals are rate-based, they’re impacted by fluctuations in the amount of product that we manufacture, as well as other factors such as changes to product mix. With our volume down slightly in fiscal 2011, we made less progress, percentage-wise, toward achieving our goals this fiscal year compared with previous years.
In absolute terms, however, we improved across all of our sustainability metrics versus last year, meaning that we used fewer resources and generated less waste in fiscal 2011 than in 2010. Plus, several of our facilities and divisions made strong progress toward reducing their environmental footprint this year.
We’re already more than halfway toward achieving three of the goals – on reducing water use, solid waste generation and packaging. And we’re making progress on reducing energy usage, greenhouse gas emissions and transportation fuel, our other three goals.