In 2012, General Mills set a 10-year goal to improve energy efficiency in the company's 26 largest U.S. plants by 20 percent. Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that General Mills achieved its goal four years ahead of plan, with a total efficiency improvement of 20.4 percent since fiscal year 2012.
"We are honored to be recognized by the DOE 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."
The company's 20 percent improvement represents a total of over two million MMBTU's of energy (combined electricity and natural gas) over the six years. In fiscal 2018, more than 60 energy efficiency and reduction projects were completed across the company. These improvement projects saved over 12 million kWh, delivered $4.8 million in cost savings and avoided nearly 6.000 metric tons of CO2e of GHG emissions.
As part of the company's greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reduction goal, each General Mills production facility has a target to reduce energy use by two percent annually, normalized to production. During fiscal 2018, this rate decreased by two percent compared to the prior year; absolute energy use decreased by seven percent.
Since DOE launched the Better Buildings, Better Plants program in 2011, more than 900 private- and public-sector organizations have saved 1.38 quadrillion British thermal units, equivalent to $8.4 billion in energy and cost savings. For more on the Better Plants Challenge, visit the 2019 Better Buildings Annual Progress Report.