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Reduce solid waste generation by 50% from | 2005 – 2015

General Mills

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One of our key corporate sustainability goals is to reduce solid waste generation by 50% from 2005 – 2015 (this refers to all waste generated at our manufacturing facilities, including food waste, packaging, etc). As one of the world’s largest consumer food companies, Food Waste comprises more than 2/3 of the solid waste at our plants, so our goals on food waste are tied directly to our overall waste goal.

In addition, several production facilities have achieved zero waste to landfill. Specifically, our facilities in Berwick, United Kingdom and in Seretram, France have eliminated landfill disposal from their facilities.  All food waste is donated or recycled into animal feed or composted.

If possible, please estimate how much food waste you aim to reduce, recover, or recycle (example: 500 lbs./year):

In the 12 months ending June, 2012, 159,400 metric tonnes of waste was generated at wholly owned manufacturing plants.  Of that, approximately 84% or 134,000 metric tonnes was recycled or reused. The majority of that is food waste and in fiscal year 2013, we plan to improve even further on that number.

Activity 1

Enhanced Food Donation System:  We will improve our capabilities in the United States to streamline donations and mitigate destruction of safe quality food products, ingredients and packaging. This will consist of simplifying our current system of finished product donation, creating a direct communication link to Feeding America, and adding capabilities to donate ingredients and packaging in addition to our current finished product donations process. We anticipate that by making the donation system more straightforward, it will promote donation over destruction and has the potential save 30 million pounds of waste (including finished product, ingredients and packaging).

We anticipate completion of system enhancements by June 2014.

Activity 2

Enhanced Zero Loss Process: In the next 12 months we plan to focus on zero loss in our U.S. and other production facilities and develop a more standardized process for waste reduction.  The process will include leadership commitment, waste stream auditing, gap analyses, reduction plan development and implementation.  The plan will consist of clear targets for each plant to eliminate waste streams or capture waste streams for recycle/reuse and implementation will include best practices for waste elimination and waste collection as well as robust training plans.

Pilot the process beginning in June, 2013 and deploy fully to the 10 biggest opportunity facilities in by June 2014.