US food group General Mills has announced an expansion of its environmentally sustainability goals for 2015.

The targets, the firm said on Friday (12 November), include reducing water use by 20%, reducing solid waste generation by 50%, reducing energy use by 20%, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20%.

“We have a lot of work ahead,” said Jerry Lynch, chief sustainability officer for General Mills. “But by setting aggressive goals – and continuing to work to advance our capabilities in this important area – we are putting in place a road map to the future.

“Preserving and protecting the environment for generations to come is an important aspect of General Mills’ mission of Nourishing Lives. We’re proud of the progress we’re making, and we are setting more aggressive goals for even greater progress in the next five years.”

To date, the firm said it has reduced its water usage rate by 9% – nearly double the 5% goal set in fiscal 2006; and reduced its solid waste generation rate by 33% from the 15% goal set in 2005. However its energy consumption rate only reached 6%, falling short of the company’s 15% goal also set in 2005, and the reduction in its greenhouse gas emission reached only 8% – about half the company’s 15% goal from fiscal 2005.

“Our 2005 goals were aggressive,” said Lynch, “and we did not achieve them all. But our progress has been substantial and we are raising the bar. We are learning and improving our capabilities in this area every day. We want to set goals that will stretch us to do more.”

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