By: Alistair Hirst, Senior Vice President, Global Supply Chain
As part of Kellogg’s global Earth Day celebrations, I am proud to announce that we are taking additional steps to green our global facilities. Nurturing the planet is a proud part of the Kellogg heritage, going all the way back to W.K. Kellogg, our founder. A passionate philanthropist and conservationist, Mr. Kellogg’s passions included conserving land and supporting farmers to help improve crop quality, which have long been key drivers of sustainability.
This heritage comes to life today in our Global Sustainability Commitments which guide us in reducing energy use, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, reusing and reducing water, and reducing our waste. In fact, during production of our foods, we have saved 440 million gallons of water since 2005 and have reduced food waste by 4.7% this past year.
These commitments to sustainability extend not just to how we source and make our food at Kellogg, but to our workplaces as well. At our offices and plants across the globe, employees have been helping Kellogg “go green” for years, including participating in global employee “GoGreen” activation teams to champion new ideas for our business and workplaces.
Just like Mr. Kellogg, GoGreen team members bring their personal passion to every corner of the Kellogg world. As Executive Sponsor of the Kellogg GoGreen team, I have seen this passion first-hand and appreciate the significant impact their efforts have on our business and workplace.
Over time, the team has helped create and promote recycling programs in our global workplaces, and many of our facilities have moved to centralized trash and recycling stations to improve recycling compliance. We’re using water refill stations in many of our workplaces, from Elmhurst, Ill., U.S., to Manchester, U.K., to Pagewood, Australia, where using re-fillable water bottles is encouraged.
I am therefore both proud and excited to share the new changes that have been led by our GoGreen champions to further green our global facilities. All of our plants and offices will be moving to compostable and paper food service products in our kitchens and cafeterias by the end of 2018, fully eliminating all remaining single-use foam and plastic serviceware, plastic straws and bottled water.
These new changes, for our Michigan and Chicago-area offices alone, will prevent more than 2 million pieces of plastic and foam serviceware from ending up in landfills, along with 105,000 plastic straws and 110,000 plastic bottles – every year. Additionally, our Headquarters campus in Battle Creek, Michigan, will be starting a composting system, which will divert about 120 tons of food waste from the landfill each year.
This new effort is one of many other changes across our company to improve our environmental footprint — installing electric vehicle chargers, replacing standard bulbs with energy-efficient LED lighting in many office and manufacturing facilities, and creating employee-tended gardens that can play a small part to help absorb CO2 while providing produce to those in need in our local communities. And in 2017, our employees reduced printing globally by nearly 18.7 percent, saving more than 628,000 trees compared to the previous year.
The passion of our GoGreen team demonstrates that individual actions make a difference. I look forward to seeing our campuses become even more sustainable in the coming years.