More Cereal, Less Flour = General Mills Has Harder Time Meeting Emission Goals

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photo: yaybiscuits123 via flickr

Chalk this one up in the interesting but not earth-shaking category: GreenBiz reports that because of a shift in the products it sells, from less flour to more processed cereals, General Mills is finding it harder to meet its own emission reduction targets.The company was just given top marks by Corporate Responsibility magazine, and has a goal of cutting energy use and emissions 15% below 2005 levels by this year. They've only reduced each about two and a third percent.

It's pretty obvious once you think about it. Flour is denser and requires less energy to produce than a cereal which is cooked in one way or another. Cereal just has more steps in the process creating emissions.

The impact is big enough that if General Mills was still selling the same product mix as it used to, its emission reductions would be double what they are now.

Is It Just Shifting Where Emissions Are Counted?
I suppose one could argue that overall emissions, taking into account raw materials to ready to eat meal, may not be different as with the current product mix General Mills itself is taking on more emissions which in past years would have been allocated to someone cooking in the home. But still it's an interesting twist in the road.

Read more: Green Biz
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More on Corporate Carbon Emissions:
Wal-Mart Reports Its Global Carbon Emissions in 2009 Sustainability Report
Ford Saves $1.2 Million & Reduces CO2 Emissions by Around 20,000 Tons by Turning Computers Off
US Carbon Emissions Down 9% Over Last Two Years

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