Kellogg plans to shift its manufacturing electricity sources to over 50% wind energy globally by the end of 2022. The ambitious goal speaks to growing social and environmental concerns within the food industry.
The company signed a long-term wind energy virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) with Enel Green Power for approximately 360 gigawatt hours of wind electricity in North America annually — about the same amount of electricity it takes to power over 43,000 homes each year.
This VPPA should bring Kellogg significantly closer to its global commitments to reduce Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 65% and to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2050.
A GROWING BUSINESS TREND
Kellogg is just one of many food manufacturers making considerable investments in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives. S&P Global recently ranked Kellogg’s sustainability performance within the top 15% of the food industry. Kellogg is listed among S&P’s Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the U.S., joining the likes of Campbell Soup, General Mills, Hershey and Kraft Heinz.
The company’s lofty commitment to renewable energy could raise industry stakes as ESG agendas continue to draw focus from consumers, employees, investors and governments.
Meanwhile, scores of U.S. fund managers that sell investment products in the European Union are being forced to comply with sweeping new EU rules on climate and other sustainable-finance issues, requiring firms – including BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street – to disclose the potential harm their investments could do to the environment and society, reported The Wall Street Journal (March 22).
MEETING CONSUMER DEMANDS
ESG efforts also play an increasingly prevalent role in brand selection, with younger consumers in particular aligning food and beverage company sustainability efforts with brands they’re most likely to trust, according to multiple reports.
With the support of Kellogg’s VPPA, Enel has started construction on its Azure Sky wind and storage project in Texas. Kellogg’s portion of renewable electricity generated by the wind farm is estimated to reduce the company’s CO2 footprint by 250,000 metric tons each year, which is equal to taking approximately 55,000 passenger vehicles off the road annually.
By setting ambitious ESG goals, Kellogg is on track to strengthen its position with investors, stakeholders and consumers.