colorful recycling bins


We continue to reduce our solid waste stream by improving efficiencies in our production operations.

general mills solid waste generation graphicThis includes identifying sources of waste and decreasing waste from our processes.

We also reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills by finding ways to recycle it or use it for other purposes.

During 2012:

  • We diverted approximately 84 percent of waste from landfills.
  • We generated 159,000 metric tons of solid waste in our wholly owned production facilities in 2012, 10.7 percent less than in 2011.
  • Our waste generation rate was 0.034 metric tons per metric ton of product, which is a decrease of 7.6 percent, on target to achieve our goal of a 50 percent reduction by 2015, compared to 2005.

general mills solid waste disposition graphicThese decreases were primarily due to a focus on Continuous Improvement and loss identification, specifically ingredient overuse elimination efforts.

Waste reduction worldwide
At many of our facilities, we reuse boxes and totes instead of recycling the cardboard or sending it to a landfill.

  • At our plant in Belvidere, Illinois, for example, we reuse corrugated cardboard from supply shipments – decreasing waste by 200 metric tons annually.
  • In the U.K., our Berwick facility stopped sending its waste to landfills in 2012. Instead, the plant now manages its waste through reuse and recycling, and diverted 328 metric tons of waste from local landfills in fiscal 2012. In addition to becoming a “zero waste to landfill” plant, the change also saves more than US$16,600 per year.
  • san adrian video thumbnailOur Seretram plant in Labatut, France, shares the zero-waste-to-landfill distinction. Green Giant sweet corn cans that do not meet quality specifications are crushed in a machine, which separates steel ready for recycling from corn. In 2012, we identified a partner that composts the corn for use as garden fertilizer

Food waste
One-third of all the calories of food produced in the world every year are wasted – equaling 1.3 billion metric tons of food waste – while nearly 1 billion people do not have enough to eat.  MORE



We diverted approximately 84 percent  of waste from landfills in 2012.

2014 global responsibility thumbnail


2014 report on our progress (pdf) Go