Water

The foundation of life.
In this section:

Pouring our hearts into water stewardship

Water is vital for all aspects of life: drinking, sanitation, commerce, growing food, generating power and nurturing ecosystems. And we’re doing all we can to protect and conserve water resources.

To protect water is to protect life

Water is essential for life – for drinking and sanitation. It helps grow food, generate power, support commerce and nurture ecosystems.

The farms that grow our ingredients rely on water and as a food company, General Mills depends on water too. And we take our responsibility seriously to make sure that we’re making a positive impact as water stewards.

Our General Mills Water Policy serves as our guide to improving water quality, availability and conservation.

Water issues are local, so we take a risk-based approach to address risks in priority watersheds across our global supply chain. Our goal is to champion the activation of water stewardship plans for the company’s most material and at-risk watersheds in its global value chain by 2025.

As General Mills advances its work
in regenerative agriculture, improving water efficiency and quality are targeted outcomes. Farmers participating in our regenerative agriculture programs adopt principles, like cover cropping and no-till which improve soil health, reduce erosion and deliver water-related benefits.

We are tracking water outcomes and will report results such as percentage improvement in the soil water infiltration rate and the percentage reduction in nitrogen and other potential water pollutants both in use and in runoff.

Today, three of our 10 priority watersheds have active water stewardship plans in place. See map here for further details.

Our actions include:

  • Fund and participate in local water stewardship activities and policy advocacy with non-governmental partners
  • Maximize water efficiency in owned plants in priority watershed
  • Advance regenerative agriculture in California almonds, a priority watershed and high-risk ingredient, inspired by water impact in our Kansas regenerative agriculture wheat pilot

Learn more here in our Global Responsibility Report.

*Water consumption data is from 2012. Data in the Shipping, Selling and Consuming phases was considered immaterial.

General Mills water footprint*

Number 1
Agriculture and transformation
At 85%, this is our largest area of impact, and we focus on the highest-risk watersheds that we engage with globally.
Number 2
Packaging supply chain
Representing 14% of our footprint, we focus on reducing materials and using lower impact materials.
Number 3
Producing
Although this is 1% of our footprint, we control this phase directly and are committed to improvement.
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