Sep 06, 2011 • By

The giving trees of Irapuato

It’s safe to say no one within General Mills likes trees more than our employees and their families at our facility in Irapuato, in the agricultural region of south central Mexico.

This summer, they planted about 740 native trees in the foothills of Guanajuato City – the latest in a series of reforestation projects the Irapuato plant has undertaken for more than a decade.

They have planted trees on the boulevard in front of the facility, in a local school yard and in what was once known as “Gigante Verde” (Green Giant) forest. The city of Irapuato recently honored the plant with an environmental award for its commitment to sustainability.

Employees currently have more than 11,000 trees – all germinated from seeds – in varying degrees of development in Green Giant greenhouses just waiting to be planted when the time is right.

“Trees are our passion and planting them throughout the community is our way of doing what we can to protect the environment and preserve the soil that is so important to our business,” says Emilio Lacedelli, the plant manager in Irapuato. “For us it literally is a family affair.”

The devotion to trees began about 15 years when the plant was looking for a way to use its extra greenhouse space.

While it’s true that the Irapuato plant does get its share of recognition for completing such an environmental service project, the ongoing tree planting campaign goes far beyond the norm. And there is no end in sight.

“We hope to plant an additional 1,500 trees every year for at least the next 10 years,” says Emilio. “We’re making a significant impact that will continue to build over time.”