Apr 29, 2013 • By

Creating value through Nourishing Lives

One of the most rewarding aspects of leading External Relations at General Mills is the opportunity it affords to see the many ways our company lives its mission of Nourishing Lives.

This past year, General Mills donated more than US$143 million – nearly $3 million a week – to key initiatives that support our communities around the globe. Even more impressive, is the fact that more than 80 percent of our employees in the U.S. – and more than 50 percent internationally – volunteered in the communities where we do businesses.

And for our company, nourishing lives goes beyond just our philanthropy and volunteerism. Our core business literally delivers billions of servings of low-fat dairy, frozen fruit and vegetables, and low-calorie, nutrient-dense cereals and soups into consumer diets around the world.

We nourish lives through our efforts to responsibly source the ingredients we use to make our products – while reducing our environmental footprint. Lastly, some of the most important lives we nourish are those of our employees by investing in their health, development and well-being. We want the years our employees spend working for General Mills to be rewarding and filled with purpose.

The release today of our 2013 Global Responsibility Report provides a wonderful opportunity to review the progress our company is making toward living its mission. (See our press release.)

Inside, I hope you’ll see – as I do – the commitment of our employees to making the world a better place. These are real people doing their best to make a difference – whether it’s a researcher working to reduce sugar in our cereals or an engineer looking to save energy and water at one of our production plants. These efforts are a part of how we do business at General Mills.

At General Mills, we call our approach “Holistic Value Creation.” While job No. 1 is the creation of economic value for our shareholders, we seek to do so in a way that also creates social and environmental value in a way that validates the trust that our customers and consumers place in our company when they purchase our products.

Holistic Value Creation means we aspire to make business decisions that advance the interests of the company while at the same time advancing the interests of the society that sustains our business.

To increase transparency into our company’s beliefs and practices, we’ve added Sourcing and Workplace sections to this year’s Global Responsibility report. And we are deepening our use of Global Reporting Initiative guidelines (the preeminent standard for sustainability reporting), to provide more external accountability.

So I encourage you to:

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions or comments. Thank you for all you do to help our company live its mission.