August 13, 2014 / 11:01 AM / 3 years ago

Kellogg to set targets for suppliers to cut carbon emissions

WASHINGTON, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Global food giant Kellogg’s will set targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions from its worldwide supply chain, it announced Wednesday, responding to consumer pressure to be accountable for its contribution to climate change.

The maker of popular cereal Corn Flakes and potato chips Pringles announced a series of new climate policy measures, including targets to be set by December 2015 that would be consistent with a global effort aimed at preventing average temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celcius.

Kellog’s will also expand its previous voluntary pledge to ensure net zero deforestation by 2020 by addressing other areas of its supply chain, including soy and sugarcane segments, in which deforestation effects are a high risk.

The company had previously made commitments to avoid deforestation and land degredation in other high risk supply chain areas, including palm oil and packaging fiber.

“We recognize that upstream agriculture emissions are the single largest source of emissions in our value chain and will focus our efforts on achieving agricultural emissions reductions,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

The announcement comes two weeks after fellow food giant General Mills announced a similar policy to set emission cutting targets that respond to the United Nations goal of keeping global temperatures from rising by less than 2 degrees C.

Both companies worked with NGO Oxfam International’s Behind the Brands campaign to push major food companies with global business dealings to be transparent about the climate impact of their production and reduce their carbon emissions.

“Kellogg’s new commitments add momentum to calls on governments and the wider food and agriculture industry to recognize that climate change is real, it’s happening now, and we need to tackle it,” said Monique van Zijl, Oxfam’s manager of that campaign.

The Kellogg pledge took General Mills’s commitment a step further, according to Oxfam, because it promised to require key suppliers to measure and publicly disclose their emissions and reduction targets.

It also committed to creating a climate change adaptation plan for its supply chain that factors in the needs of small farmers in developing countries.

Both companies also agreed to assist an advocacy coalition called BICEP (Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy)that pushes companies to work with lawmakers to tackle climate change.

The 10 biggest food and beverage companies together emit greenhouse gases at a level equivalent to the 25th biggest national emitter in the world, according to Oxfam. (Reporting By Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Ken Wills)

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