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General Mills was recently named one of the 100 “Greenest Companies in America” by Newsweek magazine, which ranked the Minneapolis-based manufacturer in the top 10 among peer food and beverage companies. The company ranked 96th overall and sixth among food and beverage companies in the publication’s environmental ranking of America’s 500 largest corporations.
Among its industry peers, General Mills finished fourth in company policies, fourth in reputation and 17th in resource use and emissions, with a composite green score of 77.45.
The rankings compared three major criteria: company policies and strategies (45 percent of the score), actual resource use and emissions (also 45 percent) and reputation among peers (10 percent).
The company’s overall “green score” consisted of an environmental impact score (700 variables normalized against a company’s annual revenue), a green policies score (best-in-class policies and initiatives weighed against regulatory infractions and lawsuits), and a reputation score (opinion survey of corporate social responsibility professionals, academics and environmental experts).
In compiling the ranking, Newsweek collaborated with three research partners: KLD Research & Analytics, which tracks environmental, social and governance data on companies worldwide; Trucost, which specializes in environmental performance measurement; and CorporateRegister.com, the world’s largest online directory of social responsibility reporting.
General Mills’ 2009 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, available online at GeneralMills.com, outlines how the company has improved the health profile of its products, increased giving to a wide variety of causes and worked to reduce the company’s environmental footprint in 2008.