It’s a good note when a company the baby boomers remember from childhood announces that they are catching up with the energy transition to respect and take responsibility going forward for the younger generations. In April, General Mills set a goal to source 100% renewable electricity by 2030 as part of the RE100 global corporate initiative.
General Mills is investing in several renewable energy projects to support the company’s environmental objectives. Examples include two large-scale wind farms that will produce renewable energy credits (RECs).
General Mills commits itself to renewable energy. The Minnesota-based packaged foods manufacturer will earn RECs by signing a 15-yr virtual PPA with a wind farm 170 miles NW of Austin, Texas — the Maverick Creek wind project is owned by RES & Steelhead https://t.co/qJnpgxQzWx
— Wind Power Analytics (@WindParkValue) April 26, 2019
General Mills is also investing in anaerobic digestion, biogas (which captures and uses methane from waste to generate electricity).
— Peter Sinclair (@PeterWSinclair) April 27, 2020
This includes “a 1.6-MW generator fuelled by the anaerobic biodigester at its Murfreesboro plant in Tennessee, a 335-kW biogas regeneration plant at the Paranavai Yoki facility in Brazil and a 195-kW biogas regeneration plant in Arras, France.” Internationally, the company is investigating renewable projects where it has energy-intensive operations. Here’s more information from General Mills on the projects:
- In North America, the company has a 1.6 megawatt generator fueled by the anaerobic biodigester at its Murfreesboro plant in Tennessee. Self-renewing bacteria in the biodigester convert plant process wastewater from its yogurt and dough production into the biogas fuel. Power and heat from the generator are fed directly back into the yogurt processing facility to reduce its annual grid power and natural gas purchases by up to 20%.
- In South America, the company has a 335 kilowatt biogas regeneration plant at its Paranavai Yoki location. This plant is one of the largest manufacturing plants in Brazil where electric power is produced from biogas generated by the site’s wastewater treatment system. The power is used by the plant with any excess sent to the local electric utility, reducing the company’s power spend by 30%.
- In Europe, the company has a 195 kilowatt capacity biogas regeneration plant at its Arras, France Häagen-Dazs production facility. The plant uses electric power produced from generators that are fueled by renewable biogas from the site’s process wastewater treatment system. When the plant doesn’t use it, the power generated from the biogas is sold to the local utility grid, while heat in the form of hot water is recovered to reduce natural gas consumption at the ice cream plant.
Our 2020 Global Responsibility Report, launched today, marks our 50th year of reporting General Mills’ social and environmental performance. The report includes our impact on food, the planet, our people and the communities we serve. Learn more here: https://t.co/weGoiSDc0m pic.twitter.com/UgyMX62TMr
— General Mills (@GeneralMills) April 20, 2020
“We continue to seek out and invest in solutions and programs that will restore and regenerate our natural resources which we are all dependent upon.”
“Signing on to a movement like RE100 extends our commitment to renewable electricity globally, across our supply chain,” said John Church, chief supply chain officer at General Mills. “We know we’re able to drive more widespread action and impact when we make bold commitments. And we’re proud to be among those corporations that are taking the initiative to use scale for good because together, we can secure more measurable and meaningful results.”
More information and quotes can be found in the General Mills press release.
Featured image courtesy General Mills