Water stewardship


water stewardship

As a global food company, water is critical to our business. We take a broad approach to water stewardship, looking beyond our company’s walls to the phases of our value chain that drive overall use. This is essential, since 85 percent of our water footprint is from growing and transporting crops, and turning those crops into food ingredients.

General Mills' water footprint

pie chart
  • 85% - Agriculture and transformation

    We focus on the high-risk watersheds that we impact globally. See the map for details.

  • 14% - Packaging supply chain

    Reducing materials use and using lower impact materials (such as recycled content) are the main strategies that positively impact water use related to packaging.

  • 1% - Producing

    Although this represents a small part of our footprint, we control this phase directly and are committed to continual improvement.

  • We are committed to improving the sustainability of water use throughout our supply chain:
  • We have received an A rating on water stewardship from the Climate Disclosure Project since 2013.
  • We introduced a water policy in 2014 to provide a framework for engaging with stakeholders and improving the health of watersheds that are critical to our business.
  • In 2015, we signed the CEO Water Mandate, joining a group of business leaders, governments and other stakeholders working with the United Nations (UN) to advance water stewardship.
  • In 2016, we set a goal to champion the development of water stewardship plans for the company’s most material and at-risk watersheds in our global value chain by 2025.
  • In addition, each of our production facilities has a goal to reduce water usage by 1% each year (based on production).
  • We are exploring the potential for regenerative agriculture to positively impact water outcomes, in our Southern Plains Wheat Pilot (Cheney Reservoir watershed) and our California almond supplyshed (Sacramento River and San Joaquin River watersheds). 
  • In 2021, we were selected as a pilot company to test the methodology for developing a Science Based Target for Freshwater.   

Global Responsibility Report 2021


2021 Global Responsibility Report (Interactive)

2021 Global Report Summary (PDF)

2021 Global Responsibility Report (PDF)

Report archive

This marks the 51st year that we have reported to our communities and stakeholders.