Kellogg's sustainability director highlights importance of procurement, targets

Dive Brief:

  • Considering every part of the supply chain, from manufacturing methods to ingredients, is extremely important when looking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Kellogg's sustainability director said in a Q&A with Environmental Leader
  • Sustainability practices strongly influence Kellogg's purchasing decisions. The company works in tandem with its procurement teams, which strive to embed sustainability in sourcing events, annual supplier scorecards, awards and recognition for suppliers.
  • In addition, production efforts for priority ingredients such as corn, rice, and wheat are regularly assessed on fertilizer and water usage, and targeted for better conservation practices. Kellogg's is currently working with 70 suppliers on sustainable agriculture.

Dive Insight:

While specific to the food supply chain, Kellogg's example highlights two key strategies to ensuring the success of a sustainability initiative.

First, the appointment of a sustainability director responsible for coordinating with various siloed actors allows for broad initiatives. Discussion with suppliers and other members of the sustainability teams with which the company is affiliated, such as the Nature Conservancy, are a regular occurrence.

Second, the company notes it sets various goals and benchmarks both for itself and suppliers, in order to measure success. In fact, it's through regular if not nearly constant exchanges and  data updates that Kellogg's keeps itself current on the latest sustainability efforts. Interactively, it shares that information with suppliers and fellow members of the many stakeholder groups to which the company belongs.

As Kellogg's shows, corporate sustainability requires active engagement throughout both the internal and external supply chain. Internally, procurement cannot be alone in pushing these policies, nor can operations. Sustainability must become a company-wide, cultural drive since, as various other success stories show, it is often the small waste-reduction initiatives that drive the most value.

Similarly, sharing best practices with suppliers and external organizations will enable full supply chain sustainability and could lead to other successes, like recognition or closer relations in general.

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Twitter

Filed Under: Procurement