Commercial, Sourcing Renewables, Wind - April 24, 2020
General Mills targets 100% with biogas, wind
General Mills has joined RE100 and established a goal to source 100% renewable electricity by 2030, the company announced April 23.
To achieve this goal, the global food manufacturer plans to invest in two large-scale wind farms that will produce RECs and anaerobic digestion to capture and use methane from waste to renewable electricity.
General Mills has made other sustainability moves in the past and in 2015 established a target to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions across their value chain by 28% before 2025. By the end of 2019, they have reduced emissions by 14% compared to a 2010 baseline.
“Signing on to a movement like RE100 extends our commitment to renewable electricity globally, across our supply chain,” John Church, chief supply chain officer at General Mills, said in a statement. “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.”
A major part of their renewable energy plan is the implementation of biogas production to reduce global Scope 2 emissions. So far they have begun work on a 1.6 MW generator fueled by the anaerobic digester at its Murfreesboro plant in Tennessee, where power and waste heat reduce their yogurt plant’s power and natural gas purchases by up to 20% and implemented a 335 kW biogas regeneration plant at their Paranavai Yoki location in Brazil, where biogas from the wastewater treatment system generates power for the plant. The excess is then sent to the local utility, reducing their power purchases by 30%. Additionally, a 195 kW biogas regeneration plant at their Häagen-Dazs production facility in Arras, France is fueled by biogas from the site’s wastewater treatment system, the excess of which is sold to the local utility. The excess heat from the plant in the form of hot water is also recovered to reduce natural gas consumption at the plant.
In addition to biogas activities, General Mills signed agreements in 2017 and 2019 for a combined 300 MW of wind energy that will cover the electricity at their U.S. facilities once operational.