General Mills plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions drastically over the next decade
This week, General Mills, one of the world’s largest food companies, committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent by 2025. General Mills will be taking its sustainability efforts to a new level as it targets all its supply chain processes. CEO Ken Powell points out that climate change and climate volatility are caused by human-caused greenhouse gases and will have negative effects on agriculture. As climate issues are important to the company, General Mills is planning to invest more than $100 million in energy efficiency and clean energy in its production sites and logistics processes. However, there are a lot of greenhouse gas emissions coming from outside the facilities, precisely from the farms where the raw materials are grown and sourced. Cows, for example, produce a lot of methane in their digestive process, which is why General Mills wants to work on this problem together with the farmers, according to John Church, Senior Vice President of Global Supply Chain. Furthermore, the firm is planning to organically cultivate an additional 250,000 acres by 2020.
Powell points out that it was important to General Mills to release its climate initiative ahead of the UN Paris Climate Conference in December, in order to encourage other companies to follow their example. Two other food companies, Wal-Mart and Unilever, already committed to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. David Festa, head of the Environmental Defense Fund’s West Coast operations, can see a trend in companies making commitments to act more sustainably within their operations and supply chains.
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Nestlé is confronted with the accusation of forced labor in its supply chain
Nestlé was accused of obtaining seafood for its Fancy Feast pet food from Thai Union Frozen Products PCL, a supplier that is involved in slave labor and human trafficking. Consumers have now brought a class action lawsuit against the company to court, saying they would not have purchased the product if the use of slavery and human trafficking had been indicated on the package. Nestlé defended itself, stating that forced labor “has no place in our supply chain” and that human rights need to be respected in the supply chain, indicating the measures the company has taken to eliminate slavery within its operations.
It was a very busy week for Nestlé as the company also also announced its plan to make KitKat the first global chocolate brand to use only cocoa that is verified to be grown sustainably and without child labor, starting in 2016. According to the Fair Labor Association, which has reviewed Nestlé’s cocoa plantations since 2012, four children under 15 working were found to be working on cocoa farms that supply Nestle in the Ivory Coast. The company’s overall plan is to use 150,000 tons of fair trade cocoa every year by 2017.
Security holes in supply chains of Android devices
The security firm G DATA revealed this week that some Android phones are being unpacked by retailers who then install malware and sell them on the free market. There are two dozen brands affected by this, including Alps, Xiaomi, Huawei and Lenovo, which are sold by Chinese retailers. This news indicates the dangers associated with supply chains and the difficulties to secure them. Theodora Titonis, vice president of the software-security firm Veracode, points out that the topic of supply chain security will continue to gain in importance as mobile devices and the Internet of things become more natural. However, there are security gaps in supply chains that make it easy to install malware on devices, which collects data and attacks the privacy of consumers. The consequence is stolen data, higher phone bills for the owner and higher revenue for the operators of the malware through advertisements and selling the data of the owner. The first modifications were discovered last year and affect primarily Chinese products, however, there were also some cases in Europe, mostly with phones sold on auction sites like eBay. Normally, security technology recognizes malware, but some programs pass undetected.
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Have a nice weekend!