We highlight three companies in the Food Products industry to examine their past Commitments with our new ESG Safeguard feature that analyzes Materiality.

Sam Leavitt
September 17, 2021

ESG Spotlight: Growing Food Sector Commitments Start to Bear Fruit

ESG Spotlight: Growing Food Sector Commitments Start to Bear Fruit

In our last content piece building up to Climate Week 2021 we used our Materiality analysis to take a birds-eye view of Commitments and Investments over the past few years. This week we are zooming in on three select companies to examine their sustainability narratives. These three companies all have positive Impact Scores on our ESG Safeguard platform since 2018 and Nestlé actually leads the Food Products industry for that span of time. We discussed these companies on our Wednesday webinar with Jean Rogers - if you missed it check out a recording here!

Kellogg Co.

Kellogg’s (K) ESG profile over the past few years was fairly quiet until January of 2020. The company made a commitment to reduce organic waste by 50% for a 2030 deadline. Last year during Climate Week the company updated us on a Milestone of 28% emissions reductions from a 2015 baseline and committed to have 100% renewable energy for operations by 2050.

ESG Safeguard Platform: Kellogg Co. Materiality Statements Over Time, Jan-2018 to Aug-2021

Our Materiality analysis shows us the first major follow through on this commitment was in March of this year when they signed a renewable power purchase agreement with the energy company Enel (ENIA). The agreement will provide 50% of Kellogg’s total energy needs for operations and although quiet on the investment front for a while, this marked a big step for the company.

General Mills

A company in the same sector as Kellogg, General Mills (GIS) also has made Commitments that we have been able to track with our Materiality analysis. Noticeably the company made a commitment to reducing emissions paired with an investment in renewable energy in 2019, a few years earlier than Kellogg. The commitment they made in 2019 has a goal for 2025, the shorter time frame is easier to track and measure than a goal set for 2050.

ESG Safeguard Platform: General Mills Materiality Statements Over Time, Jan-2018 to Aug-2021

General Mills also made a strong commitment to regenerative agriculture in 2019, and to that end have been piloting small programs with different farms and producers in their supply chain for years. It is hard to say how extensive these efforts are though and there doesn’t seem to be any clear dollar amount tied to this initiative. As featured in a previous post of ours, General Mills partnered with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to promote soil health and water quality in the Great Plains area, building upon their 2019 Commitment towards regenerative agriculture.


The last company we review with our Materiality analysis, and the Impact Score leader for the Food Products sector, has a much stronger track record of investing on their Commitments they make towards ESG initiatives. In 2018 Nestlé already had a renewable power purchase agreement in place for wind energy. This was a year earlier than General Mills and a few years earlier than Kellogg. In September 2018 they outlined two bold ESG goals. The first was 100% sustainable packaging by 2025 and the second was to eliminate deforestation in their supply chain by 2020, most notably for cocoa and sugar production. The cocoa supply chain is especially fraught with red flags as we covered a story earlier this year that implicated many chocolate manufacturers in a lawsuit surrounding child labor in the supply chain. The lawsuit has since been thrown out but that does not mean there is no credence to those claims. In January 2020 Nestle committed 2B Swiss Francs to develop more sustainable packaging and 45M Swiss Francs towards sustainability in the cocoa supply chain.

ESG Safeguard Platform: Nestlé Materiality Statements Over Time, Jan-2018 to Aug-2021

In January of 2021 the company again committed funds to improve their climate footprint to the tune of $3.6B over the next five years. Nestlé’s strategy to achieve their climate goals is the most straightforward in our Materiality analysis for the food products category, matching their Investments to the Commitments they laid out.

Materiality Uncovers the Gaps in Commitments

All three of the companies we discuss have made strides toward improving their ESG profile over the past few years. They all have positive Impact Scores on our ESG Safeguard platform. However, when we examine them using our Materiality analysis we spot some gaps for Kellogg and General Mills when it comes to matching Commitments with visible action and investment. Nestlé’s profile did well, demonstrating publicly that they were pushing funds towards important issues like reducing plastic waste and insulating their supply chain.

Interested running these types of analyses with our ESG platform?

Request an ESG demo today to find out how you can analyze earnings call transcripts and other financial documents with our text analytics platform. Spot outliers, identify critical insights, and understand key drivers.

Watch a Related ESG Webinar: Climate Week 2021 Recap

Watch our follow-up to Climate Week webinar where we put theory into practice leveraging our new Materiality analysis to debrief Climate Week 2021. We addressed who might be greenwashing, reviewed the positive narratives from the last 12 months, and discussed who spoke to noteworthy commitments, investments, or milestones in this year’s event. We were joined again with special guest Jean Rogers, Founder of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and one of the world’s leading ESG experts.

About Amenity

Amenity Analytics is the industry leader in providing insights from unstructured text by using Natural Language Processing (NLP) assisted by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). Amenity’s NLP system is a sector-agnostic, language-dependent tool for quantitative text analysis that is deployed across the financial services industry and beyond.

This communication does not represent investment advice. Transcript text provided by FACTSET and S&P Global Market Intelligence.

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