Five keys to driving ESG strategies

BATTLE CREEK, MICH. — Being anchored in vision and purpose and embracing sustainability as a catalyst for growth are two key themes for driving an environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy, said Steve Cahillane, President and CEO of Kellogg Co. .

In a post on the company’s blog, Cahillane identified his top five themes for driving an ESG strategy, noting that ESG is “not just the flavor of the month or a checkbox.”

“Consumers, employees and other stakeholders believe in this passionately, and they want to support and work for companies that are equally passionate and impactful,” he said.

Mr Cahillane said his five themes arose following a conversation at the Ernst and Young Strategic Growth Forum late last year.

“It was a powerful and engaging discussion,” he said.

The first theme should be based on vision and purpose.

“Stakeholders want to do business with companies that have heart and soul, that have vision and purpose, that are committed to people and our planet, and that deliver on those commitments,” said Mr. Cahillane. “At Kellogg, our vision and purpose are at the center of everything we do. They are embedded in our Deploy For Growth strategy, guiding how we work with our business partners, within our communities and with each other.

Second, people should be your heart and soul.

“For the past few years, the COVID-19 pandemic and racial inequality have been at the forefront of conversations,” he said. “We are committed to removing tangible and intangible barriers to ensure fairness between our company’s practices in the workplace, marketplace and communities. We recently launched our enhanced Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) strategy, which includes a goal to achieve 25% representation of racially diverse talent at the executive level by the end of 2025.”

A third key theme in 2022 is embracing sustainability as a catalyst for growth. As an example of this theme, Cahillane cited Kellogg’s recent issuance of its first-ever sustainability bond – an eight-year, €300 million bond that allows the company to offer more visibility on the work it is doing on the sustainability front.

A fourth theme is to take advantage of advances in innovation.

“To continue to do better for our planet, we need to pursue cutting-edge, next-generation technology that will make a difference,” Cahillane said. “More than a century ago, Kellogg’s first cereal boxes were made from recycled cardboard. Today we are testing a 100% recyclable Pringles can in the UK and have committed to having packaging that is 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable by the end of 2025. We are embracing data and technology to find more advanced and effective means of achieving our commitments. »

Finally, developing and nurturing partnerships will be essential moving forward.

“In order to make the progress needed to meet ESG commitments, we need to consider the supply chain end-to-end,” he said. “We cannot do it alone. To make sure we’re on the right track and have the best science available, we leverage partnerships with industry-leading organizations like the Consumer Goods Forum and the Science-Based Targets initiative.

Additional information on Kellogg’s ESG efforts is availablehere.