KELLOGG COMPANY DRIVING INNOVATION TO ACHIEVE 100% RENEWABLES IN ITS PLANTS: DIANE HOLDORF
NEW YORK: The energy market is fast moving towards renewable energy – making it easier for companies to transition towards 100% renewables, says Diane Holdorf, CSO, Kellogg Company.
“In 2017, when we went out to the market to look to purchase renewable energy for our facilities or to bring more renewable energy on-site, it was very challenging,” she says in a Climate TV interview filmed at Climate Week NYC in September, when the company joined RE100.
“We were able to do it in a few selected states for our operations – for example, we were able to bring renewable energy into our plant in New Jersey. However, as we looked for other options, they’re still challenging.
“This year, we’ve already been able to move 20% of our global energy purchase to renewable energy coming into our plants, in Europe primarily as well as in North America. That shift by the utility companies is going to be game-changing for the Kellogg company as well as others who are buying off those grids as well.”
Kellogg has committed to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2050 as part of RE100, the initiative brought to you by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, as part of the We Mean Business coalition, to help leading businesses to go 100% renewable and transform the global energy market.
Having already achieved 20% renewable electricity through contracts with local utilities in Europe and the US that are bringing more renewables to local grids, the company has an interim target for reaching 40% by 2020.
Diane Holdorf explains that businesses need the support of policymakers to continue to increase their commitment to clean energy: “We want the types of utilities that are greening their grid,” she says, “and we want the states and the countries who are providing the incentive and policy framework to enable that to continue to move at pace as well.”
Kellogg will reduce its direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 65%, and is also committed to reducing energy and GHG emissions in its plants by an additional 15% – per metric ton of food produced – based on the 2015 level.
The company is also committed to fostering sustainable agriculture, helping its farmers and suppliers to adapt and be more resilient to climate change. This pledge is particularly important today, in recognition of World Food Day, since Kellogg wants to create thee billion “better days” by 2025 as part of its global Breakfasts for Better Days commitments.
The company is donating food to people in need, while at the same time supporting 500,000 farmers with Climate Smart Agriculture practices and committing to 45,000 employee volunteer days.
These innovative practices reflect the company’s commitment to the transition toward a more sustainable, low carbon world: “We know that innovation is going to have a huge role to play in enabling our commitment to get to 100% renewable energy by 2050,” says Diane Holdorf.
However, the transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy must accelerate if we want to avoid the worst effects of climate change. While solar and wind power are soaring alongside the global adoption of electric vehicles, there are concerns about energy security and the inherent intermittency of many renewable sources.
“One of the things we are hoping to bring in sooner than later is battery storage capability,” concludes Diane Holdorf. “One may not think that has a role to play in manufacturing and operations, but we would love to bring battery storage to replace some of the generators we have in our site, be able to store solar power we can bring in for longer off of roof space: those types of innovations and the jobs that are behind them are going to make a really big difference for us, as we continue to find ways to achieve our goals.”