McCormick & Company is a food company that manufactures, markets, and distributes spices, seasoning mixes, condiments, and other flavoring products to retail outlets, food manufacturers, and food service businesses. The Baltimore-based company has 14,000 employees based worldwide. Its investments have tangible benefits for farmers and customers and throughout its supply chain.
It is doubling down on its commitment to climate change, environmental compliance, and raw material procurement. It aims to be net zero in 2050, and it has joined the UN”s Science-Based Targets Initiative, which wants to keep temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. At the same time, the company has made significant progress toward its sustainable packaging goals.
“We continue to significantly invest in energy-efficient facilities and renewable energy resources across our business. We’ve recently completed construction on McCormick’s new manufacturing site in Peterborough, UK, which is on track to become the company’s first Net Zero Carbon building. Additionally, we’re investing in renewable electricity to power 100% of our North American facilities in Maryland, New Jersey, and Texas through Project Skipjack and Big Star Solar,” the company says.
How is McCormick reducing its carbon footprint?
McCormick is increasing its share of renewable energy. For example, it uses 100% green power to fuel its three facilities in the United Kingdom, and it is doing the same for those in Poland and Italy. It also uses 100% green energy to power its Maryland and New Jersey facilities and its Dallas manufacturing plant and distribution center. Its achieved its 2025 climate goals — Scopes 1 and 2 — four years early. However, it has raised its aspirations and is now trying to reduce those emissions by 42% by 2030.
Its internal policies also include a 25% reduction in its carbon footprint from the packaging by transitioning to 100% circular packaging. That means the materials will be recycled sources.
While it has already achieved a 20% absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1 & 2) by 2025, its new goals between 2025 and 2030 are:
— 42% absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1 & 2) from our facilities to be met by 2030.
— 16% absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 3) by 2030.
— 25% reduction in water use in its facilities by 2030.
— 85% recycling and recovery of solid waste from its facilities by 2030.
— Reduce packaging carbon footprint by using materials that have been recycled and reused by 25%.
— All of its plastics and packaging can be reused, recycled, or repurposed. That number now stands at 84%.
How is McCormick working to make its supply chains more sustainable?
Many of the company’s agricultural products are derived from local farming communities — even though McCormick is one step removed from farmers. It places a high value on ethical and fair trade practices and sustainable farming. To comply with the standards it calls “Grown for Good,” suppliers must sign codes of conduct with the farmers. The company constantly reviews its suppliers and practices, noting that it scores its suppliers.
Its goal is to source all of its herbs and spices sustainably by 2025. As of 2021, 62% of black pepper, 33% of cinnamon, 50% of oregano, 100% of red pepper, and 70% of vanilla met those standards.
In February 2021, McCormick said its black pepper, which was grown in Brazil was the first spice to meet its “Grown for the Good” standard. Later that year, its vanilla, grown in Indonesia, achieved the same.
“We work to eliminate intermediaries so we can establish direct relationships with our suppliers and farmers,” the company says. “We also work with farmers and suppliers to implement risk oversight initiatives and promote our commitment to sustainable sourcing. McCormick’s steadfast commitment to creating a sustainable supply chain for all of our stakeholders across people, communities, and the planet is secured by the principles outlined in our Sustainable Agriculture Policy …”
In 2019, the company set goals to reduce its emissions at its operations (Scopes 1 and 2) by 20% and throughout its supply chain (Scope 3) by 16% by 2025 from a 2015 baseline. Now that it has joined the UN’s Science-Based Targets Initiative, it aims to be net zero by 2050.
As such, it is targeting a 42% cut in its Scopes 1, 2, and 3 emissions by 2030. Using more renewable energy at its facilities is critical to these goals, including having access to large-scale projects in its operating regions. It also deploys energy efficiency technologies while implementing improvements and innovations in processing and distribution.
At its Dallas plant, for example, it captures waste heat from air compressors to heat water to reduce its reliance on natural gas. In El Salvador, it has installed a rooftop solar project, enabling it to power its manufacturing facility with 10% renewable electricity. Meanwhile, its Australian offices and warehouses use a 600kW rooftop solar system.
Scope 3 reductions entail educating suppliers and setting Science-Based Target initiatives. “Emissions associated with our operations and energy consumption are in our direct control, and we are pursuing partnerships across our supply chain to help reduce emissions outside of our direct control.” To this end, McCormick aims to slow deforestation; trees absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. It says these projects are now supporting 3,000 vanilla farmers in Madagascar.
It is also providing its suppliers access to financial support and monthly training to understand its Scopes 1,2, and 3 emissions, providing them insights on how to set goals to do better. It has engaged more than 90 of its suppliers.