Sustainability: Addressing the Life Cycle of Cereal Food Products
C. Baldwin. Green Seal, Washington, DC, U.S.A. Cereal Foods World 55(4):177-179.
Industry leaders in sustainability are implementing broad initiatives with active engagement in efforts within the company as well as upstream and downstream of the company. This is the life cycle approach to sustainability. The life cycle of food products includes agriculture, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, use, and disposal. This article includes a discussion of key elements to improving each stage of the life cycle. The benefits of such sustainable practices have proven to benefit those companies practicing them. Businesses that incorporate sustainable practices have had greater financial success. Benefits of sustainable practices include lower production costs, improved product function and quality, increased market share, improved environmental performance, improved relationships with stakeholders, and lower risks. A recent study by A. T. Kearny found that companies committed to sustainability financially outperformed industry averages by 15% over the six months from May through November 2008. Thus, investing in the life cycle approach to sustainability may be the best way to protect a companyís value as well as the future generationís food supply.