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The Associated Press November 12, 2010, 1:58PM ET

General Mills eyes 2015 environmental goals

General Mills Inc. plans to cut its water usage 20 percent by 2015, just one of its updated environmental sustainability goals.

The maker of Cheerios, Yoplait yogurt and other products said Friday that it will also slash solid waste generation by 50 percent, trim energy usage by 20 percent and cut greenhouse gas emission by 20 percent.

By fiscal 2010's end, General Mills had lowered its water usage by 9 percent, which was better than the 5 percent reduction it set for itself in fiscal 2006. But the food company based in Minneapolis conceded that it fell short of some other goals. While it was able to cut its energy consumption rate by 6 percent, it had called for a 15 percent reduction. General Mills also missed its goal of cutting its greenhouse gas emission rate by 15 percent, instead reducing it by 8 percent. Both of those initial goals were set in fiscal 2005.

Chief Sustainability Officer Jerry Lynch said in a statement that the 2005 goals were aggressive and that the company has made a lot of progress.

Shares of General Mills shed 43 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $36.16 in afternoon trading.

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