General Mills: Water Stewardship and the Evolution of Business Imperatives.
by Thomas Schueneman
In the early 20th century, the “miracle” of the Haber-Bosch process ushered in the Green Revolution, turning Malthusian predictions of impending mass starvation on its head. With modern industrial agriculture now possible, the stage was set for the Great Acceleration that began with the post-war boomer generation. Expansion was the touchstone of responsible business. Convenience and variety revolutionized food production and consumption in the U.S. and across the developed world.
That was then, when there were four billion fewer people on the earth, when climate change was still something of an academic novelty, and “sustainability” was mostly an economic consideration. Times have changed. For a responsible agriculturally-based corporation seeking continued return for shareholders and the means to offer products to consumers, new definitions of sustainability and return on investment inform the evolution of business imperatives.