How McCormick Is Committing to Sustainability

By April 15, 2019General

At McCormick, we are committed to the long-term vitality of people, communities, and the planet while delivering top-tier financial results. In other words, we’re focused on Purpose-led Performance. This guiding principle marries our commitment to high performance with its responsible and conscious stewardship of the environment. It is an underlying principle of everything we do at McCormick.

In October 2017, we outlined our sustainability goals through 2025 in our Purpose-led Performance report, which are all aimed at working to improve the health and well-being of all people, building resilience in communities around the world, and positively impacting the planet. These goals include sourcing 100 percent of branded iconic ingredients sustainably, improving the livelihoods of 90 percent of smallholder farmers who grow McCormick’s iconic herbs and spices, and championing equality for women and people of color, and they demonstrate McCormick’s commitment to embedding sustainable practices throughout our globally-enabled workstreams.

Putting Packaging in Perspective

We can’t deliver our products to our consumers without safe packaging, and our approach to packaging is an important piece of McCormick’s commitment to sustainability. It plays a crucial role in food safety and ensures consistently high-quality products. That’s why we’ve aligned our sustainability goals as they relate to packaging with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and it’s why we’re working with external suppliers to improve processes to reduce packaging waste across our supply chain.

In October 2018, McCormick built on its original goals and announced that 100 percent of the company’s plastic packaging would be reusable, recyclable or able to be repurposed by 2025. The move is part of McCormick’s continuous focus on advancing sustainability and reducing the company’s carbon footprint by working to eliminate single-use plastics, adopting renewable materials, and encouraging composting.

This new commitment strengthened McCormick’s existing 2025 packaging goals, which included reducing the company’s packaging carbon footprint by 25 percent and eliminating BPA and PVC from all primary and secondary packaging materials.

Another example of McCormick’s dedication to green packaging is the reinvention of two of our most iconic products: Black Pepper and Old Bay Seasoning. Until now, the well-known products were sold in metal cans with plastic tops. Moving forward, the products will be sold in a fully recyclable PET container, and this move alone will equate to a 16 percent reduction in associated carbon emissions. These types of smart innovations are why McCormick’s packaging designers and engineers are always searching for new ways to improve packaging and boost sustainability.

New Plastics Economy Global Commitment

Additionally, McCormick recently signed onto The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, which works to accelerate the transition to a circular economy for plastics. As part of the Global Commitment, McCormick has committed to a series of targets and actions, including:

  • Achieving 100 percent of plastic packaging that can be reused, recycled or repurposed by 2025
  • Further increasing recycled content in plastic packaging
  • Developing packaging design innovations that further reduce the use of plastic materials
  • Adopting renewable packaging materials  

McCormick’s commitment to sustainability is not going unnoticed, either. We were recently ranked as the #1 most sustainable food company in the 2019 Corporate Knights Top 100 Most Sustainable Corporations Index, which was released earlier this year at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. We were also recognized as the world’s #22 most sustainable company on the 2019 Barron’s 100 Most Sustainable Companies list, released by Barron’s Magazine.

McCormick is proud to be one of the food industry’s most sustainable companies. We promise to continue delivering the flavors that have been loved for generations, while delivering on our larger plan to not just do well, but to do good.

Dr. Michael Okoroafor

Dr. Michael Okoroafor is McCormick & Co.’s Vice President for Global Sustainability and Packaging Innovation.

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