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Our Commitment March 25, 2022

How McCormick is Helping Fight Climate Change

Man planting tree in Madagascar


Across McCormick & Company's 132-year history, doing what's right for people, communities, and the planet remains a top priority for our company. That's why we're committed to strategically reducing our impact on the environment and addressing climate change. 

From the farmers who help source our raw materials, to the types of packaging our products are sold in, to the buildings where we work, McCormick has implemented numerous initiatives throughout our business to help lessen the effects of climate change. Learn about some of these initiatives below. 

1. Sustainable sourcing and agriculture. McCormick sources approximately 3,000 agricultural products from hundreds of thousands of farmers located in over 85 countries around the world, and we recognize that the global production, distribution, and consumption of agricultural raw materials could potentially generate significant impacts on the natural environment. As a global leader in flavor, McCormick strongly believes that these products be produced in accordance with the highest environmental, social, and governance standards. 

One way that McCormick is driving this is through Grown for Good, our third-party verified sustainability standard for suppliers in the herbs and spices industry. This standard includes metrics that drive community resilience, including economic stability for farmers, gender equality and women's empowerment, as well as biodiversity conservation and regenerative farming practices.

In 2020, McCormick also joined forces with Guidehouse, Mars, Incorporated, and PepsiCo to establish the Supplier Leadership on Climate Transition collaborative (S-LoCT), which officially launched in March 2021. "Recognizing the impact that global supply chains have on the health of the planet, the collaborative aims to mobilize collective climate action by providing suppliers with resources, tools, and knowledge to support their own climate journeys," the press release stated. Through S-LoCT, McCormick suppliers receive free training and mentorship on how to develop Science-Based targets and implement greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction strategies while being recognized for their achievements against these milestones. In turn, supplier progress will accelerate the ability of McCormick and the other participating brands to deliver against their own science-based targets to reduce emissions in their supply chains.

Greenhouse gas emissions are divided into Scopes, which define the level of control the reporting organization has over the emissions as well as organization’s emission generating activities. McCormick's scope 1, 2 (GHG emissions that a company can control) and 3 (GHG emissions goals that occur from sources not owned or controlled by a company) emissions goals have been validated by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), a non-governmental organization that validates greenhouse gas reduction goals to ensure they are in line with the latest climate science. These targets also meet the goal of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to below 2° C above pre-industrial levels. Additionally, McCormick has committed to using science-based targets to achieve a 1.5°C greenhouse gas emission reduction by 2030 and Net Zero by 2050. While we’ve achieved our 2025 Scope 1 and 2 goals four years early, our new corporate goals include a 42% absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1 and Scope 2) from our facilities by 2030. We are also targeting a 42% absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 3) by 2030.

And our employees are committed to doing their part to support reforestation. For example, on World Environment Day in June 2021, McCormick employees pledged to help forest restoration efforts in Madagascar, where 80 percent of the world's vanilla supply is produced. Through this initiative, McCormick planted one tree in Madagascar for each global employee – 13,000 trees total. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, as trees grow, they can help stop climate change by removing carbon dioxide in the air, storing carbon in the trees and soil, and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. 

2. Sustainable packaging.
McCormick is committed to reducing the environmental impact from our plastic packaging by lowering our associated carbon footprint and eliminating plastic packaging that cannot be recycled, reused, or repurposed. To date, we've reduced our packaging carbon footprint by over 12,500 metric tons globally and 83 percent of our current plastic packaging can be recycled, reused, or repurposed. Our goal is to ensure 100 percent circular plastics packaging by 2025 – meaning that it can be recycled, reused, or repurposed by 2025. 

For example, McCormick UK brand Schwartz is rolling out 100 percent recyclable packaging across the entire range of recipe mix sachets. The new recyclable sachets represent a 61 percent reduction in plastic use compared to Schwartz's original packaging. This update is expected to prevent 78 tons of plastic going to landfill each year and to reduce the carbon footprint of Schwartz's recipe mixes by 30 percent.

To further underscore our commitment to reducing our packaging carbon footprint, we've signed the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment. Led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, along with other companies that represent 20 percent of all plastic packaging produced globally, the commitment highlights our plastic packaging goal. The commitment will help eliminate plastic pollution at the source in support of a circular economy. 

3. Sustainable buildings.
To help use our resources more efficiently, waste less, and reduce our impact on climate change, McCormick has completed three LEED Certification projects. 

  • In 2018, we opened the new McCormick global headquarters in Hunt Valley, MD. The facility is LEED Gold-certified and replaces three smaller buildings with one new green building that has already significantly lowered our energy and water usage. The construction used locally sourced materials and the building has many sustainable features, including a green roof, chemical-free furniture made of recycled material, and a centralized waste management system.

  • Also in 2018, we built a new LEED Silver-certified manufacturing facility in Thailand’s Amata Nakorn Industrial Estate that uses 100 percent LED lighting, highly efficient utilities, and distribution systems optimized to reduce losses. The plant was also constructed sustainably, with a construction waste diversion rate of 90 percent. And our future state-of-the-art Northeast Distribution Center in Sparrows Point, MD is on track to become LEED Gold-certified.
  • In the EMEA region, McCormick has ensured that our operations are supplied with renewable energy since 2019 by procuring green electricity and green gas to sites in the UK and green gas to sites in Italy and Poland (beginning in 2022). This has enabled EMEA to reduce GHG emissions by 45 percent between 2015 and 2021 and we project a 65 percent reduction by the end of 2022 (compared to 2015). And in Peterborough, UK, McCormick's new manufacturing site is on track to become our first Net Zero Carbon Building. The project is using the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) Net Zero Carbon Buildings Framework to help deliver Net Zero Carbon in both construction and operations, the highest level of commitment to the framework. To achieve Net Zero in construction, and to prepare for Net Zero in operations, McCormick followed a methodology of building less, building clever, and building efficiently as set out in the UKGBC's framework. McCormick’s actions have reduced the site’s construction carbon emissions by 38 percent from an estimated 72,000,000 lbs CO2 eq. initial baseline figure to the final embodied carbon figure of 22,201.

McCormick has also implemented renewable energy initiatives, like the Skipjack Solar Power Project in Virginia, which will provide 100 percent renewable  electricity for our Maryland and New Jersey-based facilities. We expect this will save 27,000,000 lbs. CO2 eq. annually, which will account for 17 percent across our Americas Supply Chain, or 11 percent globally, by 2022. And in 2021, Constellation, a leading competitive energy and energy solutions provider, announced an agreement to help McCormick, PepsiCo, Best Buy and ViacomCBS’ KTVT and KTXA TV stations to power their operations with clean, renewable electricity from the 200 MW Big Star Solar Project, currently under development in Bastrop County, Texas. And in 2018, our Dallas manufacturing plant implemented a new compressed air system with heat recovery. Replacing an obsolete compressed air system, this new system has increased the efficiency of the facility’s hot water heating by recovering waste heat and using it to produce hot water, reducing our carbon footprint at the plant. 

At McCormick, we know our sustainability journey is never complete. But we remain committed to doing well while doing good. If you're interested in learning more about our efforts, please visit our Purpose-led Performance page

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