Inside WK Kellogg’s New Sustainable Business Strategy

In the next chapter of the Kellogg story, spinoff WK Kellogg embeds new sustainable business strategy, says Chief Sustainable Business Officer Sarah Ludmer

WK Kellogg believes doing good is good for business.

It’s a philosophy that the North American cereal business (formerly known as Kellogg Company) has embraced for nearly 120 years – to operate ethically, responsibility and sustainably.

And it's a philosophy that has proven profitable.

Home to iconic cereal brands Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies and Froot Loops, and previously part of snack giant Kellanova, WK Kellogg Co began trading on the New York Stock Exchange after spinning off from its parent company back in October 2023.

And it continues to beat Wall Street targets in sales, with 2023 sales reaching US$2.76 million, a 2.5% increase YoY.

WK Kellogg’s ability to deliver strong results despite price challenges is reflective not just of its strong brands and winning culture but its focus on sustainability and purpose.

And now the cereal business is taking the Kellogg legacy to greater heights, with a new sustainable business strategy designed to address the broader systemic challenges in the global food system.

“As a new independent company, we want to continue to be a sustainable organisation – one that sees another 117 years,” says Chief Wellbeing and Sustainable Business Officer Sarah Ludmer, in an interview with Sustainability Magazine.

“Creating a sustainable business strategy enables us to do that by ensuring we understand our impact on people and planet and embedding it into our DNA.”

Embedding Purpose for a More Sustainable Business

Called Feeding Happiness, the new business strategy provides a framework for WK Kellogg Co to measure its impact on both people and the planet.

“In writing the next chapter of the Mr. Kellogg’s story, we knew that understanding the impact of our business on both people and our planet is essential for us to be a sustainable business – one that withstands the test of time,” says Sarah.

“Our sustainable business strategy is built into our DNA to help us identify growth opportunities and proactively navigate the landscape to connect doing good with good business.”

Sarah explains how the CEO and entire leadership team have played a critical role in creating the strategy and ensuring it is fully integrated across every aspect of business.

“Wellbeing and sustainability are not just my team’s job, but the responsibility of each one of our 3,000 employees. We are making a part of everything we do from manufacturing to innovation to packaging to employee engagement.”

Chief Wellbeing and Sustainable Business Officer Sarah Ludmer

Kellogg’s New Strategy Tackles Food System Challenges

Created around three focus areas, the strategy focuses on increasing access to nourishing foods, reaching millions of kids through sports and learning initiatives, and investing in communities.

“We know that hunger remains a pressing issue,” says Sarah.

"One in eight kids go hungry in the US and food security among families and children continues to be a deep issue. At the same time, climate change is impacting our food systems and communities are less connected."

With both the knowledge and resources to put healthier and happier futures within reach, WK Kellogg is committed to “increasing access to foods and providing key nutrients and ingredients”, explains Sarah – while also building responsible sourcing programmes and progressing programmes to minimise the company's environmental footprint.

Among targets, WK Kellogg will increase the number of people reached through its feeding programmes and hunger initiatives, establish a responsible sourcing programme for priority ingredients, reach 2.5 million kids through Mission Tiger by 2025, design all packaging to be recyclable – and strengthen volunteer opportunities for employees.

WK Kellogg's New Sustainable Business Strategy is Built into its DNA

New Strategy Builds on Kellogg’s Legacy

The new business strategy builds upon founder WK Kellogg’s passion for wellbeing and the company’s purpose to unlock the power of its foods.

Described as a “conservationist, dedicated philanthropist and wellbeing visionary”, WK Kellogg believed that making the lives of children happier, healthier and more promising was important work.

“And we wholeheartedly agree,” declares Sarah.

Leveraging experience from Kellogg Company as inspiration, Sarah says WK Kellogg is continuing to progress against goals that Kellogg Company had set – this includes progressing against established SBTi targets while the new company initiates its own process.

“A key learning for me was accepting progress over perfection and recognising that we don’t have to have every metric in place for year one,” Sarah tells Sustainability Magazine. 

“We are using this year to set our strategy and develop the baseline to inform our goals. We have a unique opportunity in 2024 to understand where we are so we can determine where we are going.”

    Feeding Happiness Provides a Framework to Measure Impact on People and Planet

    Feeding Happiness Strategy and Goals

    These are the defined goals and targets for the three focus areas of WK Kellogg's new sustainable business strategy:

    Make Eating Well Easy – to increase access to foods providing key nutrients and ingredients

    • Increase the number of people reached through feeding programmes and hunger initiatives 
    • Expand portfolio with offerings containing fibre, protein, whole grain and/or Vitamin D 
    • Ensure majority of cereal sales fit within the daily recommendations for added sugar  
    • Establish a responsible sourcing programme for priority ingredients 

    Help Kids Be Their Best – spark confidence for millions of kids through sports, play and learning

    • Reach 2.5 million kids through Mission Tiger TM by 2025 
    • Provide kids with learning and play opportunities through promotions, partnerships and customer activations 

    Better Our Communities – Invest in the communities we serve, benefiting both people and the planet

    • Continue to provide volunteer opportunities for employees and strengthen community partnerships 
    • Progress against Kellogg Company-established SBTi (Science Based Targets initiative) targets and initiate WK Kellogg Co SBTi process 
    • Strive to design all packaging to be recyclable, recyclable ready or reusable; today, over 98% of WK Kellogg Co packaging is recyclable or recycle ready
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